Junior phenom

Walking down the fairways of Hidden Valley Golf Club in Utica 15 years ago, one might have seen a seven-year-old golf prodigy hitting from the men’s tees. That seven-year-old was Dustin Farley and his love for golf did not stop there.

From his early childhood start, to his spot on the Oswego State men’s golf team, Farley has seldom missed an opportunity to hit the links. Coming from a family of four competitive brothers, golf was just another sport the boys could compete in.

“I always wanted to be around my brothers, so I just went to the course with them and played with them. Then I started playing in different groups behind them, and eventually did it on my own,” Farley said. “When I started to beat my family and friends, I knew I had something with the sport.”

Farley started to play in small junior tournaments around the area and he eventually joined the Mohawk Valley Jr. Golf Tour, all before the age of 12. Farley went through the tour, winning numerous tournaments up until he was 16, when he ended his tour career with a bang.

“When I was 16, I won my age division for the whole tour,” Farley said.

Golf was not the only sport Farley played growing up. He and his brothers Derek, Drew and Dave were involved in no shortage of activities. All four brothers played hockey, baseball and golf. Dustin and his twin brother Derek played lacrosse as well. Since lacrosse, baseball and golf were all spring sports, Dustin was faced with a tough decision when entering high school. He chose golf and his decision turned out to be a great one.

“We did not lose a single match in my high school career,” Farley said.

After high school, Farley attended Mohawk Valley Community College with his twin brother Derek to play hockey and golf.

Derek went on to play for the Oswego State men’s club hockey team, but Dustin ended his hockey career after his freshman season after an eye opening experience on the ice.

“During my freshmen year of hockey at college, I took a slap shot to the ear and decided to just focus on the sport I was better at, which was golf,” said Farley.

At MVCC, Farley qualified for the national golf tournament in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Farley finished in the top 20 both years, giving him the honor of becoming an All-American, ranking seventh in the country for the NJAA.

When it came time to transfer out of MVCC, Farley decided to continue his golf career, continuing his education with his twin brother Derek at Oswego State.

Becoming the Oswego State player of the week and never posting a score over 80, Farley has proved himself to be a dominant player for the Lakers. Farley and the Lakers have put up a decent opening to the season, winning the Keuka Invitational on Sept. 13.

“Oswego golf is very fun,” Farley said. “I think we are very fortunate to play at Oswego Country Club, it is a very nice course.”

Farley admits the competition is a step up at the Division III level, but he is up for the challenge. From a seven-year-old tag along, to a collegiate golfer, Farley has cherished every chance he could to play the game.

“Golf lets me get away from all my problems and it is a sport that I will be decent at and can play my whole life,” Farley said.

Farley posted a team-best 77 at the season opening Potsdam Invitational, helping Oswego State secure second-place. The following tournament at the Canton Invitational, Farley posted another 77, including a 35 on the back nine.

Oswego State won the Keuka Fall Invitational Title on Sept. 13 in large part because of Farley’s top 10 score of 79. Three other Oswego State golfers place in the top 10 that tournament, including senior Nick Sterling, who finished with a score of 76, which was second among all golfers.

At the Sept. 17 home invitational tournament, Farley shot another 79 and helped Oswego State finish in a tie for third in what was certainly the most competitive tournament of the young season.

Farley and the Lakers will have one more tournament for the fall season in Elmira on Sept. 25, before traveling to Rochester for the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Championships in October.