|It is with heavy heart and deep sorrow I feel after hearing about the passing of Lenny Lasinsky Jr. (little Lenny to me).
The SDGA Men’s and Junior family lost a true gentleman and Champion.
As I sit here I can only reflect on the 24 or so years that I’ve been involved in junior golf either as a volunteer under Junior Chairmen, Dick
Campbell, Al Highducheck, or Jim Coleman; or in the seven years I’ve been Junior Chairman, and about the many boys that have started
out as 12 year olds that could (one 10yr old, Tyler Dattmore and a few 11yr olds Ryan May, Eric Davis) barely carry their golf bag. I've
watched them year after year become very good golfers, but most of all, gentlemen.
Every year someone asks me why I continue to volunteer since BJ is no longer in the program. I would have to say it started with little
Lenny. I met little Lenny when he was five years old. His dad, Big Lenny, and I were partners in the Bristol Lab Golf League.
Little Lenny had medical problems and couldn't play contact sports; so golf became his love. Hours upon hours little Lenny would practice
putting and chipping at Seneca Golf Club in B’ville. Then after Radisson Golf Club was built and little Lenny was in his teens, he honed
his skill on his dad’s buddies, Don Macomber, Earl Crowell, and yours truly. It didn't take me long (but many quarters) to know that after all
those years of chipping and putting around the green little Lenny was almost unbeatable. Don never learned (many dollars). Before we
knew it, he was unbeatable for us anywhere on any golf course.
Little Lenny in his first few teen years couldn’t play in the SDGA summer events because every summer, due to his illness, there was a
major operation. You all know how hard it is to get your swing back after the year’s growth spell. Just think how hard it was tying to learn
again after changing the position of your legs. As soon as little Lenny could put weight on his legs again he was back chipping and
putting. By the time Little Lenny was fifteen the major operations were over and now with strong legs he moved on.
I was on little Lenny’s bag when he won the 1983 NYS Junior Championship at Drumlins East (yes, you could have caddies way back
then) at age sixteen. Little Lenny then moved on to college, where, at Coastal Carolina, he became a member of the 1st Team All Stars in
the Big South Conference.
Little Lenny continued to have health problems, having to go to dialysis three times a week and a kidney transplant. He won the Herald
Amateur four years in a row, 1989,’90,’91, and ’92 and in 1991 he was the NYS Men’s Champion and was also named the SDGA Player
of the Year.
Little Lenny was my partner in many local scratch events between 1987 and 1990. Along with his dad and Rich Tarbult we won the local
Kidney Tournament and went to Doral for the National Finals (11 days in Florida during one of the coldest Dec. ever! Just ask Mrs. Meyle).
It was a great time!
I always loved watching Little Lenny play golf from a boy to Gentlemen. Little Lenny moved to Florida in 1997 and I lost track of him. I wish I
could see him play again.
I know life goes on and the sun comes up tomorrow, but for me it will be a little dimmer.
Eugene S. Meyle Jr
SDGA Junior Golf Chairmen