By his own estimation, Joe Tesori said he has given out 30,000 golf lessons, a lifetime spent dedicated to the game he loves.
For that devotion, and for all of his other contributions to golf in Central New York, Tesori has earned induction into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.
Also in the six-member 2013 class, announced Wednesday, is Gary Gait, the Syracuse University lacrosse legend who parlayed his talents into a long professional career and is now the successful head coach of the SU women's lacrosse squad that has reached each of the last three NCAA national semifinals.
Another local lacrosse great, Barry Powless (from LaFayette, SU and the professional ranks) was chosen, as was Martial Arts entrepreneur Greg Tearney and two posthumous selections -Adam Markowski and Don Savage, the latter of whom was the first Le Moyne College Hall of Fame selection after his fine basketball career with the Dolphins.
It's only fitting that the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner takes place Oct. 21 at Drumlins Country Club, because that's where Tesori spent 28 years as a teaching professional. He now serves as the head pro at the Pompey Club.
Tesori said his time at Drumlins was "a perfect marriage" between himself and the club, which is run by Syracuse University.
"What better place to teach than in a college community?," he said.
That relationship allowed Tesori to expand his work beyond teaching, to writing newspaper columns and appearing on radio shows. He also got a chance to coach the girls golf team at Jamesville-DeWitt High School and the men's golf team at Le Moyne College, positions he still holds.
In the spring of 2013, J-D's girls golf team won the Section III Class B team title, and two of its players - Molly Hair and Victoria Roney - qualified for the state tournament at SUNY-Delhi, held earlier this month.