Eight years ago at the Maccabiah Games, Lawrence resident Sharon Hoffman won a gold medal for the Team USA golf team and this summer she travelled to Israel again in hopes of winning another one.
The Maccabiah Games, held from July 17 to 30, consists of various sports such as baseball, volleyball and rugby and is the third largest sports competition, behind the Olympics and the Pan American Games, which are held every four years in the year before the summer Olympic Games.
Hoffman, a 16-year Lawrence resident, won two at this summer’s 19th annual Maccabiah Games; one gold for the Team USA Ladies Masters and an individual silver medal. “It’s a very, very big deal, especially to represent the USA and be Jewish and be in Israel,” she said. “It’s very special.”
Originally taking up golf nearly 25 years ago, Hoffman was in search of a sport that she could play with her husband, Gary. “We took up golf together but I took it to another level,” Hoffman said.
Gary, who plays golf twice a week, said his wife’s golfing accomplishments are truly incredible. “I’m numb to it already; she has more trophies than she knows what to do with,” he said. “The way she plays is amazing and she’s very hard on herself and diligent about the game.”
The six-year member of the Hewlett Harbor-based Seawane Country Club said she holds the course record of 69 and won the Club Championship there in mid-August. “People at the Seawane Club really respect me and I have gotten such a warm reception from everyone there when I won,” she said.
Marion Steinberg, a 38-year member of the Seawane Club, said everyone at the club is thrilled at Hoffman’s accomplishments. “We’re all so proud of her and she’s a very prestigious golfer to have as a member,” Steinberg said. “We’re all rooting for her.”
Playing a male dominated sport doesn’t faze Hoffman. “It’s a great feeling, because even now it’s not so easy and a lot of times clubs are still very male oriented and the sport is still male oriented,” she said.
When Hoffman returned home from the Maccabiah Games, she travelled to Westchester to see if she could once again qualify for the U.S. Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship, which she competed in Florida four years ago.
Later this month, Hoffman will compete at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. from Sept. 21 – 26. “I feel like I’m on a ride and I haven’t gotten off,” she said. “This has definitely been my best year in golf.”