Connie Lyons with Norm Beauregard, Rod MacKenzie & Austin Toole

Connie Lyons shot 88 at 96
Connie Lyons played this past summer with me and shot a smooth 88

Connie Lyons shot 88 at 96 years old

One of the great accomplishments in golf is shooting your age. Well this past summer, Connie shot 88 at Pawtucket CC at the sweet age of 96. Connie beat his age by 8 shots!
I remember caddying for Connie as a teenager. His swing and attitude has not changed. Connie doesn’t hit it as far, but makes up for that with his good chiping and putting. His attitude is he just happy to be playing golf in the sunshine.
Connie you give us all hope of playing many more years.

14th Jim Tanner Classic to be played Monday July 20, 2020

The tournament will be played on Monday July 20th. Again this year you are encouraged to enter your own foursome. We plan on gross and net team prizes, as well as, long drive and closest to the pin contests.
We encourage any donations for the raffle and auction.
This year we will introduce new senior tees that will provide more fun for our older and higher handicap players.
The JT Classic has raised over $100,000 for Scholarships in our first 13 years.
This year we expect several of the Pawtucket Country Club club staff to be new Burke Scholars.
Jim Tanner told me how much he enjoys seeing his friends and former caddies every year

Cameron Toussaint is the 2019 JT Scholar

From left to right are Joe Calabro, Paul Rego, Cam, JT, and Ken McNaught

The 2019 Jim Tanner Scholar is Cameron Toussaint

The 2019 Jim Tanner Scholar is Cameron Toussaint from Bishop Hendricken High School.

He was an honors student, finishing in the top 30% of his class. He is headed to Seton Hall University and will pursue the Capital Markets/MBA 5 year program. Cameron is an accomplished hockey player. He was a member of the Rhode Island State Championship Team in 2017 and runner up in 2018. He was named to the All Tournament Team and was a Division 1 All Star all 4 years. Cameron was also a member of the Lacrosse Team, the Student Council Treasurer, and School Ambassador and President.

Cameron was a Peer Minister and gave the Keynote speech at the Hendricken annual fundraising event. He was a member of the unified volleyball team all 4 years. He was also a peer mentor, giving up his free periods to help fellow students with homework and test preparation.

In a letter of recommendation from Matt Walsh, the Warwick CC Head Pro, he says ” Cam is dependable, service-oriented and possesses a naturally strong work ethic. The other employees look up to Cam for his even demeanor and attention to detail. His ability to make people feel as if they are the most important part of his day endears himself to members and guests alike.”

Results for 2019 JT Classic Golf Tourney

The thirteenth annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic was played at Pawtucket Country Club on Monday July 8th with 96 players. The tournament raised over $10,000 with the funds going toward the Jim Tanner Scholarship administered by the Burke Fund
The tournament continues to be sold out every year. Thank you for our friends that travel hundreds of miles each year to play. Tim O’Neil, Les Kennedy Jr, and Al Pellegrini have made the trip each of the 13 years. Tim drives up from Darien, CT. Les drives from upstate New York and Al is a resident of Tucson, Arizona.
This years winners are as follows:
2019 JT Caddy Classic Winners

Closest to the Pin #5 Steve Connaughton
Closest to the Pin #15 Matt Bleakney

3rd Net: 67 Austin Toole
Joe Green
Carl Labranche
Peter Troy

2nd Net: 66 John Faherty
Mike McCarron
Mike Drought
Dana Saunders

1st Net: 64 Marianne Lariviere
Jane Green
Lisa Spencer
Joann Labranche

1st Gross: 72 Peter O’Neill Jr.
Steve Napoli
Mark Melikian
John O’Neill

The golf tournament continues to be one of the most popular tournaments at the club. During the award ceremony, Peter O’Neill Jr. asked all in attendance to stand if they knew Jim Tanner and asked if Jim had a positive influence on them. Naturally, everyone without exception stood and applauded Jim. It was a wonderful moment and a tribute to a man that has dedicated his life to serving Pawtucket Country Club.

A testimonial from former President of PCC

Jim Tanner Caddy Classic, July 8, 2019 at Pawtucket Country Club.

My name is Paul Rego and along with being a past president and the current greens and handicap chairman at Pawtucket, I have the distinct honor of being a close friend of Jim Tanner.  I first met Jim in May of 1982 when I played in a charity event at Pawtucket.  I was new to the area and got invited as a last-minute fill in for the event.  I arrived about a half an hour early and went to lower lot at the club to drop my clubs and then park my car.  As I opened the trunk and very nice man walked up and said, “Sir, please allow me to take your clubs.”  He then asked me my name and with whom I was playing with that day.  I told him my name and then I asked his name and he said it was Jim Tanner.  We shook hands and he told me where to go to sign in and to have lunch before the event started.  After lunch I came down to the putting green and started practice putting and for some strange reason that I don’t know today, I felt compelled to stop and go back over to talk to Jim about the club.  Jim told me what great place it was if you wanted to play golf and how much I would enjoy being a member there, should I someday decide to join.  Jim was very proud that was he mentoring over twenty caddies that year.  I told him that I wasn’t ready to join yet, but when I was, I would definitely put Pawtucket at the top of my list.  I felt even more strongly about that after I had the opportunity to play the course that day.

Another few years went by and I played in several more charity events before I finally joined in 1985 and every time that I went to the club, Jim remembered my name and always went out of his way to say hello and ask if there was anything that he could do for me.  Little did he know how much I would take him up on that offer over the next thirty-four years!  When I first joined, walking with caddies was in vogue and Jim always gave me a great caddy or asked me to take one of the younger caddies to help break them in.  Jim just didn’t trust his new trainees with anyone and I was very happy that he considered me suitable to have a newbie carry my bag or fore caddy to break them in.  Jim was truly a father figure to the caddies in those days and I know that they all felt Jim had their backs as long as they did their jobs the way that he trained them to do it.

Within a year of joining, I was serving on the Greens Committee and this brought me even closer into everyday contact with Jim and the golf staff.  It also brought me close to a very dear friend named Malcolm Najarian, who was a former caddy.  Being close friends with Mal during his short life also brought me into contact with Rod Mackenzie, Kevin Fortin and a large contingency of former caddies who were becoming successful businessmen at that time.  Those friendships continue on to this day and the stories about Jim from those guys never stop, and truthfully, are music to my ears.  When this close-knit group of guys started the idea to have a tournament to honor Jim, it was a natural in my mind and I have been involved with it in one form or another for the past fourteen years.

The great idea that began back fourteen years ago to initially help caddies, has since raised over $100,000, and now helps additional qualified employees of country clubs to further their educations through the John P. Burke Memorial Fund, of which I am proud to be a board member.  One of the highlights of my year is to spend an evening with Jim at the Annual Burke Scholarship Awards dinner.  Jim is equally proud of every individual who is honored with a scholarship at the event, but he especially takes pride in the individual who receives the Jim Tanner Scholarship.  Jim sometimes knows the recipient because they may be an employee at Pawtucket, but in the event they are not employees, Jim always makes a point of seeking out the family of the individual and spends time with them, or invites them to sit at our table so we can all be together for the JT award presentation.  That’s indicative of just how kind and caring Jim still is about “his caddies.”

Two former caddies of mine who Jim spoke to me a lot about as they were going to high school and getting ready for graduation, were undecided about their futures and whether or not college was going to be the answer for them.  Jim saw that they both had great potential hiding inside and asked me to speak to them as much as possible about how important getting their educations was going to be as time went on.  As our caddy program wound down and they worked more in the bag room and golf shop, we had time to play a lot of golf together after their shifts were over.   The conversations ultimately led back to their futures, education and giving themselves an opportunity to improve the way they would be getting started in life.  After many night games until dark, and constant reinforcement between Jim and myself, both of these fine young men went on to college and are thriving in their careers, one as a PGA Professional at a top-rated RI country club and one as a Special Agent in the United States Secret Service.  I know that once again, Jim was instrumental in making sure they got on the right path in life, as he did with so many others before them.

Over the years as I advanced on the Pawtucket board and became president and later treasurer, I was always able to seek good counsel from Jim about nearly anything.  Jim’s knowledge of the club and its members are invaluable to anyone who was in my position(s) and I took full advantage of his offer to help me when he was able to offer his advice.  And I still do today as Greens Chairman.  I probably worn out my welcome a long time ago, but Jim is too kind to kick me out of his “board room” or send me away without lending an ear and offering advice.

There may not be caddies at Pawtucket today, but we still have Jim Tanner running our bag room and we treasure everything that he does for all of the members and more importantly, what he stands for in life.  An honest, caring and decent man, a true gentleman, devoted family man and dedicated employee of the club and membership that he loves so much.

JT Classic registration for 2019

Pick your own foursome or register as individual(s) and we will fill out the foursome. PCC members can register with the proshop and the $150 entry fee will be billed to your account. You can also send a check payable to Jim Tanner Caddy Classic to Michael Gelinas 900 Armistice Blvd Pawtucket, RI 02861.
There will be a lunch and dinner and net and gross team best ball prizes. There will also be a net and gross shoot your age individual contest. Net and gross skins can be entered at registration before the tournament.
There will be a raffle and auction with many foursomes of local private golf courses available for auction.
We plan on limiting the field to 100 participants so please enter early. If you are interested in making a personal cash donation or plan on donating item(s) for the raffle or auction please email or call Rod MacKenzie at 508-735-1707 or Mike Gelinas at 401-725-2918.
Proceeds from the tournament will go towards Scholarships administered by the Burke Fund

13th Annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic – Monday July 8st 1:30 shotgun

Players –
1) ____________________________Handicap____
2) ____________________________Handicap____
3) ____________________________Handicap____
4) ____________________________Handicap____

JT caddied for Charlie Sifford in 1956 in RI Open @ PCC

In 1956, Charlie Sifford won the RI Open played at Pawtucket Country Club. At the time, Jim Tanner had assigned a caddy from Agawam to caddy for Sifford in the first round. Charlie entered the pro shop after the first round and asked the caddy master if there was another caddy available that knew the course.
JT asked Charlie what he had shot in the first round. It was an even par 69. So, JT told Charlie he would be happy to carry his bag the next 2 rounds. Charlie shot 69 -68-67 204 to win the 1956 Rhode Island Open and he was the first black golfer to play the RI Open.
Charlie was considered the “Jackie Robinson” of golf. He was the first black golfer to play in the majors and the first to win a PGA event. Tiger Woods said, “Charlie Sifford was the grandfather I never had.”

Original 9 hole sketch before Willie Park Jr. Design