Tim Garvin, the South Fork Country Club’s popular director of golf and club administration, was recently honored by the Professional Golfers’ Association’s metropolitan section for having been an outstanding mentor to more than a dozen assistant professionals who have gone on to careers as head professionals themselves during his two-decade tenure at the rolling Amagansett course.
The most recent of these is Angela Tocco, a 26-year-old who now is the head pro at Montauk Downs.
Around 50 South Fork members and staffers, as well as Garvin’s wife, Katie, and their children, Paige, 18, and James, 13, cheered on the Bill Strausbaugh award recipient at the Westchester Country Club. The Strausbaugh plaque hangs just outside the doorway to the native Philadelphian’s office, in the pro shop. There’s no space left in the office, which is filled with such memorabilia as World Series Phillies banners, a signed Eagles Super Bowl football, a boxing glove that Roy Jones Jr. signed, books on golf, and a framed copy of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech, a favorite of the club’s president, Jon Grossman.
Also on an office wall is a PGA Magazine story about a match Garvin and David Einstein, one of four South Fork assistant pros, played against Zach Grossman, a five-time club champion, and another assistant pro, Steve Leurssen, three years ago that raised $115,000 for the East Hampton and Springs Food Pantries, which were especially in need at the time because of strains caused by the Covid pandemic.
Since he pretty much runs the show at the 385-member club, the interviewee had to excuse himself briefly from time to time Saturday morning, and during one of those absences, Einstein was asked for a comment as he worked in the pro shop, which Suzanne Wolfson manages.
“He’s the best boss you can have,” said Einstein, whose fellow pros also include Tommy Healy and Mike Wagner. “He gives you as much responsibility as you can handle, and when you need advice, he’ll give you the guidance.”
“He oversees the whole megillah,” said Ms. Wolfson, with a smile, adding, “he’s always got your back.”
Told on his return the nice things that had been said about him, Garvin, with eyebrows raised, said, “I’m shocked.”
Garvin said that his father had been his mentor. “He taught me the game. . . . He played on the P.G.A. tour from 1967 to 1971.” Sadly, his father, who died in November at the age of 83, did not live to see his son receive the Strausbaugh award, “the only one from the P.G.A.,” the recipient said, “that you get for doing something for somebody else.”