The 2021 Bill Starkie Award was awarded to Seth Egnasko who, as WHGC Club Champion, is certainly an excellent golfer but the WMGA considers him to be an even better person — (despite the mild jab he takes at Jamie Carlson below)
Seth, why did you choose Wintonbury Hills GC as your home course?
I think Wintonbury is far and away the top public course in central Connecticut as well as my favorite course to play. It’s a fun layout, but it also challenges a player to both execute shots and to think their way around the track. And the course is always in superb condition.
When did you join the Wintonbury Men’s Golf Association (WMGA)?
I joined in 2017. I was looking for a way to play more frequently but I wasn’t particularly interested in joining a private club. I had heard through word of mouth that the WMGA was a great value, so I asked Kevin Laing about it one day while I was in the pro shop. He sold me on the concept, and I signed up that day.
For you, what makes the WMGA experience special?
The membership fosters a group atmosphere that’s awesome and unlike any other club or league I’ve been a part of. From my very first week on, I’ve noticed that club members often go out of their way to make people feel welcome, relaxed and part of a community. It feels like a competition amongst friends, where players are trying to score their best but also rooting for their competitors.
And I’ve made some great friends during my time in the WMGA; people that have helped me both on and off the course. I’m proud to be associated with the golf course and the club.
What events do you look forward to the most?
The Club Championship is my favorite weekend of the season. It’s just a great weekend of competition with three potential rounds over two days, and the match play format always creates a little drama and excitement. The Spinner Special is also a tremendous team event, with a fun variety of formats across 36 holes. It’s a great weekend and a fitting tribute to Dan Spinelli.
What does it mean to you to be the Bill Starkie Award winner for 2022?
It’s a tremendous honor to win an award named after someone so instrumental to both the WMGA and to Connecticut golf in general. Bill embodies all the qualities that we aspire to demonstrate; he’s an avid golfer who is both a student and teacher of the game, a true gentleman on and off the course, friendly and courteous to fellow players and staff. Bill is revered by everyone at Wintonbury Hills and so having my name on his trophy is a source of great pride.
I’m also proud to see my name alongside the other past winners: TJ Burnett, Kevin McCoy, Matt Harrington and the late Dan Spinelli. They’re all great guys and I value the time I’ve spent with each of them, and I know how well liked and respected they are by the rest of the club; it’s an honor to be in such esteemed company.
Who completes your dream foursome, and where are you playing?
I don’t think I’d enjoy the company of three touring pros since it’d be just another boring day at the office for them. And I can’t pick only three friends for a dream round because someone else (i.e. Jamie Carlson) would be upset about being passed over. For my choice I’m going with a classic four-ball matchup at Bushwood Country Club: Judge Smails and Dr. Beeper versus me and Lacey Underall.
Any final comments?
The great times that our membership get to experience would not be possible without the contributions of the following groups (in no particulate order):
- Ciaran, Kevin and the pro shop staff
- Dennis and the maintenance staff
- Collin, Joy, Jen, Molly and the restaurant staff
- WMGA board who donates their time
I hope that everyone in the club is truly appreciative of and grateful for the excellent job each of these groups does for us; we’re an incredibly fortunate group!
Any WMGA member can nominate another member by contacting a Board member anytime during the year, or by sending an email to [email protected]. The WMGA Member of the Year will be selected from the nominees by a vote of the WMGA Board.