Among the impressive and talented field of golfers who competed in the 79th New Hampshire Open in Campton last week were a pair of Pinkerton Academy grads who have done some fine things in the game over the years.
Neither Matt Arvanitis nor Danny Kish did quite as well as they hoped to at the major New Hampshire golf event, but both men continued to represent themselves and the learning they gained as golfers during their time at the Derry school quite well.
Arvanitis – who at age 36 is the men’s and women’s golf coach at Southern New Hampshire University – knows what it’s like to have risen to the top of the mountain in New Hampshire golf circles after winning the 1999 New Hampshire Open.
He and Kish were two of the 93 professionals who played for pay at the 2014 state Open at the Owl’s Nest Golf Club in Campton. They and their fellow pros were joined in the field by 43 elite amateurs.
The event consisted of 54 holes of stroke play with the low professional’s three-round total taking home the $5,000 winner’s check. There was a cut to low 40 and ties after day one, and those surviving the cut played 36 holes on day two.
Recent University of New Hampshire graduate Kish shot a 76 on the par-72 course on day one, while Arvanitis shot a 77. Neither man made the cut for day two of action.
The 2014 championship was won by Marshfield, Mass., resident Geoff Sisk, who is the six-time Massachusetts Open winner, the four-time New England Open winner, and the winner of the Maine Open once.
The two Pinkerton grads rubbed elbows with skilled golfers from all over the place at the event. The 2014 New Hampshire Open attracted entrants from as far away as California and Bermuda. Competitors from 17 states took part.
The New Hampshire Open has been contested since 1932, with a four-year hiatus during World War II. Past winners have included many professionals who successfully competed on the Pro Golfers Association Tour and professional tours around the world.
During his first eight years at the helm of the SNHU men’s program, Arvanitis led the Penmen to three NCAA regional appearances (2006, 2009, 2014).
Arvanitis was himself a two-year member of the SNHU golf team, and was named Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year in 2001 and also collected First-Team All-Conference honors in 2001 and 2002. He guided the Penmen to back-to-back Northeast-10 Conference championships in 2001 and 2002 and their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament in the spring of 2003.
Arvanitis was inducted into the SNHU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, one of the first two Penmen golfers inducted that year.
The PA grad has also enjoyed success outside of collegiate golf. He is a two-time Manchester City Champion (2000, 2004), and in August of 2005 he competed at the United States Amateur Championship in Philadelphia.
Kish was a member of the UNH men’s golf squad that joined the National Collegiate Club Golf Association, consisting of colleges from all over the United States, in 2012.
That year, the former Astro helped his Wildcats’ team win both of the Northeast Regional qualifying tournaments to qualify for fall nationals at the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga. And at nationals, Kish and his teammates finished fourth overall.
Kish and the UNH golfers also won the New England Conference Championship and their own Wildcat Invitational that season.
Last spring, UNH won the New England Regional Tournament to qualify for nationals at the Kempen Course at Purdue University in Indiana. At nationals, the Pinkerton graduate and his teammates finished fifth overall.