Archives for October 2012

2012 National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship

2012 National Car Rental Assistant PGA Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf
Nov. 1–4
Where: PGA Golf Club (Wanamaker Course), Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Defending Champion: Frank Bensel, Purchase, N.Y.
Format: 72 holes of stroke play. Following the first 36 holes, the field will be reduced to the lowest 70 scorers and ties. In the event of a tie for first place after 72 holes, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff.
What’s at Stake: $100,000 will be distributed to the 2012 field of 126 competitors. The champion will receive $9,000 and a spot in the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship next summer at Sunriver Resort in Oregon.

First- and second-round tee times (.pdf) | Championship field (.pdf) | Fact sheet (.pdf) 
Last Year: Relive Frank Bensel’s 2011 victory

TWITTER: Join the conversation at hashtag #2012AssistantChamp

For the 17th consecutive year, PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., will host the 2012 National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf, a national championship for 126 PGA assistant professionals and apprentices. The 2012 field will feature the top four finishers from last year’s Championship as well as 122 players who advanced through their PGA Section Championships.

For nearly 40 years, tournament has produced outstanding PGA Professionals who have gone onto successful careers in teaching and administering the game, as well as competing at the highest level. Past competitors or champions include: Loren Roberts (Champion, 1979); Fred Funk (Champion, 1984); Rich Beem (Third, 1998); and Tim Thelen (Champion, 2009).


Phelps of New York set to make history by completing rare “season triple”
It takes more than a proper alignment of the stars to complete Rob Phelps’ rare golf feat. The 54-year-old PGA assistant professional at Onondaga Golf Country Club in Fayetteville, N.Y., also has the game to earn a berth in three PGA of America National Championships in the same season. After playing in the PGA Professional National Championship in June and the Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship in October, he’ll wrap up his amazing trifecta this week.

Trio of 2011 runners-up looking to break through after near-miss last season
Scott Berliner of Albany, N.Y.; Tyler Hitchcock of Orlando, Fla.; and Richard Terga of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., were among five players who finished a single shot behind winner Frank Bensel last season. All three of them are seeking a bit of redemption – and, mostly, to improve their finish by one single, crucial spot, as they return to PGA Golf Club this week.

National Car Rental named official partner of PGA of America
National Car Rental has been named an Official Partner and the Official Rental Car of The PGA of America. The agreement features National Car Rental serving as the Official Rental Car of the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, an Official Partner of the 2012 and 2014 Ryder Cup and the title sponsor of the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship.

Cobra Puma Golf becomes presenting sponsor of PGA Assistant Championship
Cobra Puma Golf has announced a partnership with the PGA and National Car Rental to be the presenting sponsor of the PGA Assistant Championship. Cobra Puma Golf will be the exclusive equipment sponsor of the event, injecting their Game Enjoyment message into every Sectional Championship and at the finals.

Northwestern golf coach recipient of Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by E-Z-GO

NORMAN, Okla. — Pat Goss, director of golf and head men’s golf coach at Northwestern University and a member of the Illinois PGA Section, has been named winner of the Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by E-Z-GO in cooperation with The PGA of America and the Golf Coaches Association of America. The Harris Award is presented to the college or high school coach and PGA Professional whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the golf and who represents the finest qualities the game has to offer.

“It’s a great honor to win an award based on one of the all-time great college coaches in Labron Harris,” said Goss. “He had such an impact on college golf, and in his dual role as a PGA professional helped grow the game and made it possible for so many to enjoy the game. What makes this award stand out to me is that for any individual to have a chance to give back and help grow a game that has given us so much and that we love makes it even more special. When I look at the list of previous winners, I’m humbled to be included among them.”

Now in his 17th season as Northwestern’s men’s golf coach, Goss has built the program into one of the best in the Big Ten, the Midwest and all of college golf. Named national coach of the year by Golfweek in 1997, his accomplishments at Northwestern include four Big Ten titles, 15 NCAA regional appearances and seven trips to the NCAA Championships finals. He has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors four times and was named Eaton Golf Pride GCAA District IV Coach of the Year twice. His players have earned PING All-America honors 11 times, twice have been named Big Ten Player of the Year, 25 All-Big Ten selections and won Big Ten medalist honors on five occasions. Luke Donald won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the collegiate player of the year in 1999 when he also won the NCAA championship while playing for Goss.

His players have also excelled in the classroom with his charges earning Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors 16 times and 50 Academic All-Big Ten selections. Additionally, Northwestern has been honored as an All-Academic Team presented by Farmers Insurance for maintaining a team GPA over 3.0 each of the past four seasons. Every student-athlete who has played for Goss has earned their degree.

Goss also makes many contributions to college golf away from the course. In his role as director of golf he oversees both the men’s and women’s golf programs. He secured one of college golf’s largest gifts, which endowed the operating budgets for both the men’s and women’s golf teams and included building the $1.1 million Gleacher Golf Center. Goss started the NU Golf Fund to secure the future of Northwestern golf and support capital projects. He secured memberships for both Northwestern golf teams at the Glen Club and built the Luke Donald Outdoor Practice Facility. Northwestern hosted the 1997 NCAA Championships during his tenure as well as the 2006 men’s and 2011 women’s Big Ten Golf Championships. Goss served on the GCAA All-America Committee and the Midwest Region NCAA Advisory Committee, spending one season as chair of both.

Goss, one of the most respected teachers in golf, was named one of the “Top 100 Teachers in America” by Golf Magazine in 2007. He has written instructional articles for Golf Magazine and Golf Digest and appeared on Golf Academy Live and in a CBS Sports special on PGA Professionals. Goss has served as the featured speaker at the Illinois PGA Teaching Summit, an Illinois PGA Assistant’s Association educational event and to Golf Australia’s national coaches. He has been a guest speaker at the Illinois Junior Golf Association, Conway Farms Golf Clubs Junior Golf Night and GCAA National Convention and conducted hundreds more clinics and lessons. He has served as primary teacher to Luke Donald since August 2001 and short game coach to Trevor Immelman since August of this year.

Goss is also very active in The First Tee of Chicago, serving on the group’s board of directors and as chairman of the programming committee. He co-chaired “A Taste of The First Tee” event that raised over $400,000 for The First Tee of Chicago and featured Luke Donald, Jack Nicklaus, Steve Stricker, Mark Wilson and Jeff Sluman.

Additionally, Northwestern’s golf teams have volunteered at the Maryville Golf Academy. Maryville is a home to mentally disabled young adults and runs a golf program as part if its curriculum.

“Pat has distinguished himself on so many levels, and The PGA of America is extremely proud to have him as a member,” said PGA President Allen Wronowski. “Pat has displayed an enduring commitment to the student-athletes at Northwestern and to the community at large. PGA Professionals are recognized as the Experts in the Game and Business of Golf, and Pat certainly is a shining example of that gold standard.”

Goss follows in the footsteps of past Labron Harris Award presented by E-Z-GO recipients Jay Hardwick (Virginia Tech/Middle Atlantic PGA Section), Devon Brouse (Purdue/Indiana PGA Section), the late Rod Myers (Duke/Carolina PGA Section), Herb Page (Kent State/Northern Ohio PGA Section), Jim Brown (Ohio State/Southern Ohio PGA Section), Pat Owen (U.S. Naval Academy/Middle Atlantic PGA Section), Rick Pohle (Williams College/ Northeastern New York PGA Section) and John Bermel (Northern Iowa/Iowa PGA Section).

“E-Z-GO is proud to partner with the GCAA to honor Coach Goss with the 2012 Labron Harris Sr. Award,” said Kevin Holleran, president of E-Z-GO. “Coach Goss has built powerful programs that have sustained a high level of success for many years. He has led Northwestern’s men and women to outstanding performance and success at all levels of our sport, and also in the classroom. His dedication to developing new generations of talented golfers, and to supporting and growing the game, make him one of the most influential teachers and leaders in the sport and industry today.”

E-Z-GO, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is a leading global manufacturer of golf cars, utility and personal transportation vehicles. Products sold under the E-Z-GO brand include RXV® and TXT® fleet golf cars, Freedom® RXV and Freedom TXT personal golf cars, E-Z-GO Terrain™ and Express™ personal utility vehicles, and the 2Five® street-legal low-speed vehicle. E-Z-GO also produces the Cushman® line of heavy-duty material carriers and utility vehicles, and the Bad Boy Buggies® line of off-road utility vehicles for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

E-Z-GO boasts the largest sales and service network in the industry, with more factory branch locations and independent distributors than any other manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles.

Founded in 1954 in Augusta, Ga., E-Z-GO became part of Textron Inc. in 1960.

Central N.Y.’s Phelps set to complete rare ‘season triple’

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — It takes more than a proper alignment of the stars to complete Rob Phelps’ rare golf feat.

The 54-year-old PGA assistant professional at Onondaga Golf Country Club in Fayetteville, N.Y., also has the game one needs to earn a berth into three PGA of America National Championships in the same season.

By salvaging a par on the second playoff hole Sept. 28, during nasty weather in Elmira Heights, N.Y., Phelps earned a trip to represent the Central New York PGA Section in the 36th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF. The final PGA member championship of the year is Nov. 1-4, at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

“I’m pretty excited about this final championship of the year, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind to try to do this in one season,” said Phelps, a native of Cortland, N.Y., who turned professional in 1996.

“There is more to what goes into this than just working hard on your game. You must have the support of your home club. I get great support from PGA head professional Russell Schreiber and from Ryan Hammerle, the other assistant professional at our club. Ryan is an outstanding professional and he happened to be in the same graduating class as my son.”

Perhaps its fits that Phelps earned the opportunity to play in a third national championship after his battle in the Central New York PGA Assistant Championship on the Mark Twain Golf Course in Elmira Heights. The course namesake and legendary wit may have enjoyed charting Phelps’ journey.

Phelps opened with an 80, and needed a 74 in the second round under rugged weather conditions to tie Matthew Jaynes of Beaver Dams, N.Y. The twosome played the par-4 18th hole twice in the playoff, and each bogeyed on the first tour. Phelps made his par putt on his return to the 18th green, while Jaynes bogeyed.

Last June, Phelps made his first appearance in the PGA Professional National Championship. That trip came after finishing third in the 2011 Central New York PGA Championship at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. He had earned a national berth in 2010, but that trip was curtailed due to his attending his daughter’s high school graduation ceremony.

Last June, Phelps missed the 36-hole cut at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside, Calif., after what he said was a case of “playing too often from the wood chips and pine needles and facing some very firm greens.”

Things improved last July, when Phelps finished runner-up in the Section Senior Championship at Partridge Run in Canton, N.Y., and he went on to finish tied for 57th in the Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va. His boss, Schreiber, also competed in the Championship field, but missed the cut.

“It was a great trip, and I wish I had played better at River Creek Club (in Leesburg, Va.),” said Phelps of a second-round 78. “I enjoyed both courses, however. It was easier for me to be able to drive down to the Championship. I was surprised how unseasonably cool it was that week.”

The National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship brings Phelps full circle to a facility that he knows well. He competed in the 2009 Senior PGA Professional National Championship at the Wanamaker Course, and the 2010 PGA Senior-Junior Championship, where he faced two-time national assistant champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale, N.Y., and his partner, someone who would later make an impact this season – reigning PGA Professional National Champion Matt Dobyns of Sea Cliff, N.Y.

“I like the golf courses at PGA Golf Club and have played a few rounds on them,” said Phelps. “It will be nice to come in and not be totally unfamiliar with what you face. It will be fun and I am happy to get this opportunity.”

Phelps and his wife, Machell, live in Cortland, N.Y., and are parents of a son, Robbie, a 28-year-old PGA assistant professional at Waldon Oaks Country Club in Cortland; and a daughter, Jenna, 21, who is a senior at Syracuse University.

Past PGA Distinguished Service Award recipient passes Away at 84

Dr. William “Bill” Dickey, who dedicated more than 50 years to building diversity in golf, died early Oct. 16, in Phoenix, Ariz. He was 84.

Dickey was one of the most decorated servants of the golf industry, receiving the 1999 PGA Distinguished Service Award, The PGA of America’s highest annual honor, recognizing his humanitarian qualities magnified by his advocacy for minority golfers. In 2001, Dickey was presented the USGA’s Joseph C. Dey Jr. Award for meritorious volunteer service to golf. In 1992, he was recipient of the Card Walker Award by the PGA Tour, which is presented to a person or group, which has made significant contributions to the support of junior golf.

Dickey was president emeritus and founder of the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association (BDSA), which celebrated its 30th anniversary last January. Under Dickey’s leadership, the BDSA has raised more than $3.1 million and distributed more than 1,000 scholarships to college-bound minority golfers.

In 2007, the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore bestowed an honorary doctorate degree upon Dickey, who was instrumental in the university becoming the first historically black college to become a member of the PGA of America’s Professional Golf Management University program. The Bill Dickey Scholarship Association distributes a scholarship to a minority golfer bound for Maryland Eastern Shore.

In 1983, Dickey founded the East/West Golf Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., which began by generating $1,500 to aid four student golfers attending Prairie View AM University. From that modest beginning, the National Minority Junior Golf Scholarship Association was established and incorporated.

The association was renamed the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, and serves as one segment of Dickey’s commitment to minority golf. In 2000, the Bill Dickey Invitational Junior Golf Championship has enabled more than 400 golfers the opportunity to compete against the finest minority junior players in the country.

He also was one of the founders of the National Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, now the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, which marked its 26th edition last May at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

“Bill Dickey’s remarkable passion and energy to build diversity in our game opened doors for young golfers and became a series of success stories,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “Young men and women who may not have had the financial means to pursue a college education were the benefactors of Bill’s efforts, and they went on to pursue their dreams. Golf will miss him dearly, and we send our prayers and best wishes to his family.”

Born March 29, 1928, in Darby, Pa., Dickey attended Virginia Union University on a football scholarship before entering the Air Force. Following his discharge, he moved to Phoenix, and went on to earn a B.S. degree in economics and management from Arizona State University.

Dickey enjoyed a successful career as a real estate and insurance executive before retiring in 1981.

Dickey was a life member and six-time president of Desert Mashie Golf Club at Encanto Park in Phoenix, which he joined in 1958. The club became an affiliate of the Western States Golf Association (WSGA), a regional organization with 30 clubs in six states. Dickey served as WSGA president from 1981-83, during which time he helped launch the WSGA Junior Championship, beginning his promotion of junior golf.

A member of the National Negro Golf Association, a bronze trophy in Dickey’s likeness was donated in 2010 to the United States Golf Association’s Golf House in Far Hills, N.J. The trophy, designed by legendary sculptor Ed Dwight, honored the 25th anniversary of the East/West Golf Classic that Dickey founded, and is part of the USGA’s African American Archives.

Among his many honors, Dickey was a 1985 inductee into the Western States Golf Association Hall of Fame; the National Black Golf Hall of Fame (1989); the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame (2000); and the African American Golfers Hall of Fame. He was recipient of the Southwest PGA Section Anser Award for influencing the history of golf (2001); the Martin Luther King Sharing the Dream Award (2005); and the Lifetime Team Captain Award, Jackson State University (2005).

Dickey is survived by his wife, Alice; a daughter, Dorina; four grandsons and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughters Susie, and Debbie (O’Neil).

A “Celebration of Life” service for Dickey will be conducted Friday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. MST, at the Chaparral Suites Resort, 5001 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, Ariz.

On behalf of the Bill Dickey family, a memorial fund has been set up at Jackson State University (JSU). In lieu of flowers you may send donations to the following address:

Jackson State University (JSU) Golf Program
P.O. Box 17810
Jackson, MS 39217

Donations are tax deductible under he 501(c) (3) Internal Revenue Code Tax ID number: 237061115

Please note on your check: Donation William “Bill” Dickey Donation/JSU Golf Program. 

2012 Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship

PGA of America
Experts in the Game and Business of Golf

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