Feb 09, 2023

GAP Magazine Extra: Frosty Valley’s finest

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Another Duffy joins Frosty Valley’s champions board

By Tony Regina

Here is an obscure Hollywood fun fact: Patrick Duffy, who starred in the television hit “Dallas,” holds a lifetime parking spot at South Park Studios. He leant his voice to an episode of the animated series “South Park.” In reverence of Duffy, the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, granted permanent parking privileges.

The Duffys (no relation) of Frosty Valley don’t hold such status at the club, though their collective record suggests otherwise. Mike Duffy holds four men’s championships and a senior title. His son Sean carded an even-par 216 to earn his 14th men’s crown. A third generation of Duffys joined the Frosty Valley board when Cole, Sean’s son, won the Junior Boys’ championship this season.

“Years ago, the club champion would get their own parking spot. Frosty Valley kind of did away with that,” Sean, 49, of Danville, Pa., said. “Unfortunately, I have to park where there’s an open spot.”

Space on the champions board holds more Frosty Valley merit anyway. The Duffy success starts with Sean. He claimed three Junior Boys’ titles before heading to Marshall University on a golf scholarship. Sean graduated in 1995 and turned professional thereafter. He competed in minitour events, with some success (eight wins in addition to the 1997 Vermont Open) for five years.

“Playing a sustained career on the minitour is difficult. You need money. You need teachers,” Sean, who works a healthcare analytics software company, said. “It became a significant burden, and injuries steered me in the direction where I needed to use my college degree.”

Sean returned to his Frosty Valley roots in the midst of Mike’s success. Mike won the men’s championship in 1999, 2000-01 and 2003.

“The only times I won it was when Sean didn’t play,” Mike, 71, of Danville, Pa., said. “Sean won’t play for weeks and weeks on end, and he will still go out and shoot even par. I’ve got to totally work at it. He says, ‘Dad, it’s like riding a bicycle.’ I must still have training wheels on.”

A year’s worth of golf training paid dividends for Cole. Mentally, he became more serious about his game.

“I want to follow my dad’s footsteps. I want to play in college most likely, so I need to work toward,” Cole 16, of Danville, Pa., said.

Physically, the Danville Area High School sophomore improved ball-striking. Cole “tightened things up and started hitting the ball straight off the tee for once.”

“Within the past year, he increased his driving distance by at least 25-30 yards,” Mike, a Frosty Valley member since 1977, added. “He still has to work on his short game, which, without repetition in playing a lot of golf, your short game kind of wanes a little bit. But I think with more time on the course, his short game will come around.”

The fruit of Cole’s labors came in the form of Frosty Valley’s Junior crown. He carded rounds of 82 and 77 to prevail.

“It feels great. I wanted to [join my family on the champions board],” Cole said.

Both his grandfather and father followed Cole during his championship run.

“His game is really starting to evolve. It certainly catapulted his confidence into the fall,” Sean said. “I try to make sure that he understands that he’s his own player. He will reach out to me and trust my teachings to him. Like any father and son relationship, there’s a tendency to have that, ‘Get away from me’ mentality. But he’ll come back and say, ‘I’m struggling with this. What do you see?’ I’ve got a pretty good eye for the golf swing.”

A pretty good parking spot not so much. But a 2023 space on the champions board may be reserved for a Duffy.

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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