Baltusrol's Steffen makes N.J. Hall of Fame
Add "Hall of Famer" to the long list of impressive credentials earned by longtime Baltusrol Golf Club PGA Head Professional Doug Steffen.
Steffen will be inducted into the New Jersey State Golf Hall of Fame on Thursday evening during a dinner at Crestmont Country Club in West Orange.
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Steffen began his Baltusrol career as head of the bag shop under the legendary Bob Ross in 1977. After stops at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Great Neck, N.Y. and at Middle Bay Country Club in Oceanside, N.Y., Steffen returned to Baltusrol in 1997, when he became the eighth head golf professional in the history of that facility.
Steffen served the Metropolitan PGA as Secretary, a member of the Board of Governors, committee chairman and as a teaching instructor for the PGA Business School. While at Baltusrol, he was named the PGA's National Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities in 2007, and New Jersey Section Golf Professional of the Year the following year. His club has twice been selected as Club of the Year for the New Jersey Section.
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A former New Jersey high school state champion, the 66-year-old Steffen has been a player, teacher and Professional for five decades. He competed in the 1975 U.S. Open, 1984 PGA Championship and in several Champions Tour events. In addition, he played in more than a dozen Metropolitan Opens, New York State Opens and Metropolitan PGA Championships. He won the New Jersey Senior PGA Championship in 2000 and 2001, is a two-time Senior Open winner and earned Senior Player of the Year honors in 2000.
When Phil Mickelson won the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, he paid Steffen the highest compliment, according to a story in the New York Post.
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"Doug Steffen helped me with some local knowledge when I came here a couple weeks ago," Mickelson was quoted as saying. "The most obvious was the putt on No. 4. I’ll bet everybody missed that putt on the left. It looks like it breaks right. The mountain is to the left so it should go right. It doesn’t. It goes left.
"He altered my read by four or five inches, and I ended up making it dead center. That was a big putt."
Baltusrol will host the 2016 PGA Championship, the second time it has hosted that event and the 17th national championship since the U.S. Women's Open was first held there in 1901. That includes seven U.S. Opens and four U.S. Amateurs.