Getting to know Michael Sullivan

On December 7, 2016, Michael J. Sullivan was elected as the Metropolitan Golf Association's 63rd President at the Association's 119th Annual Meeting and Dinner. Sullivan, 54, is no stranger to holding a leadership position in golf, having served as president of the Long Island Caddie Scholarship Fund and the Long Island Golf Association. He has also been a member of the MGA Executive Committee since 2010 and was elected treasurer in 2013 before serving as vice president in 2015 and 2016.

Golf has played a large role in Sullivan's life, as he was introduced to the game by his father at a young age. Recognizing the impact that golf has had own his own life, Sullivan takes pride in giving back to the game and is excited for his time as MGA president.

What were some of the most important lessons you learned as a caddie?  
Being a caddie, you quickly learn hard work and patience and especially how the system works. The caddie yard really is a microcosm of the world. You begin at the bottom, but if you work hard you’ll earn your rate and then have decisions to make as to what you want out of the experience. I also made lifelong friends in the caddie yard. That was evident at last year’s member-guest at Garden City Country Club, where out of 60 members competing, 20 grew up as caddies at the club.
Who has influenced your passion for golf and what aspects fed to your attraction to the game?
My dad introduced me to the game of golf at the age of six and I grew to enjoy it through public access at Christopher Morley Park. I earned access to Garden City Country Club as a caddie and my attraction grew from there, especially being around the people and having an atmosphere where I could both play and learn.
What do you see as the most underrated benefits of playing golf?  
With golf, you learn the humility of failure but have a never-ending desire to improve. It’s a game that is of course enjoyable and fun, but is also something that can provide you with lessons that will serve you well in all aspects of life.
Do you feel golf is more accessible for more people today, than ever before?
Golf is very accessible today. The challenge is helping find ways for people to first get introduced to the game and then for it to be enjoyed at every level. It's also important for people to have the opportunity to play in smaller amounts of time. There are a lot of people looking to get more involved, but with busy lives the time commitment can deter them from playing more.
What are you most looking forward to in your role as MGA President?
It’s an honor to be involved and on the board of the MGA, let alone be President. Continuity of the 119-year mission and history of the MGA is every president’s priority. In addition to our Foundation, GOLFWORKS and our work with area Caddie Scholarship programs will always be in focus for me. It will be fun representing the Met Area in all aspects of the game.

Presidential Profile

College: St. John's University, Class of 1984

Current Handicap Index: 3.2

Number of rounds played in 2016: 35+

Career low score: -3, 69 at Redstick Golf Club

Hobbies outside of golf: Skiing

Favorite course played outside of the Met Area: Waterville in Ireland

Most reliable club in your bag: Driver

Favorite golf movie: Caddyshack

Most common swing thought: Tempo

A favorite quote: "Fail to prepare, prepare for fail."

Preferred snack on the course: Quest bar

Favorite personal golf memory: When my daughter first beat me in May 2015, she shot 73 and I shot 76