GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK | Among elite amateurs, playing in the Walter J. Travis Invitational makes this week in mid-May one of the most special times of the year. For the chance to tee it up on the superb Garden City Golf Club track on which it is contested. For the opportunity to compete with top golfers from around the country. And for the privilege of visiting a place that is as historic as it is hospitable – and that delights in staging an event members say is all about “the spirit of friendship, the integrity of fair play and the keen sense of competition.” Fifty-one-year-old Long Island native Pat Fogarty likes Travis week as much as anyone. Only his affection for the event, which ranks among the top amateur invitationals in the country, goes well beyond playing. That’s because the Garden City member and married father of three also serves as tournament chairman. “Of course, I love competing in the Travis, and I always want to do well,” says Fogarty, a real-estate professional who works in New York City. “But for me, the week is also about taking good care of the contestants. This year, we have 120 players from 30 states, and we want them to feel like they are a part of Garden City, and to get to know us as they also get to know each other.” While Fogarty sits in the chairman’s chair, he is but one wheel of a welcome wagon that includes roughly 55 member volunteers, some of whom have been doing that job for decades, and about 40 staffers from Garden City, who cheerfully put in hundreds of hours of overtime for the tournament. “We want it to be The Masters of amateur golf,” he says. “We want to run it extremely well, and we always strive to do better.” Fogarty’s biggest job each year is assembling the field. “As a rule, we look for very good guys who also are good golfers and fit in nicely with the culture of the club and the tournament,” he says. Fogarty is a good example of that sort of golfer, someone with whom you would want to tee it, and also share a post-round beverage.