*Golf experiences & insights
Philadelphia Golf Legends: Sandy Run’s Tom Conboy
What began as a way for Tom Conboy to make a buck in support of his family became a lifelong passion. The Oreland, Pa. resident caddied at Eagle Lodge Country Club as a teenager and fell in love with golf. He played every day after work, shaping his game for a longstanding run on the competitive circuit.
Conboy, a Sandy Run Country Club member, qualified for match play in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Amateur Championship on 15 occasions over a three-decade span. He represented its Compher Cup and Mason-Dixon teams a combined 11 years. Conboy is the latest player to be featured in the Legends video series.
In 1950, Conboy finished as runner-up in the Junior Boys’ Championship at now-defunct Tully Secane, falling to William Albertus of Overbrook Golf Club. For seven straight years (1955-61), he advanced into match play at the Amateur Championship — his deepest run coming in the 1961 edition at Manufacturers Golf & Country Club. Conboy reached the semifinals, where he suffered a 2-up defeat at the hands of recently enshrined GAP Hall of Famer Howard Everitt of Atlantic City Country Club.
Conboy surpassed that performance in 1972, when he reached the Final at Aronimink Golf Club. However, he lost to Raymond Thompson of Overbrook Golf Club, 5&3. GAP gold didn’t elude Conboy entirely. He won the 1964 Tournament of Champions, grabbed the 1987 Senior Amateur Championship in a playoff and captured the Senior Four-Man Team on four occasions alongside clubmates Francis Donohue, Fran Nixon and Bill Rice. Conboy also qualified for two USGA Senior Amateur Championships and amassed 20 club championships between Eagle Lodge, Sandy Run and Whitemarsh Valley Country Club.
Conboy earned the Association’s 2009 Volunteer of the Year Award. Today, he plays golf weekly at Sandy Run, where he’s been a member since 1964.
Launched in 2010, the Legends video series features prominent local players recalling their experiences and accomplishments both on and off the golf course. This is the 10th installment in the series overall. O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. of Pine Valley Golf Club, Paul Erhardt, III of Cavaliers Country Club, James Finegan, Sr. of Philadelphia Country Club, Herman J. Fry of Reading Country Club, Blaise Giroso of Fieldstone Golf Club, John Guenther, Jr. of Heidelberg Country Club, Bob Levy of Philmont Country Club, John Markel of Berkshire Country Club, Lincoln Roden, III of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Don Weiland of Phoenixville Country Club were also spotlighted.
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.