They have made golf headlines for decades, but Mike Diffley, head pro at Pelham CC, and Rob Labritz, director of golf at GlenArbor GC, are known by the members of their clubs as supportive, accessible professionals eager to help them with their games, make their guests feel at home at the club, and make golf the fun, rewarding experience it’s meant to be. Now, their peers in the Metropolitan Section of the PGA of America have recognized them for their contributions to the game.
Diffley, head pro at Pelham since 1988, was named Professional of the Year for 2021, the top honor awarded by the Met PGA. Diffley is known throughout the NY area as an outstanding player who is one of two golfers chosen for the St. John’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He won numerous tournaments as both an amateur and a pro, including the 1982 Ike Championship, the 1991 Met Open, and the Westchester PGA Championship in 1992. In 2013, he not only won the Met PGA Senior Match Play, but was named Met PGA Teacher of the Year. In 2016, Diffley received the national Horton Smith award (since re-named the PGA Professional Development Award) by the PGA of America in recognition of his contributions to golf education.
Diffley’s devotion to the members of Pelham CC earned his award this year. “We turn out a lot of good players but we’re really looking to turn out good citizens who respect and love golf,” he says. “I have so many good friends here and always try to be an ambassador for the club when I play in events, even when I teach and give seminars.”
Rob Labritz, director of golf at GlenArbor GC in Bedford Hills, doesn’t let his relentless pursuit of trophies get in the way of teaching the game to his students at all levels. Named Teacher of the Year by the Met PGA, Labritz is a nationally recognized competitor as well as dominant force on the regional professional tournament circuit. He most recently won the Met Professional Championship—for the fourth time. He’s played his way into numerous PGA Championships and US Opens, and won Low Club Pro honors at both the 2010 and 2019 PGA Championships.
Yet Labritz still loves to share his playing prowess with his many students of the game. “I’ve been a student of Rob’s for almost 20 years,” says Dan Berger, owner of ReMax Prestige Properties in White Plains and an avid golfer, “and he always has time to invest in my game.”