Upcoming NH Golf Hall of Fame Class Set to Include Danny Arvanitis, Larry Gallagher, PGA and Tom DiFonzo

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Golf Hall of Fame Nominating Committee is excited to announce three individuals set to be included into the Class of 2024.  Danny Arvanitis, Larry Gallagher, PGA, and Tom DiFonzo will be inducted for their accomplishments and contributions to the game of golf here in New Hampshire.  All worthy inductees, each has made their own mark on the game through amateur golf accolades, professional and teaching contributions and through their leadership in advocating for the sustainability of the game and the promotion of responsible golf course maintenance practices.  The New Hampshire Golf Hall of Fame Committee is proud to be honoring each of these individuals at the upcoming ceremony being held at Manchester Country Club on November 7th.
Danny Arvanitis, a golfer who has made a name for himself around the state through his amateur playing accomplishments, feels honored to be chosen and to be joining an elite group of golfers who have been inducted in previous years.  He stated, “To be included with those inductees already in is special.  Phil Pleat, Bob Mielcarz, Kirk Hanefeld and Rich Parker are players in my era that I have played with and against.  They are a special talent.  I have tremendous respect for them as players and people.”
“What an honor to be chosen and it is something I will cherish the rest of my life”, continued Arvanitis.
Arvanitis’ accomplishments include winning the 2001 New Hampshire Amateur Championship, winning four New Hampshire Mid-Amateur Championships, and most recently, winning the 2022 New Hampshire Senior Championship.  As a lifelong member of Derryfield Country Club in Manchester, Arvanitis has claimed 12 Manchester City Championship titles, the most any golfer has won.  He has also competed in 13 USGA championship events over the years.  As he continues to compete against the top in the state, Arvanitis finds the time to give back to the game as he has been the head coach of The Derryfield School golf team since 2011.
Dedication and love for the game have been at the heart and soul of Larry Gallagher’s career.  Gallagher started playing golf in high school and acquired his first job at North Conway Country Club in 1970.  From there, he turned Professional and worked his way up through the PGA program.  He landed back at North Conway in 1991 where he served as Head Golf Professional for 25 years.  During his tenure at North Conway, Gallagher had a successful playing career and found even more success with the teaching and mentorship part of the job.
In 2001, Gallagher and his wife Kathy designed and trademarked The Liberty Ball which raised over $30,000 for The Red Cross as well as The Police and Firefighters Women’s and Children’s Fund of NYC.  Their efforts in raising funds through The Liberty Ball were recognized by President George H. W. Bush and President George W. Bush.
Gallagher commented on his induction by saying, “I’m happy, surprised, grateful, and honored to be associated with this Class of Inductees.  These are people I respect for their hard work, dedication to and love for the game of golf.  To be mentioned along with this group of candidates is truly an honor.”
He continued, “After all the years of Pro Shop time, time on the lesson tee, junior programs, member tournaments as well as my tournament play, it is what I signed up for and I have loved it all!”
Joining Arvanitis and Gallagher in the Class of 2024 is Tom DiFonzo, a longtime New Hampshire Golf Course Superintendent who made an immense impact on agronomy and turfgrass in the state through his work on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Golf Course Superintendents Association (NHGCSA).  DiFonzo was the superintendent at Laconia Country Club for 18 years, a timeframe which included the 113th New Hampshire Amateur Championship.  During that time, he held every office on the Board of Directors for the NHGCSA, including serving two terms as their President.
DiFonzo was active in encouraging industry leaders to monitor and impact important legislation that could affect golf courses and the turfgrass industry. He was at the forefront of protecting New Hampshire courses by being present at the State House when needed and signing necessary petitions.  He served as the NHGCSA delegate for the national association for over 10 years and helped to grow the New Hampshire Chapter into a leader across the industry.  DiFonzo’s efforts with the NHGCSA has earned him an induction into the New Hampshire Golf Hall of Fame for his contributions to bettering the game of golf here in the Granite State. DiFonzo’s induction will be posthumous as he lost a brave battle with cancer in 2018.
Along with the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the New Hampshire Golf Association (NHGA) awards the Joe Kane Distinguished Service Award to an individual who has dedicated much of their time and effort to the game of golf in New Hampshire.  This year’s recipient is John Bottomley, an individual who embodies all the qualities of Joe Kane and has given much of his time bettering golf in the Granite State.
NHGA Executive Director, Matt Schmidt, commented, “John’s contributions to the game in New Hampshire have been immeasurable and he’s a worthy recipient of the Kane Distinguished Service Award. He truly embodies the ideals of Joe Kane, and this is recognition of John’s work as an ambassador of the game for many, many decades.”
Bottomley has served on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Golf Association and was President of the organization in 1991 and 1992.  Over the years he has continued to volunteer with the NHGA and continues to give back to the game as he serves on the Advisory Council of the First Tee – New Hampshire.  John Bottomly is a worthy recipient of this award for his contributions, efforts and support of golf here in New Hampshire.
The Class of 2024 is set to be inducted on November 7th during the NHGA Annual Meeting which will be held at Manchester Country Club.  More information on tickets will be available later.


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