Scorcia On Par radio show on Long Island. When it comes to golf on Long Island, there are few people with the passion an knowledge Anthony has. I have personally enjoyed listening to his shows on Saturday morning (during golf season) and he has been kind enough to be our first "5 Questions" guest on WAM Golf.
5 Questions With Anthony Scorcia
1. You have a weekly radio show, Scorcia On Par, which has become one of the most popular golf shows in New York. Why did you start this show and what do you attribute your rapid success to?
A: I have a fairly active mind, so I’m always trying to find new ways to challenge myself. One day I was listening to the PGA TOUR Network on SiriusXM and I thought there should be a golf talk radio show that celebrated golf on Long Island. Doing “On Par” was not something I took lightly, so it took a lot of planning and talking to people to really see if I should pull the trigger. I like things to marinate a bit before I throw it on the grill. Season two was a big jump forward. I don’t think anyone listening this past year would have thought it was only my second season. As for it’s success, well, thank you for the kind words, but we’re not there yet.
2. When people think of Long Island Golf, they immediately think of Bethpage. Black. Suppose a golfer couldn’t get on Bethpage, where would you suggest they play?
A: You’re right, people do think of Bethpage, but they also think of Shinnecock GC and National Golf Links of America as well. In fact, Long Island is probably more known for its historic and very private golf courses. You could say that the subtext of my show is to celebrate public golf on Long Island and not just the courses behind wrought iron fences. As far as your question, selecting a course on Long Island can pose unique challenges. For one, people forget how vast Long Island actually is, so the first question might be: Where are you staying? For example, if you’re heading out to the east end, then I suggest you go all the way and visit Montauk Downs. The Downs was part of the renovation agreement with the State of New York to get the “Black Course” ready for the U.S. Open in 2002. There is no doubt that the USGA could hold a Public Links Championship there if it weren’t for issues regarding infrastructure. The course is that good and from the tips, it’s that hard. It is definitely worth the drive to experience that course and it's location is a destination in and of itself.
3. I think Long Island is often overlooked as a golf destination. Do you agree and if so, why do you suppose this is?
I do agree Mike and it’s a very good question. For me, it’s the $64,000 question, because I feel Long Island golf should be marketed precisely that way: A destination experience. There are plenty of opportunities for it, but there lies a challenge in changing the way local governments think about golf on Long Island. In a lot of ways, small government politics is much worse than government on the federal level. What seems like a simple paradigm shift for you or me is not so simple for local legislators.
4. Over the past 5 years golf has been struggling. Too many courses and the demand appears to be down due to money and time. What do you think the future holds for Long Island Golf and the golf industry as a whole?
A: Personally, I think that despite all these initiatives to get people to play more golf, I feel it will always be a niche sport that is dependent on the economy. Like any other business, sometimes you get the tiger and sometimes the tiger gets you. Fortunately, golf on Long Island will always be ok because there is a healthy enough appetite on the island for golf to keep it sustainable.
5. We can agree you're passionate about Long Island Golf but if I made you leave the island, what three golf destinations would you like to visit?
A: The first place I’m going is to Scotland and the home of golf as well as a visit to the highlands. If you love golf and you’ve never been, it has to be the number one answer. Secondly and since I’ve already been to the Emerald Isle, I would like to spend some time at Bandon Dunes. I’ve heard so many great things about the place and as a bonus, you can play the ball along the ground. Finally, I’m spending a couple of weeks on the sand belt of Australia. The courses there are magnificent and comparatively, it may be the only place in the world that rivals the quality of golf on Long Island. So as you can see, I prefer a links golf experience than what is traditional here in the states.
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