Mass Golf | Andrew J. Blau Volunteer of the Year Award


The Frank H. Sellman Distinguished Service Award was established in 1988 in order to recognize individuals who have exhibited exemplary service to the game of golf during the course of their careers.

The award was named in honor of Frank H. Sellman, a longtime member of Brae Burn Country Club who served as Secretary-Treasurer on the executive committee of what was then known as the Massachusetts Golf Association (MGA) from 1961 to 1969. Sellman also served as president of Wellesley Country Club, where he was also a member. He was also the former chairman of the membership committee for the New England Seniors Golf Association.

Here is the plaque recognizing the complete list of the Frank H. Sellman Distinguished Service Award winners, as well as brief write-ups (scroll down) that accompanied their announcements:

2015 Honoree – richard Connolly, Jr.

In addition to being a successful businessman and philanthropist, Connolly proudly served the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund as a director, trustee, and former president for more than 38 years.

Connolly also served as the Chairman of the Ouimet Memorial Tournament, one of Mass Golf’s Championship events and was a member of the Massachusetts Golf Association Executive Committee from 1982 to 1984 and on the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame Committee.

CLICK HERE to view his acceptance speech.

CLICK HERE to see Arnold Palmer congratulate Connolly for receiving the award.

2012 Honoree – ROBERT G. “Sandy” Dowling

Dowling served a president of both the Massachusetts Golf Association from 1990-91 and was a member of the USGA Regional Affairs Committee for numerous years. He was also president of Hickory Shafts, an invitational-only membership organization for skilled New England golfers with a history of high-level competition and support for the game of golf.

Dowling has also served as a Volunteer Rules Official for Mass Golf and New England Golf Association (NEGA) events. He was also the Tournament Chairman for the NEGA.

An outstanding player in his own right, Dowling is a former club champion at Hyannisport Club and a two-time club champion at Oyster Harbors.

2009 Honoree – James F. Gaquin, Jr.

Originally from Newton, Gaquin was once considered the best-informed man in the country on the facts and background of touring professionals. Gaquin joined the PGA Of America in 1957, managing press relations, publicity and statistics.  Four years later, he was named tournament manager of the tour circuit where he negotiated sponsorships for tournaments.

Gaquin and his wife Lois often partnered together in the field. They managed the 1981 PGA Championship at Atlanta Country Club and the 1984 U.S. Women’s Open at Salem Country Club. Together, they also supervised the operation of every U.S. Open press facility from 1969-1978.

In the spring of 1985, the Gaquins also ran the Cape Cod Pro-Am League, leading to its most successful years until their retirement in 1998. The league annually awards the Jim and Lois Gaquin Cup to its best amateur player.

2006 Honoree – William C. Foley

Foley had a long-standing association with Wollaston Golf club, starting as a caddie and rising to caddie master, member and club president. A successful player, he won three club championships and took home the 1964 Massachusetts Amateur Championship.

A Ouimet Scholar, Foley attended Boston College before operating a canteen truck business from 1958 to 1966. He came back to serve the Ouimet Fund as a trustee and was also president from 2000-2002. From 1992-2004, he served as president of the Ouimet Society, an associate organization of the fund. While working as caddie master at Wollaston, Foley met Adele Darcy of North Quincy, who worked in the office at Wollaston. They married in 1961. After she died in 1992, Mr. Foley established a Ouimet scholarship in her name.

In 1992, Mr. Foley was the Associate Chairman of the U.S. Junior Amateur, which was won by a then 16-year-old Tiger Woods at Wollaston Golf Club.

2003 Honoree – Richard D. Haskell

Haskell served as executive director of the Massachusetts Golf Association for 29 years. The award coincided with his research and assistance with the MGA’s Centennial Book, which was published in 2003, and for his role as chairman of the Centennial Committee. A golf historian, Haskell published “The Story of Golf at The Country Club,’’ which won the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, the USGA’s highest literary honor.

As executive director, Haskell saw the association’s club membership rise from 172 to 318, including the addition of many public courses. He also helped computerize the association’s handicap system and was a past president of the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA). In 1990, he further publicized the association’s activities by establishing MassGolfer Magazine.

Haskell, a member of The Country Club, also received numerous honors during his career: The George S. Wemyss Award from the New England PGA for contributions to the sport, the IAGA Distinguished Service Award, the Massachusetts Golf Writers’ Silver Tee Award, the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund Distinguished Service Award, and the United States Golf Association Ike Grainger Award for volunteerism.

The Mass Golf Player of the Year honor is now named in his honor.

1999 Honoree – Richard A. Crosby

Crosby initially joined the Massachusetts Golf Association as a Volunteer and was later chosen for the Executive Committee. With the association expanding at the time, he became an assistant to then-MGA executive director Dick Haskell. Crosby then took on the role of Tournament Director, a title he held for 15 years until his retirement in 1989.

Crosby was also involved as a player, winning the 1986 Mass Senior Amateur. He was also a USGA Rules Official, serving at the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah Country Club just outside of Chicago.

A longtime member of Brae Burn Country Club, Crosby was especially delighted to earn an honor named after Sellman, who was a close friend and fellow member at Brae Burn.

1998 Honoree – George m. Cohen

A native of Longmeadow, Cohen served as a member of the Massachusetts Golf Association Executive Committee for 20 years and served as a Rules Official at numerous tournaments across the state.

Cohen was a six-time Crestview Country Club (Agawam) champion, winning championships in four different decades beginning in the 1950s. He was also a member at the old Oxford Country Club in Chicopee.

The Mass Golf Senior Player of the Year Award has been named after Cohen since 2004.

1996 Honoree – William Flynn

Flynn, a 2016 inductee into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame, was recognized for his accomplishments both as a prolific professional golfer and a successful businessman in the golf industry.

A Danvers native, Flynn caddied at United Shoe Country Club until he saved enough to became a professional golfer. In 1959, he won the Vermont Open and in 1963 became the first left-handed player to win the Mass Open. He also won the 1968 New England PGA Championship and later served the New England Golf Association as an Executive Committee member, Secretary-Treasurer and President.

Flynn also operated a course management group that built and held an interest in courses in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire area. His group is well known for rescuing and restoring the historic George Wright Golf Course and William J. Devine Golf Course in Boston.

Flynn also added to his legacy by giving back to youth golf. He created thousands of programs that offered free golf to inner-city youth, women, and golfers with disabilities. In 2016, he earned the PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award.

1995 Honoree – John P. English

A Haverhill native, English had a distinguished career in golf both with the Massachusetts Golf Association and the USGA.  English served as Assistant Executive Director from 1949 to 1959, when the USGA was headquartered in New York City. He helped launch the longtime USGA publication Golf Journal and served as its editor. At the time, English was one of just three USGA staff members. He also spent 28 years on the USGA Green Section Committee as well as a one-year stint on the Nominating Committee.

After attending Williams College, English was hired by the Boston Herald and eventually took on the golf beat. He then served in the Navy during both WWII and the Korean War. A member of Taconic Golf Club, located on the Williams College campus, English went on to serve as president of the MGA in 1971.

Growing up, he learned the game at Plymouth Country Club from Henry Picard, who would go on to win two major championships in a Hall of Fame career. During a life full of rich golf experiences, English once played a match against Babe Ruth (Ruth won) and became friends with Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones.

1994 Honoree – Harry B. McCracken, Jr.

McCracken, one of the most recognizable figures within the golf community, was a leader, mentor, and ambassador for the game of golf during his six decades of administrative duties within the sport.

He first joined the Massachusetts Golf Association Executive Committee in 1969 and then served as MGA president from 1984-1985. During that time, he ushered in the Mass Mid-Amateur Championship and partnered with Bill Flynn to help restore Boston’s municipal course — William J. Devine Golf Course and George Wright Golf Course. 

McCracken also served as Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the New England Golf Association from 1987 until his death in 2019. He oversaw all aspects of NEGA operations during his tenure and oversaw Rules Officials. McCracken also became a member of the USGA Regional Affairs Committee in 1989 and his responsibilities include procuring qualifying sites for the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur, and U.S. Junior Amateur.

After receiving the Sellman award in 1994, McCracken also received the 1995 USGA Ike Grainger Award, the 2007 USGA Joe Dey Award, and the 2005 New England PGA George S. Wemyss Award, among others. The Harry B. McCracken medal is given to the stroke play medalist of the Mass Amateur every year.

1992 Honoree – john Arnold

Arnold served as president of both the Massachusetts Golf Association and the New England Golf Association and was also a member of the United States Seniors Golf Association.

Despite being a highly-talented baseball player in his youth, he was extremely passionate about golf. He won 12 men’s club championships at Duxbury Yacht Club and four men’s club championships at The Country Club. Arnold and his wife Sidney also won the state Husband and Wife Championship.

Arnold also was a member of The Hickory Shafts and The Lesley Cup. He was also the Vice Chairman of the 1988 United States Open Committee at The Country Club and a long-time regional Rules Official for the USGA.

1991 Honoree – Roger Barry

Barry chronicled and promoted the game of golf both as a distinguished and award-winning sportswriter and regional event founder and director.

Barry spent 52 with The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, covering golf events, ranging from local tournaments to The Masters. He was a conduit of golf information, who championed golfers on the South Shore, from budding juniors to world-famous professionals. He was also president of the Golf Writers Association of America for many years and was on a first-name basis with figures such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Barry was also a driving force behind South Shore golf tournaments such as the John Cronin Memorial, Hornblower Memorial, Norfolk County Classic, and Norfolk County Two-Ball Classic. He also founded and directed for nearly 40 years, the Southeastern Amateur Championship. During the time, he would also help the careers of professionals golfers and assistant professionals and exposed them to success.

1990 Honoree – Charles M. Pyle, Jr.

Pyle, Jr. was a leader in amateur golf both as a player and golf administrator. Plye Jr. won club championships at three Boston-area clubs, including The Country Club. He was also president of the Massachusetts Golf Association, the New England Golf Association, and was elected to several official positions within the USGA.

Pyle moved to the Boston area as a child and graduated from the Brooks School. He then attended Princeton but left in 1943 to serve in the Army Air Force as a navigator in the Fifth and Seventh Air Forces. After being discharged, he earned a degree from Babson College.

His professional career encompassed 35 years with Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Co., from which he retired as V.P. He then served as an investment advisor to a Boston law firm. His contributions to civic organizations included 20 years as treasurer of the Boston Center for Blind Children.

1989 Honoree – Andrew C. Bailey

Bailey was both a well-respected legal counsel and past president of the Massachusetts Golf Association (1981). He also served as counsel for the New England Golf Association and a member of the Sectional Affairs Committee of the USGA.

A past president of Dedham Country & Polo Club, Bailey served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a Lieutenant, junior grade and was honorably discharged from the Naval Reserve in 1956. He was a graduate of Governors Academy in Byfield, Mass., and graduated from Amherst College in 1943. He graduated from Cornell Law School in 1948.

1988 Honoree – Leon Bishop

Bishop was a major force in amateur golf, especially as a senior player and event organizer. Bishop, the Mass Senior Amateur champion in 1973, went on to serve as president of the Massachusetts Golf Association from 1959-1960 and is part of the vast legacy of golfers belonging to Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton.

Bishop, whose brother Ted won the 1946 U.S. Amateur, also launched the Mass Public Links Championship and was the Director of The Hickory Shafts and the New England Seniors Golf Association.

In 1987, then-MGA President Ray Bump said Bishop, “has done more in the organization and development of senior golf than any other individual in New England.”