Thomas (Tom) Berberian of Forest Hill, a former NJSGA President and longtime chairman of the Tournament Committee, passed away on Nov. 22 at age 92.
Tom was an avid rules of golf official and a fine player who achieved quite a lot for a golfer who never took a lesson. He partnered with Jerry Le Pre to win the 1962 and 1966 NJSGA Four Ball Championships as well as the 1966 MGA Ike Team Championship at his home course, Forest Hill Field Club, where he won nine club championships over four decades.
As NJSGA Tournament Chairman and later as president (1998-99), it was Berberian who took up the gauntlet of properly training on-course officials. Two years ago, at age 90, Berberian was still actively officiating at NJSGA events.
Berberian’s first connection to the NJSGA was as Forest Hill representative for the Caddie Scholarship Foundation in the ewarly 1970s.He later became involved with the NJSGA Tournament Committee in the late 1980s. He became the Tournament Chairman in 1988.
"Tom was tournament chairman in 1990, my first season as NJSGA exectuvie director," said Steve Foehl. "He was instrumental in expanding the number of officials and in the proper training of those officials. His service to the NJSGA was inspirational to the fellow members of the tournament committee."
Said NJSGA executive director Kevin Purcell:
“As a youngster, I met Tom on the putting green at Forest Hill and he was always there with an encouraging word. When I started to compete, got in the golf business and joined the board at the NJSGA, and especially when I became executive director of the NJSGA, Tom was always there for me as a mentor and a friend. He will be sorely missed.”
"Tom Berberian served the NJSGA as a dedicated volunteer for more than 45 years," said NJSGA president Bill Frese. "He will be remembered as the tournament chairman who championed the concept of rules education for all officials as well as being known as one of the greatest administrators in the history of the NJSGA."