We have had some outstanding brother combinations compete on the North Shore and beyond through the years.
Among the best have been the Turners from St. John’s Prep and Bass Rocks (both now at Dartmouth), the DiLisios of Swampscott and Salem CC, the Mays boys from Masconomet and Ferncroft, the Clark twins from Salem High and Beverly Golf and Tennis, the Johnsons from Boxford and the Prep.
And, dating back several decades, there are the O’Keefes and Whalleys, both of Lynnfield, the Prep and Colonial. Go way back and you must include the Gillis brothers, also from Bass Rocks, who became outstanding head professionals, NEPGA Hall of Famer Bob at Bass Rocks and Jim at Portland.
We can’t omit the prominent brother-sister combo the Augers of Beverly Golf and Tennis. Robin starred at Bishop Fenwick and Albie excelled at the Prep.
Based on their recent play and unlimited potential, don’t be surprised in the least if we add the Emmerich brothers of Swampscott, St. Mary’s of Lynn and Kernwood to this
impressive group of achievers.
To bring you up to date, Christian, 17, shot a one-under-par 69 last fall at Wyantenuck Country Club in Great Barrington to win the MIAA Division 3 state individual title in 40-degree weather and in the process led the Spartans to the Division 3 state team championship.
Not to be outdone, Aiden, a 14-year-old eighth grader, was equally impressive last fall in winning the Catholic Central League individual title with a two-over-par 72 at Larry
Gannon Municipal in Lynn. The year before he shot 73 and finished second by a single shot.
“They are special kids with special golf potential,” said Jay Fiste, their coach at St. Mary’s. “They are all-in dedicated to golf. They receive excellent instruction from the professional staff at Kernwood. I’m not surprised either of them won those individual titles. They both played well all season and shot scores around par time after time.”
Christian and Aiden are actually the second and third Emmerich brothers to play for Fiste. Maximilian “Max” Emmerich, now playing as a freshman for the McDaniel College golf team in Westminster, Maryland, was a major Spartans’ contributor before graduating a year ago.
Christian, a lean 5-foot 10-inch, 130-pounder, has continued the recent teenage hold on the Kernwood club championship, beating Max for the men’s title last summer, at the same time edging Aiden for the Junior club championship.
“My short iron play seems to have carried me quite a bit the last couple years,” said Christian, an A student at St. Mary’s who works regularly at Kernwood with assistant professional Keith Bursey. “I just hope I can keep improving.”
As solid a short game as Christian has, Aiden, said Fiste, “has the best short game of anybody I’ve coached in my nine years at St. Mary’s and my five years before that as Lynn
Classical coach. He can get up and down from anywhere because he’s a great putter and an even better chipper.
“They both have good swings, good all-around games. I see them both on upward trajectories for a lot of years.”
Most important for the time being, Fiste can look forward to having Christian, No. 1 in 2017, for one more season come September, Aiden, who played No. 2 last fall, for four more years.
Kernwood head pro Frank Dully envisions major success
for Christian and Aiden. “Kitchy (Christian) is ultra talented in my estimation, our youngest men’s club champ ever,” said former NEPGA Section champ Dully. “He’s quiet but
with a fire burning inside to get better; a silent assassin in competition.
“Benny (Aiden) is talented way beyond his years,” Dully noted. “Like his brother, he’s willing to practice, practice, practice to get better. He’s got the personality of a grownup.”
“My dad got me started when I was 10, and I’ve been chasing my older brothers on the course ever since,” said Aiden,
the 5-foot 1-inch, 90-pounder who works with Kernwood assistant pro Craig Pitman and Dully. “Golf is fun for me, but I like competing, too, and I’m not afraid to take chances.”
Their father, David, who admittedly struggles to break 90, is thrilled his three boys have developed into skilled players at such a young age. “I’m particularly proud of their dedication and focus – all three of them – when there are so many other sports they could be playing,” David said. “My plan was to give them access to a top-notch golf facility and see what they wanted to do. Much to my surprise, after a couple years, they all got hooked and they seem to be loving every day of it, whether it’s practice for several hours or being on the course, And Kernwood is a great course. They’ve decided to make golf their lives outside their family and studies.”
Whether their daughter, Gretchen, 11, embraces her brothers’ enthusiasm for the game, only time will tell.
But for the moment, the Emmerich brothers are the junior players to watch around these parts.