Adam Kugler of Alpine CC wins NJSGA Senior Player of the Year
November 3, 2020 - After enjoying a successful career as a New York City banker, Adam Kugler of Alpine Country Club is having similar success on the local championship golf scene. In 2020, his years of dedication led to a career-defining achievement: The New Jersey State Golf Association Senior Player of the Year.
Kugler, age 62, won the NJSGA Senior Amateur Championship at Suburban Golf Club in mid-September, and one week later, tied for low amateur honors in the NJPGA/NJSGA Senior Open at Springdale Golf Club. He also won the senior division of the Boff Invitational, shooting 72-72-144 at Mountain Ridge Country Club to win by three strokes over Ed Walsh of Trump National-Bedminster and Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge CC, the 2019 NJSGA Senior Player of the Year.
Determined by a structure which assigns point values to high finishes in numerous state, regional, and national championships and invitational events, the Senior Player of the Year award honors the best male NJSGA golfer who is age 55 or older. The NJSGA Senior POY was first awarded in 2014; its inaugural recipient was the aforementioned Blumenfeld. In 2020, Kugler gained a total of 241.25 points – more than twice the amount earned by second place finisher Ed Walsh of Trump National Golf Club – Bedminster, who finished at 115 points.
For Kugler, the award represents the results of his dedication to the game since his retirement – and not surprisingly – finding great joy in competition.
“After seven years playing in senior events, I have become more comfortable in competition and I have been able to strengthen my weaknesses. It also reminded me that when I was a kid, golf was fun. That feeling is beginning to return,” stated Kugler.
“I spent 30 years commuting into Manhattan and sitting at a desk. Since retiring from my corporate job, I have spent endless hours trying to raise my game to the next level,” said the resident of Closter. “Winning the Player of the Year is very rewarding and helps validate all of my efforts.”
Kugler spends his winters in LaQuinta, Calif., where he can play golf year-round. For the past seven years, he has been a member at PGA West near his winter home where he has won four senior club championships.
“It’s great to be able to play all through the winter. It has made me more consistent and better ball striker. I used to be a very mediocre ball striker who could always chip and putt. Now, I can get off the tee as well.”
In 2013, along with Alpine’s Neal Schuman, Kugler etched his name on the Senior Four-Ball Trophy. Five years later, Kugler and his wife, Jane, won the 2018 NJSGA Mixed Pinehurst.
Kugler, who has won 25 club championships at Alpine CC dating back to 1976, won the Metropolitan Golf Association Senior Amateur in 2018 at Old Oaks Country Club and the MGA Senior Open in 2014 when it was held at his home club. He is one of only two men to win both the MGA Senior Open and MGA Senior Amateur titles.
Outside of the New Jersey area, Kugler has played in three U.S. Senior Amateurs, twice making the cut, and four British Senior Amateurs, finishing inside the top 30 on two occasions.