2018 Jim Tanner Scholar

: This year’s recipient of the Jim Tanner Burke Fund Scholarship is Jessica T. Moszkowicz. She was nominated by the Pawtucket Country Club, and is in the Class of 2020 at Villanova University.

The other Burke Scholar in the photo is Hans Bengtson, who is in the Class of 2020 at Johnson & Wales University.

Paul Rego is a long time member of Pawtucket Country Club and a member of Burke Board and is standing to left in picture. JT is on right.

2018 Jim Tanner Classic Winners

Closest to the Pin #5 Steve Moran
Closest to the Pin #15 Rick Millard
Long Drive #18 Jack Georgeu

3rd Net: 57 Tim Paine Tom Orchel
Nelson Paine Bruce Gamache

2nd Net: 52 John Sullivan Rodney MacKenzie
John Bedarian Ken Frates

1st Net: 51 Lisa Spencer Jane Green
Joann Labranche Marianne Lariviere

1st Gross: 64 Bill Fischer Dan Rampone
Marc Anderson Gary Taraian

Stories outweigh golf at Jim Tanner Caddy Classic

By JON BAKER
jbaker@pawtuckettimes.com

PAWTUCKET – Rod MacKenzie is in his early 60s now, but his mind often drifts back – especially at this time of year – to all of the days he spent as a caddy at Pawtucket Country Club decades ago.
“It was just like ‘Caddyshack’ in a lot of ways,” he laughed recently about the sometimes incredible, sometimes comical and at times emotional moments they had tending the bags of club members on the links – or while waiting for a loop.
MacKenzie, now a businessman living in North Smithfield, isn’t alone. Back in 2007, some of his old buddies were so enthused about organizing a reunion of sorts, they decided to organize an event; it would be one where PCC caddies from an era long past would get gather, play 18 holes and – most importantly – share their fondest memories.
On Monday afternoon at 1:30 sharp, over 90 ex-caddies, former and current members and friends of both will congregate to put on the 12th annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic, the event naturally named for the legendary former PCC assistant golf professional and current caddy master.
The tourney, a shotgun start, will include several notable “guests,” among them Tanner himself; Providence College Associate Athletic Director Carl LaBranche and his wife Joann; Les Kennedy Jr., the son of the longtime Pawtucket golf pro; and Mike Gelinas.
The event, including a silent auction with dozens of interesting items up for bid, will help raise money for the John P. Burke Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“I’d never miss this; it’s part of my heritage,” MacKenzie insisted. “The guys who come back want to get together with old friends and catch up, but also reminisce about all of the things we went through as boys and teens growing into young men on that golf course.
“We started this tournament because we wanted all of the guys to come back for a great day,” he added. “It was a guy named Kevin Fortin who suggested back in 2007 that we contact a bunch of those guys and have a tournament, and it was Eddie Emond’s idea to name it after J.T.
“We had 24 ex-caddies gather in November of 2007 to celebrate our common experiences of caddying and golfing the summers of our teen-age years, and the PCC Board of Directors waives the greens fees so we could have more money for foodand prizes. We paid $75 per person that first year, and this year it’s $150 a golfer. Whatever money is left over from expenses goes to the Burke Fund.
“I remember, all the guys showed up on a Sunday – it didn’t start until 3 p.m. – and we had so much fun we didn’t leave until the kicked us out. The next year we had 68, the year after that 132. I think the biggest showing we ever had, I don’t know how many we had, but we had to schedule a double shotgun for, like, 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“What have we accomplished the past 12 years? Well, we’ve raised over $80,000 for a dozen deserving young men and women (not only caddies but also club employees, etc.) from Pawtucket and surrounding communities. Most of our donations go directly to the Burke Fund.
“At the same time, we’re honoring J.T., who had been recognized by the club, former caddies, bag boys, club workers and friends for his mentoring of young men and women, and his service.”
He also indicated that PCC has enjoyed a recent revival with many new members and their families, and those who benefit from the Tanner or a Burke scholarship have learned some key information about the former’s legend.
“Jim started out as a caddy in the mid-1950s and became the assistant professional to Les Kennedy (Sr.) in the 1960s,” MacKenzie noted. “With a growing young family, J.T. took the position of Caddy master at Pawtucket and continues today in that same role.
“He since was inducted into the Pawtucket Country Club Hall of Fame in 2001, and they gave Jimmy an honorary membership for the rest of his life. In 2009, he was inducted into the Professional Caddies Association Hall of Fame, and that ceremony was in Orlando (Fla.). He’s also been (enshrined) by the R.I. Golf Association (that in 2014).
“Jim has help in the bag room these days, but the majority of the bags are still put on the carts by him. J.T. says it’s not work but a labor of love.”

**

MacKenzie himself began caddying at PCC in 1967, doing so on a whim.
“I was a Pawtucket Times’ newspaper carrier, and I had 96 customers in all,” he stated. “A friend of mine, Jack Early, stopped me one day and told me I could make more money caddying. I thought he was nuts, but I looked into it.
“I went to my dad, Frank, and said, ‘Uh, Jack said I could make more money caddying at Pawtucket than delivering the paper,’ and he just said, ‘OK, prove it!’” he added with a laugh. “I went to the club and introduced myself to J.T., and he asked who had referred me, and I told him. I didn’t get out for a loop right away. You had to pay your dues like everyone else, so I waited about two weeks.
“I remember I was 12 when I got out the first time; I had a single bag and walked 18. The next day I went 36 holes, and I made $17 in all. I went home and told my father, and he just looked at me and said, ‘OK, give up the route.’”
MacKenzie also recalled going to the course to make money, or play, grew on him quickly. He explained that when he was in ninth grade at Goff Junior High in 1969, he would tell his homeroom teacher that his first class was study hall, but he wanted to go and learn how to type. That actually was, common back then.
“I’d normally have to get a hall pass or whatever, but the teacher trusted me; I’d walk out of school and head to Pawtucket,” he laughed. “I did that probably 80-100 times. My teacher was always there, so I never had a problem – until …
“One day, I had a sub, and my mom got a call from the principal, ‘Where’s Rodney? He’s not in school!” he added. “She told my dad, saying something like, ‘I had to put up with this crap from Bruce (his older brother). I’ll be damned if I’m going to do it again!’
“My dad knew I was doing it all along, and he said, ‘Rod, I knew what you were doing, but your mom is fed up, so you’re done!’ That was the end of me bunking school to caddy or golf.”
It didn’t take long for MacKenzie, he said, to earn the nickname, “Super Looper,” and eventually became Tanner’s assistant caddy master after four or five years.
MacKenzie, who had attended Tolman High before graduating in 1973, then moved on to Boston College, used his money for gas or dates, and to help put himself through school.
“Jimmy was a fun guy,” he said. “He took care of me, giving some of the best loops (golfers) out there. I remember once, it was the day before the R.I. Open, and I had said, ‘Jimmy, give me a ham-and-egger early in the morning because I’m going to caddy for Ronnie Quinn (one of the tourney favorites).’ He wasn’t going out until, like, 2 (p.m.).
“The problem was (that) the guy he gave me went out and shot 73, so I knew he was going to qualify for (more rounds),” he continued. “I got in and talked to Jimmy, asked him if I was still going to caddy for Ronnie, and he said, ‘Nope.’ I was crushed. That was one of my big disappointments back then.”
MacKenzie had long been gone and begun his professional life when Tanner informed him of another humorous incident.
“Jim said he had put a kid on a bag at the R.I. Open at Pawtucket in the early ‘90s,” MacKenzie chuckled. “Apparently, there were three guys who were all battling for the championship, and they were on (No.) 18.
“One of the competitors was on the fringe, and his caddy wasn’t tending the pin for him, like he should’ve been,” he continued. “Jim said the caddy all of a sudden ran to it and pulled it out at the last second. As it turns out, in medal play, that was a two-shot penalty, which took the golfer out of contention. He would have to be assessed.
“(After a commotion), they went to the tournament director, and he (allegedly) told the three guys, ‘OK, just go play 18 again!’ As Jim was telling me this, we were both laughing like heck.
“That’s why we do this.”

12 YEARS OF CELEBRATION FOR JIM TANNER CADDY CLASSIC

July 9, 2018 will mark the 12th annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic to be played at Pawtucket Country Club.
The first JT Classic was played in November 2007 with 24 ex-caddies of Pawtucket Country Club to celebrate our common experience of caddying and golfing the summers of our teenage years. Jim Tanner was the Caddy Master at Pawtucket when I caddied from 1967 through 1976 and Jim is still putting the club member’s bags on carts today.
What have we accomplished in the past 12 years? We raised over $80,000 for a dozen deserving young men and women from Pawtucket and surrounding communities. Jim Tanner has been recognized by the membership of Pawtucket Country Club, former caddies, bag boys, club workers, and friends for his mentoring of young men and women and his service. JT has been inducted Into the Professional Caddies Hall of Fame and the Rhode Island Golf Association Hall of Fame.
Pawtucket Country Club has recognized a recent revival with many new members and their families. These new members and the young men and women that benefit from the Jim Tanner Scholarship have learned some of the legend of Jim Tanner. Jim started out as a caddy in the middle 1950s and became the Assistant Professional to Les Kennedy in the 1960s. With a growing young family, JT took the position of Caddy Master at Pawtucket Country Club and continues today in that role.
Jim has help in the bag room these days, but the majority of the bags are still put on the carts by Jim. JT says it is a not work but a labor of love.
Several local clubs have made a donation of a foursome for the silent auction. We are grateful to Kirkbrae CC, Newport CC, Rhode Island CC, Crestwood CC, New England CC, Valley CC, Wannamoisett CC, Segregansett CC, Ledgemont, Montaup, and Crystal Lake. Special thanks to Bob Savoie, Dave Rampone, Bob Wilkie, Phil Ayoub, Troy Turgeon, Chris Howe, Frank Doheny, John Bedarian, Ozzie Kooloian and Brad Bellows for personal donations.

This year the teams competing in the Jim Tanner Caddy Classic include:

Team #1 TANNER, JIM              TEAM #12 DELUDE, GARY
MASSEY, BILL                                                   GILMORE, BOB
MOTTA, DAN SR.                                             RAND, GEORGE
GELINAS, MIKE                                               MAHONEY, TERRY

TEAM #2 REGO, PAUL             TEAM #13 MEEHEN, GRANT
LUND, JACK                                                     MORAN, STEVE
CRISAFI, JOE                                                   HAGGERTY, MIKE
HUGHES, BILL                                                DEROUIN, LEE

TEAM #3 HENDERSON, TOM         TEAM #14 SPENCER, DAVID
HOWE, CHRIS                                                          TROY, PETER
LUND, DAVID                                                           LARIVIERE, RON
WARZYCHA, JOE                                                     GREEN, JOE

TEAM #4 SPENCER, LISA                  TEAM #15 REIS, GARY
GREEN, JANE                                                            REIS, ADAM
LARIVIERE, MARIANNE                                       GAGNON, BILL
LABRANCHE, JOANN                                            DONAHUE, BRIAN

TEAM #5 O’NEILL, PETER JR.          TEAM #16 GEORGUE, ART
NAPOLI, STEVE                                                          MCCONAGHY, HUGH
WINTERS, JOHN                                                        GEORUE, JACK
O’NEILL, PETER SR.                                                  BROOKS, JOE

TEAM #6 FISCHER, BILL                    TEAM #17 BOGHOSSIAN, LEON
RAMPONE, DAN                                                         BOGHOSIAN, PAUL
ANDERSON, MARC                                                   BOGHOSSIAN, MATT
MCCORMACK, SHAWN                                           DEBLOIS, CHARLES

TEAM #7 BROTHERS, RAY                TEAM #18 GIFFORD, TOM
FAFORD, TONY                                                          LOPEZ, HENRY
MULVEY, MIKE                                                          BEDARIAN, BEN
DEGEN, AL                                                                  MACKENZIE, BRUCE

TEAM #8 CHALMERS, PAUL            TEAM #19 KEARNEY, BOB
GODINHO, JOHN                                                      FELICI, RON
MURRAY, JOE                                                            FAHERTY, JOHN
LABRANCHE, CARL                                                 DROUGHT, MIKE

TEAM #9 O’NEILL, JOHN                  TEAM #20 PAINE, TIM
O’NEILL, TIM                                                              PAINE, NELSON
KENNEDY, LES JR.                                                   ORCHEL, TOM
O’NEILL, TERRY                                                        GAMACHE, BRUCE

TEAM #10 TREANOR, PAUL              TEAM #21 KARBOSKI, CHUCK
BRENNA, RUSS                                                          MASCIO, DICK
TREANOR, JOHN                                                      MARKLEY, JOHN
NIXON, JACK                                                             MULLEN, HARRY

TEAM #11 SULLIVAN, JOHN
SULLIVAN, ROBERT
BEDARIAN, JOHN
MACKENZIE, RODNEY

Remember the Caddy Green Score Cards

It was the summer of ’72 at Pawtucket Country Club and Amie Smith was frustrated with some of the members filling in their score cards after the round was completed. The members would be filling in the score cards over a beer or two trying to remember what the score on a hole they played several hours past.
As you might imagine the scores recorded often would be a few shots more or less than actually played.
The solution was to provide the caddies with their own score cards to record the scores as each hole was played. The cards were green in color so they would not be confused with the members “official” white scorecard. This was not a great solution and would not have been implemented if the member caddy relationship was carefully considered. The caddy was asked to record an accurate score on each hole played by the members. The same members that would be paying the caddy his wages which typically would include a tip for good service.
So, the caddy would ask his members, “What would you like to take on that hole?” before the scores were recorded on the special green scorecard. The new scoring program was cancelled after a few weeks and many winks and laughs.

12th Annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic scheduled for Monday July 9, 2018 at 1:30 shotgun

Mark it on your calendar.  It is hard to believe that time has passed so quickly.

More than 900 rounds have been played honoring Jim Tanner.  We have provided 10 scholarships and raised over $80,000.  The Burke Fund established a scholarship in Jim Tanner’s name in 2010.  Jim Tanner was inducted into the Professional Caddies Association Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Rhode Island Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2015.  A clock was installed at the Pawtucket Country Club putting green in 2016 to commemorate Jim Tanner’s accomplishments including over 60 years of service to the club.

Jim has been at the club most every day during those years and still welcomes members and guests today.  I hope you will join us in 2018 and celebrate one of the great traditions at Pawtucket Country Club.

Connor McLaughlin is 2017 Jim Tanner Scholar

This year’s recipient of the Jim Tanner Scholarship is Connor J. McLaughlin. He was nominated for a Burke Scholarship by the Wannamoisett Country Club, and is entering Endicott College in the Class of 2021.

Connor has achieved a strong academic record at Bishop Feehan High School.
He is interested in a career in the Communications field. Connor was a
member of the Track and the Golf Team.

Also, Madison Paine and Katie Riley who work at the Pawtucket Country Club pool will each receive scholarhships from the proceeds of this years tournament.

The tournament raised $8,500 this year for scholarships. Great thanks to all that participated and made donations.

The 2017 winners of the JT Classic

The Jim Tanner Caddy Classic was played on Monday July 10, 2017 with perfect weather and 19 four player teams. The event raised over $10,000 for Scholarships for youngsters that are working at Pawtucket Country Club and attending college.

In the last eleven years, the tournament has raised over $80,000 and the tournament has become a favorite event for members and many of the ex-caddies that come back for the reunion. JT started working at the club when he was a boy and never left. Jim has been working at the club for over 65 years.

For many of the participants, caddying at Pawtucket Country Club was their first job.
We learned how to carry a couple golf bags, replacing divots, pulling pins from the golf cups and providing advice to our players when requested. Spending the summers around the links at Pawtucket Country Club back in the 1960s and 70s was a good way to make a few bucks and it was fun. We made lifelong friends and learned to love to play golf. JT was the gentleman that was always at the club. Jim was the caddy master. JT would assign the players bags to the caddies matching the best players with the class “A” caddies.

Younger caddies would start out shagging golf balls and caddying a single lighter bag for the women. In time, your knowledge of golf improved and you worked your way up to get the better players. Often times caddying was as much entertainment as it was work. We worked in the mornings and afternoons and often played in the evenings until dusk.

Remembering the summers of our youth with good friends from Pawtucket and honoring our friend JT makes the Jim Tanner Caddy Classic a special Monday every July.

The winners of the golf tournament this year were as follows:

Closest to the Pin #5 Mark Melikian
Closest to the Pin #15 Mike Caito
Long Drive #18 Paul Boghosian

3rd Net Team: 59 Mary Troy Marianne Lariviere
Jane Green Lisa Spencer

2nd Net Team: 58 Paul Chalmers Jim Riccardi
John Godinho Mike Caito

1st Net Team: 57 David Rampone Dan Rampone
Ken Richardson Bill Fischer

1st Gross Team: 63 Peter O’Neill Jr. Peter O’Neill Sr.
Mark Melikian Gary Taraian

The Teams for 2017

Team 1 Paul Rego                  Team 10 Rod Mackenzie
Mike Mulvey                                           John Sullivan
Joe Crisafi                                               Mal Thompson
Bill Hughes                                             Tom Orchel

Team 2 Leon Boghossian III              Team 11 Bruce Mackenzie
Paul Boghosian                                                     Mike Gore
Dr. Stephen Boghossian                                      Jim Fitzsimmons
TBA                                                                          Bob Welsh

Team 3 Dan Motta Sr.                           Team 12 John Markley
Dan Motta Jr.                                                          Chuck Karbowski
Bill Massey                                                               Dick Merseo
Jim Tanner                                                              Harry Mullin

Team 4 Peter O’Neill Jr.                         Team 13 Mike Halzel
Steve Napoli                                                              Tino Ciatto
Gary Taraian                                                             Arthur Bonafiglia
Mark Melikian                                                          Joe Scotti

Team 5 Tom Henderson                         Team 14 Mike Gelinas
Chris Howe                                                                Mike Whitehead
Joe Warczyka                                                            Scott Donahue
Marc Anderson                                                         Andrew Maziarz

Team 6 David Spencer                              Team 15 John Bedarian
Joe Green                                                                     Ben Bedarian
Ron Lariviere                                                               Bill Roberts
Peter Troy                                                                     Al Pelligrini

Team 7 Tony Faford                                      Team 16 John Winters
Ray Brothers                                                                   Earl Peacock
Al Degen                                                                          Russ Brennan
Jack Lund                                                                        Peter Adams

Team 8 Paul Chalmers                                   Team 17 Kevin Fortin
Jim Riccardi                                                                     Joe Videtta
John Godinho                                                                  Joe Gabriel
Mike Cato                                                                         Michael Videtta

Team 9 David Rampone                                Team 18 Mary Troy
Daniel Rampone                                                              Marianne Lariviere
Ken Richardson                                                               Jane Green
Bill Fischer                                                                        Lisa Spencer

Team 19
Steve Trowfield
Tim Treanor
Paul Sysak
Brian Moreau

Classic update as of Friday July 7, 2017

The Jim Tanner Caddy Classic will play the 11th annual Classic Golf Tournament on Monday July 10, 2017 with a 1:30 shotgun. Last year was a very special event with the celebration of Jim Tanner’s induction into the Rhode Island Golf Association’s Hall of Fame. A group at the club dedicated a clock (shown with JT) to honor Jim Tanner for his 6 decades of service to Pawtucket Country Club members and guests.
The tournament started 11 years ago with 24 players. That first year the ex-caddies raised $300 for the Burke Scholarship Fund. This year the Jim Tanner Scholarship will have raised over $80,000 since inception. The Burke Fund www.burkefund.com has provided over 100 scholarships to caddies and workers from Pawtucket Country Club. The Burke Fund was established in 1946 to assist young students that work at RIGA member clubs meet their academic goals.
JT has been serving the members at Pawtucket for over 65 years and he continues to greet everyone that comes to play. JT is a legend and the Caddy Master is forever linked with Pawtucket CC.
When our friends visit the course this year they will be welcomed by a newly designed bar and function rooms and a clubhouse that is spectacular. The tradition of a golf game at the great old course we grew up caddying continues at Pawtucket Country Club.
Many of the Rhode Island Golf Clubs throughout the state and nearby in southeastern Massachusetts have donated foursomes for auction. Courses that have contributed include Wannamoisett, Ledgemont, Kirkbrae, Crestwood, Alpine, Warwick, Newport, Agawam Hunt, Valley, Potowomut, Rhode Island, Carnegie Abbey, Laurel Lane, Triggs, New England and Segregansett.
The tournament committee including Paul Rego, Mike Mulvey, and Michael Gelinas have worked diligently to make the JT Classic a special event this year and continue to raise scholarship money for deserving students that work at Pawtucket Country Club