So many of today’s golfers are churned out of mills like iPhones on an assembly line. Many know not what a hard day’s work is really like, and instead glide to the tee with so little on their minds. It is all so much simpler for them. They, like those shiny, new iPhones… are smooth as silk. It’s all so easy…. But in there somewhere are the few and far between, who know better, and instead grind away at the bit, looking to ascend to newer heights. They know they must work harder, to beat their machine-line opponents, and don’t complain. They never had life served up to them on silver platters, but instead snatched it whenever, wherever, and however they could. They are our homespun heroes, and as rare as they may be, they still exist, and a few of them live right in our own backyards. Jimmy Romaniello is one of them.
He know’s what it is like to have his face planted in dirt. He’s tasted the topsoil his Titleist AP2 irons interact with everyday. He gets to it, close and personal, and he likes it. Having grown up on Stamford’s east side, where he might’ve used his knuckles to survive, and likely everything else in his arsenal as a matter of course… like speed, smarts, instincts, and a lot of nerve… he pushed himself to the top. He learned early on that while victory is sweet, and there are many roads to it, sometimes you need to get your hands dirty along the way. Jimmy Romaniello is one of those people. He wasn’t afraid of the taste of dirt on the gridiron, and he certainly isn’t afraid of it now. He just prefers to order the prosciutto instead!
“I played sports all my life,” Romaniello told columnist Tom Renner, on April 12, 2012, in his article, Stamford Golfer Rocks on Course, In Business.. “It’s in my system,” the Shorehaven member, and Sterling Farms golfer, said of his days on Westhill’s football field back in 1974. But rather than winnowing away all of his youthful years in a locker room, he went for the footlights instead. “Romaniello was a standout football player,” Renner wrote, “but bypassed his senior year to start his band.”
Jimmy knew early on that prosciutto tasted a whole lot better than dirt, and while he may have come from the school of hard knocks, his eyes were always darting toward that Lamborghini! “You wanted to make it, to be a rock star,” Romaniello told Olivia Just in her Stamford Advocate story, “Ex-Fast Fingers frontman marks 40 years in entertainment business,” on August 22, 2014. “Like the Beatles.”
Fame has its price, and whether you are Tiger Woods, Paul McCartney, or Jimmy Romaniello there are always obstacles between you, the top of the leaderboard, or music charts. It’s how you manage those obstacles that is key. While he never did become a Beatle, he aimed high, and has found success with what has evolved from that high school band into what came to be called James Daniel Entertainment. ‘James’, because his name is “Jimmy”, and ‘Daniel’ after his late friend and bandmate, Daniel Carlucci.
It all began back at Westhill in 1974, when the two, along with Ted Hartlett and Rob Riolo, formed Fast Fingers. The paying gigs followed, and as the years sped by they morphed themselves into a thriving enterprise that has withstood the test of time, like fine wine. Carlucci, a Stamford Amateur champion in his own right, first started Jimmy golfing at Hubbard Heights when the latter was 30 years old, a relative late bloomer.
Soon he was breaking 80, and like for most of us, he got the bug. “I love the game,” Jimmy explained. “I just want to do all I can as long as I can,” he told me, while seated at the table over by Zody’s recently.”
To that end Jimmy practices two hours most days, stretches for half an hour each morning, has a fitter and golf coach, a full schedule of tournaments on his calendar, and even maintains a file for every golf course he plays, with notes on each hole scribbled on the scorecard.
That level of dedication came out of some early successes in local events, first with club championships at E. Gaynor Brennan and Sterling Farms, then in winning the senior division of the Cape Cod Amateur in 2010.
Right here in his hometown, he has been described as a “perennial contender” in the Stamford Amateur golf championship for years, often in the wake of his friend and fellow Shorehaven Golf Club member, six-time Stamford Amateur champion Jason Jaworoski.
“Romaniello— who has a plethora of top-five finishes but no Stamford Amateur titles—has a novel solution to finally get past Jaworoski,” wrote Rich Depreta, at the conclusion of this year’s Stamford Amateur, in his story in the Stamford Advocate on June 23, 2019. “When you win the Stamford Amateur six times, you shouldn’t be able to play in the tournament anymore,” Romaniello laughed.
But in spite of his Stamford Amateur nemesis, and friend Jaworoski, Jimmy has enjoyed great success, winning both the Westchester Golf Association (WGA) Senior Amateur Golf Championship and the Danbury (CT) Senior Amateur Championship in 2017. Those two victories gained him elite status in the senior ranks when the WGA named him as their 2017 Senior Amateur Player of the Year.
It was a very good year, 2017, but hardly the end-all, as Jimmy aims higher, setting his sights on the best of the best. “I’m still learning but I always want to dream big,” he told Stamford Advocate sports writer, Rich DePreta, in that journalist’s article, Romaniello is 2017 WGA Senior Amateur Player of the Year, published on April 5, 2018. ” I try to play golf with the best players in the state, best in the tri-state area and the best in the country,” he explains. “I want to see how good I can be before my body doesn’t let me do this at a high level anymore. Every day of golf can be special,” he told DePreta.
Jimmy is now pitting himself against Senior golf’s very best, and not just here in Connecticut, but all over the country. The competitive fields he’s chosen consist of household names… players who’ve been on TV forever, and even won majors.
It’s a tall order, but then Jimmy likes it touch. He’s not afraid to mix it up, even with the big boys., and he’s banking on himself—numero uno—and giving it his best shot. In 1938, Atherdon Hobler sought to build a herd of Guersney cows that would eventually become some of America’s best. He was an ad executive by trade, but came home each night and dug into the soil with his bare hands. He knew the taste of dirt. A lot of people here in Stamford can identify with that kind of bold, daring vision, and unashamed, no-nonsense work ethic. Time will only tell where the ball will land for Jimmy, but he’s cut from the same cloth, so let’s hope it falls right into the cup for him.
From the desk of Paul grillo, executive director, Stamford Golf Authority
Welcome to Sterling Farms Golfer. Over the past five decades, Sterling Farms has evolved into one of the premiere golf destinations anywhere in the region. We continually strive to maintain, if not exceed, that distinction, and know we owe it all to our Stamford families, friends and neighbors, as well as our patrons like you. Now is the best time of the year to play our spectacular 18 hole championship golf course. Our Golf Course Superintendent, Mike Golden, and his whole team, are leaders in the world of greenkeeping, and we are very proud of the quality of their hard work. I think you'll find our putting greens, fairways, tees, roughs—and every landscape feature here—reflects their devotion and hard work. It is spectacular. Sterling Farms is home to the area's top driving range facility. You won't find a better value, or level of quality, anywhere! We take great pride and joy serving you, and our local community. On behalf of all of us here at Sterling Farms, welcome and thank you!