DERRY — Tony Zdunko is coming home to the course he played as a junior golfer.
Hoodkroft Country Club named Zdunko, a 1979 Pinkerton Academy graduate, as head pro for the 2013 season. He succeeds longtime pro Rich Berberian, who retired.
“It’s cool,” Zdunko said of his return to the course he played as a schoolboy golfer at Pinkerton. “I was a member here as a kid, growing up. Then I worked for Rich. He hired me as his assistant.”
The Berberian influence remains at Hoodkroft. His son, Rich Berberian Jr., is assisting Zdunko in the pro shop. Matt Dizzazo, a Pelham High graduate, is returning as course superintendent.
The hiring of Zdunko, 52, pleased the Hoodkroft board of directors.
“We’re very happy,” charter Hoodkroft member and past president Ed Holm said. “Tony knows a lot of the members from the past. He grew up in Derry, he went to Pinkerton. That’s a big advantage.”
Zdunko lives in Hampton now, but his mother, Judy Zdunko-Blair, still lives in Derry.
He is an experienced pro whose professional travels recently took him through golf equipment sales with Dick’s Sporting Goods. But he has served as pro in the past with Campbell’s Scottish Highlands in Salem and Brookstone golf course in Derry.
PGA pro Rob Hardy of Pelham, territory manager for equipment maker Adams Golf, said Hoodkroft is bringing back one of its prized possessions.
“They are lucky to have him,” Hardy said.
Weather permitting, the nine-hole, par-36 Hoodkroft will open for the season this week.
Zdunko has no big changes in store for the Phil Wogan-designed layout.
“I can’t see any big changes,” Zdunko said. “We’re going to try to grow the game, increase the customer base and try to get some outing business.”
Hoodkroft has about 250 members, Berberian said.