(November 17, 2023) – For the fourth straight year and the sixth time in his career Cody Paladino has won the Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year award.
“It is something that I am incredibly proud of,” Cody Paladino said. “The CSGA is such an important part of my life. I think as I am getting older I am realizing how important the CSGA is to me. I have been getting more involved with it and growing deeper relationships with people on the staff and the volunteers. So, for me to be someone that carries that title is very rewarding but also makes me appreciate being a part of the CSGA.”
On the course Paladino once again shined in CSGA events reaching the finals of the Connecticut Amateur, finishing second at the Connecticut Mid-Amateur while also finishing as the low amateur at the Connecticut Open. On the national stage Paladino returned to the U.S. Amateur for the first time since 2009 while also medaling at U.S. Open Local Qualifying and earning a spot in his third straight U.S. Mid-Amateur.
“For me my most memorable would probably be qualifying for the U.S Amateur again,” said Paladino a member at Hartford Golf Club. “It was a huge goal of mine and the last two years I had been the first alternate so of all the moments making it in the playoff was probably the most meaningful of the season.”
What made that moment and all of his on-course success in 2023 even more memorable was what happened off the course. In early November 2022 Paladino and his wife Anna welcomed their first child, Carter, and with it all the wonderful life-changing experiences.
“[Sharing these moments with Carter] is kind of surreal to be honest,” Paladino expressed. “Sometimes I still feel like I am still working on the early stages of my golf career. It has crossed my mind that I still have so much further to go with my golf journey and I am going to break out soon and I just have to keep going. Then you are standing there and you are holding a baby in your arms and you realize that you aren’t 23-24 and at the beginning of your golf journey. I am more maybe in the middle. So, it kind of makes me look at things a little differently. Not that it changes how hard I want to work and change my attitude or anything it just makes me reflect on my own life a lot. That I am much further along in my own life than I feel like I am.”
Even if Paladino is further along in life than he feels he still has a lengthy list of golf goals he hopes to accomplish. For Paladino achieving those goals will mean unlocking the key to what can allow him to be more successful in the biggest moments. “The USGA events are what I hold as the gold standard for myself and I think a lot of people would be in that same boat,” explained Paladino. “One thing I am trying to do is crack the code for myself on just how to be in the best frame of mind for those events because I put that much more emphasis on them but that doesn’t of course mean that you will play better. However, just because you want something more doesn’t make the result any more likely. I think that is what I am finding in the CSGA events as well. Wanting to win the Connecticut Amateur so badly and being in the final and showing up on the day of the finals and wanting it so much and I don’t think that is necessarily the formula for me to have the most success.”
For Paladino to continue to chase his golf dreams an enormous amount of credit goes to Anna and his entire supporting cast. “Anna has had a really challenging and stressful year workwise and so to have the opportunity to continue playing as many tournaments as I did she was doing everything she could to make it still work for me because she knows it is incredibly important to me. Juggling the schedule. Getting someone to watch Carter, getting the nanny to be there for 6 in the morning so I can go play [or having my mom help out]. It takes a lot of effort to keep doing what I am doing at this level at this stage in life and without Anna there is no way I would do it. I have to give her a lot of credit because she knows it is incredibly important to me.”
However, Paladino, who works as a Division Director of Permanent Placement for Lyle Health, has also learned how to appreciate life away from the golf course. “That is definitely something that I have learned from Anna. Just having some sort of balance in my life. Anna is a very social person whether it is going out to dinner, having people over the house, or going over other people’s houses, going on walks or hikes. [Those are] things that were never on my radar the first large chunk of my life. It was like if it is a nice day out and it is nice weather out why am I going for a hike when I can be at the golf course? I never felt like I had to be at the golf course but I wanted to be. If I was going to choose going for a hike or going to a golf course I would choose the golf course 100 times out of 100. But now I am starting to enjoy those things in life a little bit more. [I love] spending time with Anna, Carter, and Henry our dog. In October we went on our first family vacation to Vermont for four days. It was awesome. It was incredible.”
For Paladino, the word incredible is interchangeable with both his family life and play on the course. Talk about a winning combination.
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.