By BOB WEINER
NISKAYUNA — Niskayuna resident Chad Stoffer is having a breakout season on the golf course, but he remains well under the radar among the area’s premier players.
That’s just fine with him.
The 42-year-old employee of Ballston Spa National Bank is a multitalented athlete who played quarterback on the Union College football team, graduating in 1995.
But these days, he consistently finishes among the top players in virtually every golf tournament in which he competes.
“I was thinking about this just the other day, and I was trying to figure out why I’m playing so well this year,” said Stoffer. “Maybe it’s the fact that I’m playing in more tournaments this year. I’ve certainly managed to avoid the bad round. Regardless of the course I play on, I tend to find a way to make par. From a consistency standpoint, if you can make par, even on the toughest courses, you’re going to be OK.”
Although he rarely turns in an extremely low score with bundles of birdies, Stoffer is currently third on the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association point list, which gives points to every local player who competes in the scratch events.
“I’ve been hitting the ball fairly decently, and I’m putting pretty well,” he said. “I’m also playing a little more on weekends these days.”
Stoffer’s best finish in a local scratch tournament was winning last year’s Tri-County Golf Association Match Play Championship at Colonie Golf & Country Club. It’s considered one of the major events on the schedule. He also finished second several years ago in the Gazette County Amateur at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. “The Tri-County tournament was definitely my best tournament, but I’ve played well in most of the County Amateurs,” he said.
“I usually play well in tougher conditions. The year I finished second in the County Amateur, I shot 68 in the final round and came up one shot behind Jim Mueller. That was fun, because we both played so well.”
Stoffer has been playing golf since his father cut down a club when he was just 2 years old. He played quite a bit of golf as a youngster in his native Oswego and also played varsity golf for Oswego Central, although he also competed in football, baseball, soccer and basketball.
After playing quarterback for the Union College football team, he took a job in Boston for a year after he graduated. He returned to the Capital Region in 1999.
He joined The Edison Club and once again started playing golf regularly. Now, he plays his golf throughout the region, most notably at Town of Colonie Golf Course and Schenectady Municipal.
“I love the game, but when October comes around, I used to be a little down because it was the end of golf season,” he said. “But a few years ago, I joined the Schenectady Curling Club. Now, I’ve got something to do when golf season ends. It’s fantastic.”
When he’s not on the golf course, the softball field or on the curling ice, Stoffer is spending quality time with his family, which includes wife Marcie, 15-year-old son Owen and 11-year-old daughter Elizabeth.