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A Well-Rounded Volunteer

(November 12, 2021) – In 2016 Eric Besman retired from a 30-year career as an actuary at The Hartford. He had talked over the decision with his wife Lisa of nearly 30-years and they agreed it was time. However, there was one catch that Besman had to navigate.

“My wife told me, ‘I 100% support you retiring but you have to have a plan. You aren’t going to sit around the house all day and drive yourself crazy.’ I said that would be a good strategy because I am very good at sitting around and doing nothing,” Besman said.

During his career at The Hartford Besman worked with long-time CSGA volunteer Steve Basson and the wife of another long-time CSGA volunteer Jim Webb. All three told him volunteering with the organization might be something that he would be interested in once he retired.

“They explained what volunteering for the CSGA is like to me and I thought this would be an excellent thing to get into after I retire,” explained Besman.

Born in New Jersey, Besman moved to suburban Chicago when he was three-years-old, and fell in love with golf from the moment he was introduced to the game at the age of 10-years-old as a way to spend more time with his Dad.

“I just love golf and I feel like volunteering for the CSGA is a way for me to give back to the game because I have gotten so much out of it myself,” said Besman who moved to Connecticut after he graduated from the University of Illinois to work at The Hartford. 

Besman, a member at Glastonbury Hills Country Club since 1996, began volunteering with the CSGA in 2017 first as an on-course spotter and then eventually expanding his role to rules official and also course rater.

“Eric is an outstanding contributor to our volunteer team,” said Director of Member Services Bill Bigler. “In addition to being a great rules official, Eric has continued to improve his knowledge and skills as a course rater becoming a valued team leader.”

However, for Besman volunteering isn’t about the recognition it’s about giving back. In fact, when Besman isn’t working at CSGA events or traveling with his wife Lisa he is volunteering his time with other organizations throughout the state including at Protector of Animals, an animal shelter in East Hartford, and with FISH, an organization that provides transportation for people who can’t drive to doctor appointments.

That desire to simply give back is why when Besman learned that he had been named the 2021 CSGA Volunteer of the Year he was shocked.

“It actually is a humbling experience to know that there are some people out there that appreciate the time that I put into it and the work that I do. It is always good to be told you are doing a good job,” said Besman. “It feels really good and renews your enthusiasm for the activities. I’ve met a lot of volunteers since I have been out here that are really good guys and they are probably more deserving of this honor than I am. But it was definitely very heartwarming.”

About the Connecticut State Golf Association

The Connecticut State Golf Association functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.