Pictured: Sherry Herman and Allan Small

KENILWORTH, N.J. – After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual New Jersey State Golf Association Hall of Fame reception was held at Galloping Hill Golf Course to celebrate the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on Wednesday, November 17.

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“It’s a special night to celebrate and honor those that have contributed to the rich history and tradition of golf in the state of New Jersey,” said NJSGA President Michael McFadden. “The Hall of Fame recognizes, honors and perpetuates the achievements of those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the game of golf in New Jersey.”

Six inductees, Leighton Calkins, Michael Cestone, John McDermott, Jim Barnes, Max Marston and Marge Mason were honored posthumously. Sherry Herman and Allan Small were both in attendance, as Coleen Luker and Ned Steiner presented them with their awards, respectively.

Established in 2018, the NJSGA Hall of Fame exists to recognize and enshrine men and women who, as New Jersey natives or residents at their time of achievement, have impacted New Jersey golf and/or have made extraordinary contributions to the game. Its mission is to honor New Jersey's finest amateur and professional golf competitors, as well as those who have made outstanding contributions in other areas of golf such as architects, journalists, superintendents, mentors, volunteers and others.

“We’re all good at something, but the question is whether you can ever be good at something to reach Hall of Fame status,” NJSGA Executive Director Kevin Purcell opened the evening with. “It’s a rare opportunity for people to be that good. People reach this pinnacle of God-given ability and we’re thankful for the gifts God gives us, but that’s not why they’re here. There’s an element of luck in all championships, but luck is not why people get to this level either. Luck is not sustainable, sooner or later, it comes down to a few key things. The vision, the desire, the determination, a lot of hard work and the love for the game.”

The Class of 2020 consists of Leighton Calkins, Michael Cestone, John McDermott, Sherry Herman and Allan Small.

“I’m so honored, I’m just overjoyed,” expressed Herman of the Hall of Fame honor. “It means a lifetime of achievement in my golf career and recognition for that. Everything was worth it. All the competition, being away from home, traveling and all the experiences that I’ve had were all worth it.”

Herman is one of the most prolific golfers in the history of New Jersey. She is one of the few from the Garden State to win a USGA championship, having claimed victory at age 51 in the 2009 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Herman is a five-time NJSGA Women’s Amateur champion (1995, ’96, ’97, ’98 and 2009); the four consecutive championships (’95-’98) make her the only female player in NJSGA history to win as many women’s title in succession. She also won the 2008 NJSGA Women’s Senior Championship, as well as two NJSGA Four-Ball Championships (with Helen Bernstein in 2014 and 2016).

“Winning the NJSGA Amateur Championships was a key point in my USGA Senior Amateur Championship,” Herman reflected. “The night before that final match was a very long night for me with no sleep at all. Ben (Herman’s husband) slept very well. I tried very hard to sleep, counting sheep, counting backwards from 100, nothing worked. Instead, I thought of each of the final matches of the five New Jersey State Amateurs that I won, over and over. How I felt on the first tee, how I felt through the match, I replayed those matches in my head all night long, focusing on how I was able to keep my emotions in check. When I was walking to the first tee in my final match of the Senior Amateur, it was those thoughts and feelings I worked hard to replicate. The rest is history. I played my game and most importantly, kept my emotions in check through the final putt.”

“I am forever in debt to the New Jersey State Golf Association, the competitors, the friendships and the volunteers,” said Herman. “You make my championships possible.”

Allan Small, the first player to win the NJSGA Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur trekked up from Savannah, Georgia to receive the honor.

“Winning all the stuff is great, all the crystal, but what’s really been the most fulfilling part of my golf life has been giving back to the game," expressed Small. "Introducing as many people as I could to the game of golf is really what has given me the most joy in my life. The golf is a great accomplishment, but the game has given me so much that I just feel so good about giving it back and sharing it with as many people as possible.”

Small has won eight NJSGA titles and has been a dedicated member of the NJSGA Compher Cup and Stoddard Trophy teams, appearing 56 times. He also served as president of the MGA, as a long-time tournament and rules official, and was coach of the Seton Hall University men’s team from 1990-96.

“I really feel that the New Jersey State Golf Association is my New Jersey golf family,” expressed Small. “To now be inducted into the Hall of Fame is one of the greatest honors of my life.”

Cestone, the 1960 U.S. Senior Amateur Champion, also won an impressive 15 NJSGA Championships. He was honored posthumously with numerous family members in attendance. A.J. Restaino, Cestone’s great nephew, accepted the award on his behalf. 

Plainfield Country Club will display the plaque awarded to the father of today's golf handicap system, Leighton Calkins. While a member of Plainfield during the early 20th century, Calkins developed an early interation of golf's handicap system which was unveiled in 1905. Calkins also served as a member of the USGA Executive Committee, chairman of the Handicap Committee for both the NJSGA and MGA, and served a two-year term as president of the NJSGA in 1907-08.

Doug Fraser, the former owner of Atlantic City Country Club and John Burnes accepted McDermott’s award on his behalf. The first American-born player to win the U.S. Open (in 1911 and 1912) as Atlantic City Country Club's head golf professional, McDermott's plaque will be displayed at the historic venue.

To watch the 2020 inductee video, click here.

The Class of 2021 consists of Jim Barnes, Marge Mason and Max Marston, who were all honored posthumously.

Barnes, World Golf Hall of Fame and PGA of America Hall of Fame member is well-known for winning the 1916 and 1919 PGA Championships, the 1921 U.S. Open, and the 1925 British Open. His honor will be displayed proudly at Essex County Country Club as he was the former head golf professional at the West Orange club. 

Marston captured six championships, including the GAP Stroke Play Championship, GAP Match Play Championship, Pennsylvania Amateur Championship, the Crump Cup and the Merion Club Championship. His season 1923 was highlighted by a victory at the U.S. Amateur Championship. Echo Lake Country Club, formerly Cranford Golf Club, will display Marston's award as he was a member in the 1920's.

Over a two-decade period, Mason of The Ridgewood Country Club won six NJSGA Women’s Amateur Championships (1946, '49, ’51, ’53, ’58, 62), two Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association Amateur Championships (1952, ’60), and a U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in 1967 at age 50. Her award will be displayed at her former home club.

To watch the 2021 inductee video, click here.

NJSGA Hall of Fame All-Time Inductees

Class of 2018

Carolyn Cudone

William Y. Dear

Dr. Ralph Engel

Johnny Farrell

Vic Ghezzi

Charlotte Glutting

Arthur "Red" Hoffman

Robert Housen

Nestor J. MacDonald

Byron Nelson

Maureen Orcutt

Chet Sanok

John Shippen

Jerome Travers

A.W. Tillinghast

Charles Whitehead

Class of 2019

Leo Fraser

Robert Jacobson

Milton 'Babe' Lichardus

Joseph McBride

Dorothy Porter

Jeff Thomas

Dennis Walters

Craig Wood

Billy Ziobro

Class of 2020

Leighton Calkins

Michael Cestone

Sherry Herman

John McDermott

Allan Small

Class of 2021

"Long" Jim Barnes

Max Marston

Marge Mason

 

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