Ely Park Honoree Al Morley: Played in 8 Major PGA Championships from 1931 to 1971!!!

Al Morley

Al Morley—Al Mor—ley, the man with ‘Ely’ Park in his name—‘More—Ely’!

Born Jan 28th, 1916 in Hancock, NY and schooled in Johnson City

Live in Johnson City off Ackley Ave across river from old Vestal Hills

Hunt moles during depression

Looking for balls north side of Vestal Parkway

Jack Murphy- JC HS sports star- come out and caddy for me

Job caddying

Started caddying in 1927 when only 10 years old

Played lefty the first 2 years

Two years after switching he won the Broome County Caddy Championship

Go early in the morning

Protégé of ERNIE Smith since he was 10 years old.

Ernie 7 Am lesson- Andy Horvat – 1st ward banker

Caddy no show

50 cents to shag balls for ½ hour.

From that day on, he just lived golf”- Ernie Smith

the Squirt

Use to caddy for Ernie Smith at old 9 hole Vestal Hills course

1932 worked in the pro shop at the old Vestal Hills layout as an aide to Ernie Smith, then moved with “Smitty” the following year to Ely Park

Photo Credit: Joe Danvers

Photo Credit: Joe Damvers

Caddied for Ernie on Opening Day exhibition at Ely Park–Labor Day 1933 (September 4th, 1933); Eddie Murray, Lynn Higgs & 4th?

Very hot and dry summer- fairways had big cracks in them; open only first 2 weeks of September- then closed for the winter

Recalled original 9 holes- on top-No. 8 today, then 9, 10. 11, 17, No. 1, 2 and crow’s nest No. 7,

Rebuilt crow’s nest green- put terrace into hillside for temporary green- became no. 1

Caddy champ in 1935

Paid by Ernie not the city

Stayed in shack all summer long; davenport was his bed

Remembered lost tee- sure enough it was there- 584 yard par 4

Water truck would come and fill 55 gallon barrels behind each green, then they would water greens with sprinkler cams- walking back and forth across greens.

Ernie could never figure out the wear and tear on the greens from Smitty putting at night by lantern light.

Pioneer Par Cracker at Ely Park- tough sporty layout- shot 70- 2 under perfect figures- par had never been equaled before.

Match play championship at Ely- 600 largest gallery watch hilltop play the newspaper headlines screamed.

Al has been a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) since July 7, 1937- over 66 years ago!

Went into the service 1942/3

Came back in 1946- worked for Ely for 1 season, then IBM

Been in PGA for 66 years- joined in 1937 at Ely Park

Very successful life in golf

1939- drove to Arizona with Ralph Sweethour?- stayed all winter- lost job at Ely Park

Shawnee CC, Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pa.- thanked all those whose donations have made his trip possible.- July 1938.

Hooking badly wee Bobby Cruishank- double finger overlap grip

National PGA championship 8 times

1939 PGA Championship at Pomonok CC, Flushing NY- won by Henry Picard. Al Morley was the first Central New Yorker to qualify for the event and qualify for the match play. Morley was defeated in the first round by Tom O’Connor. This was also Ben Hogan’s very first PGA Championship!

1942 PGA Championship at Seaview CC, Atlantic City, NJ- won by Sam Snead

1955 PGA Championship at Meadowbrook CC, Northville, Michigan- won by Doug Ford

1964 PGA Championship at Columbus CC, Columbus. Ohio- won by Bobby Nichols

1965 PGA Championship at Laurel Valley GC, Ligonier, Pa- won by Dave Marr (8th)

1966 PGA Championship at Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio- won by Al Geiberger

1971 PGA Championship at PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach, Florida- won by Jack Nicklaus

CLICK HERE for Ely Park’s Al Morley is in the PGA Championship Record Book for ALL-TIME!

Won five (5) Central New York PGA Championship including three in a row (1964-1966); his last in 1971.

Ran Sidney, NY GC one year

Tried Link Aviator

IBM 1953- 1980

Right hand man for 15 years

Head golf Pro for 12 years- known as the “Silver Fox”

BCC competitive course record of 66- record shattering

Shot 63 at Ely Park with an ace on the first hole-220 yard par 3.

1977 International 4 ball

Played with Ben Hogan 2X- Ligoneer 1965

6/27/54 exhibition with Ben Hogan at IBM

Then again in 1965 at Laurel Valley- putting green story; called him by name.

1953 at IBM; retired in 1980 after 27 years

Photo Credit: Joe Danvers

Photo Credit: Joe Danvers

First wife died in 1975- Rita Morley- a consistent winner hereabouts- 1951

picture in paper winning the Al Sweeney Tourney at Ely Park

Remarried in 1984- Joan; widower of Pete Reuter; Johnny Hart’s character “Pete”

Life of service- Red Cross benefit exhibition at Ely Park; Aug 7, 1938

Triple Cities Professional Golf Match Benefit Salvation Army at Ely Park.

Once known also as “Mortimer Snerd”…..


Passed Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at age 89 at his Vestal residence survived by his wife M. Joan Morley who passed September 9, 2019 at age 86.

Member of Our Lady of Sorrows Church

Golf Professional at IBM CC retiring after 28 years of service,

Sixty-eight (68) year member of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA of America).

Played in 8 major PGA Championships.

Veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S. Army.


Personal Testimonies & Memories of Al Morley:

I worked with Mr. Morley at IBM CC during summers from college. He always treated us “ kids” with respect. We had no idea of his accomplishments then, just that he was kind to us. Thank you for enlightening us. My husband worked there as well before he was hired permanently for IBM Endicott. Retired after a 41 year career. Those were the days…”—Maureen Schenone Kadlecik (Facebook Comment; 1-16-21)

Al was a great friend of our family’s. Always brought my Mom trout back from his fishing camp trips up near Delhi. Loved the fishing, didn’t care about the eating. I think he may have played in a U.S. Open? Might be wrong, and limited to PGA’S”—Joe Ringwood


Newspaper/Photo Credit: Joe Danvers