(December 2, 2022) – As the saying goes the more things change the more they stay the same. On the golf course for Cody Paladino that couldn’t be more true. In 2022 Paladino put together another stellar season on his way to winning his third consecutive and fifth overall Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year award.
In May Paladino won his first CSGA major since regaining his amateur status in 2020 when he captured the Russell C. Palmer Cup at Wampanoag Country Club.
“What stands out [from the Palmer Cup] is probably how difficult the conditions were, especially on the second day. I remember how special that closing stretch was, knowing that I had a pretty sizable lead,” Cody Paladino said. “Then coming up the 18th hole and seeing a pretty big crowd around the green. It was a pretty special moment.”
Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year Standings
At the end of July Paladino was part of the final group at the Connecticut Open before finishing as the low amateur in a tie for fifth. He then capped his CSGA season with a runner-up showing at the Connecticut Mid-Amateur. Mixed in were two early season victories in One Day events.
“The CSGA events are a huge part of my golf life,” said Paladino. “It matters a great deal having been born and raised in Connecticut and playing CSGA events. They are what really inspired me to play golf and pursue it at a high level.”
The success for the 33-year-old wasn’t limited to CSGA events. In his title defense at the New England Amateur, he tied for 12th and on the national stage, he medaled at U.S. Open Local Qualifying, made the cut at the Northeast Amateur, and then qualified for his second consecutive U.S. Mid-Amateur.
While it remains business as usual on the course, off the course Paladino’s life continues to evolve. In 2020 Paladino was continuing to adjust to life after professional golf. He was settling into his job at Lyle Health and figuring out where and how competitive golf would fit into his life. Last year he was planning for a wedding and this year Paladino was preparing for the arrival of his first child.
“The balance between golf and everything else was definitely something I had to learn the last few years,” Paladino said. “It was never anything I had to worry about as a professional because pretty much the whole day was at my disposal. I am very fortunate that my wife Anna is very understanding, loving, and supportive.”
Paladino’s golf season never truly ends. The tournament season may come to a close but Paladino spends countless hours practicing each winter.
“Luckily last winter I had early morning access to a TrackMan indoors [at my home club, the Hartford Golf Club] to hit balls almost every day,” Paladino said. “I try to hit balls an hour or two before work in the mornings, a little bit more on the weekends, I have a putting green in my basement that I practice on in the winter. But that is all best case scenario. In the winter you work with what you got.”
Once the season begins the grind intensifies, “in the summer time it is a little bit more of an early morning routine which is pretty common for mid-amateurs. There are only so many hours in a day and I work a normal schedule so that leaves a handful of hours at the beginning and end of the day. I’ll come in the morning and work on my short game and then come in the evening and hit balls or vice versa. Your options are early morning or late at night.”
However, despite all the off course changes that Paladino has experienced in recent years no adjustment will be as significant as the birth of his first child born in early November. With it will come all the joys and excitement of parenthood. It will also usher in a change in priorities.
“I’ve heard from multiple people that say playing competitive golf is really what you want, and traveling to events but actually your desires are going to change,” Paladino said. “Which is hard for me to admit as someone who has been so golf driven for so long. But that is okay. I think I am starting to come to terms with that a little bit and mature in that regard and understand that golf is always going to be part of my life but maybe not as dominant. Actually, I hope that it isn’t. Having children is going to be a whole new and wonderful experience to share with Anna so hopefully, golf is going to take a little bit of a backseat and I am actually okay with that.”
Although golf might take a bit of a backseat Paladino still has a list of goals that he hopes to accomplish and sees now as his time to capitalize. At the top of that list is winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
“Winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur was a big impetus for me to get my amateur status back,” explained Paladino. “All the things that would come with winning a U.S. Mid-Amateur would fulfill and check off a lot of dreams and goals for me. Those would be to play in a major championship, play in a PGA Tour event, and make a cut in a major. Those are goals that I want to accomplish for myself in the next few years.”
Accomplishing those goals is more than attainable. Some things might change along the way but that just makes what stays the same that much sweeter.
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.