Physically, ‘Little Lenny’ did not measure up. At 5-6 ½, 140 pounds, he never stood tall on the tee.
But how do you measure courage, guts and — oh, could that guy play golf!
Lenny Lasinsky never wanted to talk about his physical condition; that he did not have a healthy kidney or golf was limited by a life of dialysis and transfusions.
Born in 1967 in Syracuse, raised in Baldwinsville, Lenny had a golf club in his hands at age 3. As a kid, he enjoyed baseball more and was an all-star shortstop/pitcher. But golf is where he’d truly make his mark athletically.
In 1985, he received something he’d never had — a healthy kidney. Less than two years later, his body rejected the kidney. And so there would always be the question … what if? How good might he have been?
Health concerns notwithstanding, Lenny — who played at Radisson Greens and Foxfire -- accomplished what no golfer has done, or likely will ever do: From 1989-92, he won 4 consecutive Herald Amateurs, the first jewel in this district’s Triple Crown. Pressure? What pressure! He won two of the four in playoffs.
Back in 1983, Lenny won the State Junior Championship. A crowning moment came eight years later. With tees back, pins tucked and 3 shots off the pace, he fired a final-round, 3-under-par 69 at Rochester’s Brook-Lea Country Club to reign as 1991 New York State Men’s Amateur champ.
He was District Player of the Year. He played in the prestigious Porter Cup. And collegiately, the former B’ville High star was Big South 1st Team all-conference at Coastal Carolina, playing for former Oswego State coach Tom Brennan.
Lenny, who underwent 3 transplants, moved to Florida in 1997. He won the 2001 Venice city title and countless Best Ball events with college roommate Charlie Walters Jr., who established a scholarship tournament in his name.
In 2007, at age 39, Lenny passed away. But now, Len Lasinsky, Jr rightly becomes a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2017.