Aconversation with a GAP champion eventually led this horse to water. Glenn Smeraglio, winner of a weather-short- ened Senior Amateur Championship at Lehigh
Country Club two years ago, mentioned fishing as one of
his hobbies apart from golf. After carding a 5-under-par
65 on Day One (which held water thanks to a Round Two
washout), the Lu Lu Country Club member stopped at
nearby Little Lehigh Creek for a fishing expedition.
That revelation revved our magazine minds.
GAP touts an abundance of courses with scenic watery
splendor onsite. Can fishing be a part of the club experience?
“It’s very complimentary to the demeanor of a golf
club. Play a little golf, catch a little fish,” Tom Stoneback,
former coordinator of Saucon Valley Country Club’s trout
“When the competitive nature of both is lifted for a mo-
ment, fishing and golf share the occasionally needed reward
of solitude and calm,” Tom Sirolly, a Pocono Farms Country
Club member and avid fisherman, added. “The enjoyment
that an early evening solitary round of golf can provide is
similar to that of standing alone casting from the shoreline
as the sun goes down. Both are done with ancillary goals of
either score or catch, fundamentally unnecessary to enjoy the
experience that the environments of both activities offer.”
To dip into a course’s channels, a golfer/fisherman must
first purchase a fishing license through the Pennsylvania Fish
& Boat Commission, an organization founded in 1866. In
2018, it sold 607,000 licenses. That figure remains on target
for 2019, Communications Director Mike Parker said. The
fishing industry as a whole, he added, is a $1 billion econom-
ic driver for the state of Pennsylvania.
“In 2012, we worked with the Lawrence Park Golf Club to
obtain a property easement along a significant stretch of Four
Mile Creek, which is a tributary of Lake Erie and a renowned
migratory steelhead fishery,” Parker said. “This agreement
allowed the Commission to install fish passage ladders on the
creek to enable spawning steelhead to expand their reach.
It also allows anglers to fish along the creek on the course,
but does contain restrictions for safety purposes, such as not
allowing fishing where it would be likely that people would
be hit by golf balls. However, it shows a willingness for the
community to work together, recognizing that both golf and
fishing are economic drivers that can coexist.”
The parallels between golf and fishing run as rampant as a
stream on a stormy day.
“Golf is complicated. So is fishing,” Mark Myslinski,
current coordinator of Saucon Valley’s trout program, said.
“You got to have the right bugs. You got to have the right
line. You have to think like a trout. Its brain is the size of my
The following is merely a thumbprint of fishing and how it
flows at GAP Member Clubs. Hopefully it gets you hook, line
In an unharmful way, of course. – Tony Regina