Conor Hannan Realizes Big Golf Dreams Quickly
Ever since he was old enough to tag along in family golf outings at the St. Lawrence State Park, Conor Hannan came to two realizations.
Golf was ingrained in his DNA and and when he grew up he wanted to work in the golf industry.
Hannan grew into an outstanding golfer and fine overall athlete. He played regularly for five years at OFA and was honored as the Northern Conference Division I MVP as a senior in 2014. He also enjoyed fine careers in Blue Devil Soccer and Basketball.
He went on to graduate from the five-year Golf Management major at North Carolina in 2019 and realized his wildest dreams in whirlwind fashion at the highest level. He has worked at the in the Merchandize Shop and the range at the Masters and worked in the futuristic Oculus Facility at the President's Cup while working at the Liberty National Golf Course.
Recently he made a big step in his young career accepting a year round position as an Assistant PGA Professional at the Garden City Golf Club on Long Island.
"The Oculus was a huge area, it was amazing. It was busy with travelers like a subway station with all kinds of golf merchandize on sale and all kinds of golf activity going on all of the time," said Hannan.
He started his journey to some of the best courses in the country by serving an internship with former PGA President Derek Sprague at the Malone Country Club and joined Sprague's staff when the Malone native moved on to Liberty National. He also did an internship at the Fisher's Island Golf Course which is located in New York but is reached by a ferry in Connecticut.
The Garden City Golf Club is the fifth ranked course in the United States and Fisher's Island is 10th ranked with a very unique track where 17 of the 18 holes have a water view. Liberty National is an historic course located in New Jersey with a breathtaking view of the New York City Skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
At Garden City Hannan will run the pro shop and merchandizing, help administer tournaments and be part of the teaching staff.
"I really can't believe how fast things have happened for me. How someone from up here in Ogdensburg could work at some of the best courses in America and meet some of the top names golf is crazy good. To be part of the President's Cup and the Masters is really amazing and now I have a year round position at the Garden City Club," said Hannan.
"Getting a year round job as an assistant pro is really special. They are hard to get and the Garden City Course is a just a 45 minute train ride from Manhattan. In the golf industry it is all about making the right connection and I was so lucky to work in Derek Sprague's network. He is great to work for and he is just a great person."
Sprague now serves as the General Manager of at the Tournament Players Club in Sawgrass, Fla. which hosts the Players Club Championship. In February Sprague was named as the US Captain for the Junior Ryder Club Championship where Team USA will play Team Europe at the Blue Mound Golf and Country Club near Milwaukee on Sept. 21-22.
While enjoying a big break in in the golf industry, Hannan also looks forward to continue his love for playing golf competitively.
"It is such a great opportunity and everyone on the staff at Garden City is encouraged to play as much as possible. So I will get to play the course three and sometimes four times a week," says Hannan.
"Last year I played in the Metropolitan Golf Tour on some great courses. There are a lot of good players in the New York City area and I did pretty well. I took 10th and cashed in one of the tournaments and my best round was a 75."
The only negative in his present situation is one of history's most colossal negatives, the COVID-19 virus pandemic, which has placed limitations on golf and human activity as a whole throughout the world.
The Garden City Golf Club was moving into its spring season when the virus shut down the sports world and forced the nation into a lockdown mode. Located near the heart of the virus storm in the New York City area, the course closed and a date for a re-opening is uncertain.
"Like everything else in the pandemic we really don't know that much for sure. I would hope that I could go back sometime in May to help get things ready to reopen but being located in the New York City area we will probably re-open later than courses in other areas," says Hannan.
"I am really excited to get going but I'll just have to wait and see."
Hannan is waiting out the pandemic at his parents', Tom and Debbie Hannan, home in Ogdensburg along with his brother T.J. Hannan, another former OFA golf standout, who is currently working as an Assistant Professional at the Onondaga Golf and Country Club in Syracuse. The Onondaga Golf and Country Club, one of the outstanding golf destinations in Central and Upstate New York, was also shut down when the pandemic hit Onondaga County very hard, but it is hopeful of opening in the near future.
The two are maintaining social distancing playing rounds at the roots of their golf careers at the St. Lawrence State Park.
"It is great to get out and play but it is really too bad the way things have worked out. The state park course is really dry for this time of year," says Conor Hannan.
"I really feel bad for the guys in the OFA Golf team. This could have been a great season for them, they could have gotten out early and played a lot of rounds."
The OFA golfers like Section 10 athletes in every sport are anxiously awaiting decisions on re-opening of school and the fate spring sports season. Long Island has already cancelled spring sports.
New York State schools are closed until May 15 and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association is scheduled to decide on Monday if it will be possible to hold state championships in Spring Sports. The individual sections will then make their decisions on the spring seasons.
New York is one of only nine states which have not cancelled their spring sports.