He grew up in New Britain, Ct. and learned to play the game at Stanley Golf Course. At the time, most of the regulars probably didn’t know just how good little Dick Siderowf would become.
The now 82-year-old Westport, Ct. resident, considered one of the top amateur golfers in the 20th century and winner of two British Amateur titles, hasn’t slowed down much since those days as a youngster prowling the Stanley layout. He is still winning. Maybe it’s $5 Nassaus from his buddies at The Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., but his competitive spirit hasn’t waned. He also continues to work as a stockbroker.
“I play to about a seven handicap and I’m still good enough to take a few bucks from the boys,” he recently said with a chuckle. “Of course, I’m playing from the more forward tees these days. The other day I shot a 78.” Yep, bested his age, not an easy thing to do.
A Duke University graduate, Siderowf is best known for his two British Amateur titles won during a four-year span in the mid-1970’s. In 1973, he won at Royal Porthcawl in Whales and then captured his second British “Am” at the revered Old Course at St. Andrew’s in Scotland in 1976, you know “the birthplace of golf”. “I guess that was a top highlight of my career, winning at the Old Course,” he said. “It went to extra holes and I was fortunate enough to win on the first extra hole.” Bobby Jones would have been proud.
Siderowf also won numerous other amateur tournaments, including the Connecticut Amateur three times and the Northeast Amateur twice. He also captured the Canadian Amateur, the New England Amateur, the Sunnehana Amateur, and the Azalea Invitational. Siderowf was involved with five winning Walker Cup teams and played in a number of Masters and U.S. Opens as an amateur, missing out by a single stroke on being low amateur one sweet spring at The Masters. He is, quite naturally, a member of the Connecticut State Golf Association Hall of Fame
Deciding against a career as a professional, which he was certainly more than capable of pursuing, Siderowf went into business and never looked back. “The guys just weren’t making the money back then that they are now. When I won my British Amateur titles I was in my mid to late 30’s and I had already established a career as a stockbroker.” But that didn’t mean he stopped playing the game he loved and was so proficient at whenever his busy business calendar allowed.
As mentioned, he knocks ‘em around these days at the Century Country Club, where he has been a member for 45 years, and occasionally at the Connecticut Golf Club in Easton, and at famed Seminole Golf Club when he is in Florida for a few months during the winter.
Siderowf, married 57 years to Topsy Siderowf, a highly respected golf writer, offered words of wisdom about the game. “When you spend four hours with someone on a golf course it tells you a lot about the person, how they react to adversity and handle success. The game exposes you. A famous writer, Alistair Cooke, said that golf is not a microcosm of life, life is a microcosm of golf.”
Older yes, but Dick Siderowf continues to be a handful to his opponents.