Evans City grad Huffman stays with golf league
83-year-old hopes to return for 53rd year in Tri-Boro circuit
Butler Eagle
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April 17, 2013

The Tri-Boro Golf League and Carl Huffman are synonymous.

Huffman hopes to keep it that way.

The 1948 Evans City High School graduate and Connoquenessing Township resident, now 83, has played in the league through all 53 years of its existence.

Dr. Dale Hamilton, a longtime dentist in Zelienople, had done the same. Hamilton died a few weeks ago at age 92.

Huffman will miss the start of this season — the Thursday evening league slated to open May 2 at Krendale — as he is recovering from cancer treatments.

“I’m hoping to be healthy enough to come back by mid-season. I’m gonna miss it,” Huffman said.

And the league will miss him.

“Doc and Carl are our last two original members,” said Ron West, a league member himself for 45 years. “It will be strange not having them out there.

“Everyone in this league knows Carl. He’s very well-liked, just a great person.”

Age never caught up to Huffman or Hamilton on the golf course. Last season, Huffman averaged 48 to 53 for nine holes in league play while Hamilton shot in the middle 50s.

The league is planning a dedication ceremony to Hamilton early this season.

The Tri-Boro League got its name from its original membership, a group of golfers from Zelienople, Evans City and Mars. The league originated at Venango Trails golf course in 1958 and stayed there for three years before shifting to Krendale.

Krendale has hosted the league for more than 50 years. The eight-team circuit features 62 golfers.

“We had as many as 85 at one point,” said Doug Sutch, a league member for 30 years. “We’ve got a solid core of younger guys now and that’s good. League members’ sons start playing or friends of golfers join up.

“We probably get five to seven new golfers every year. Guys realize they can’t play football or baseball anymore and they turn toward golf.”

West said the Tri-Boro league has at least 20 members who have been part of the circuit for 20 years or more.

“It’s a nice mixture of younger guys and older guys,” West said. “Carl was the oldest. It’s a well-run league with good people and it’s been able to sustain itself.”

Huffman and Hamilton were presented plaques by the league when they reached their 50th year in the circuit. Two years ago, league golfers formed a Hank Keller Memorial Scholarship to present a scholarship each year to a senior golfer on the Butler High School team.

Keller, longtime coach of the Butler High golf team, died in 2009 and was a member of the Tri-Boro league.

“Ralph Gross was golf coach at Seneca Valley for years and he’s been in this league about 40 years,” Sutch said. “A lot of the kids he coached in school are in the league now.”