Steve Brady, 54, has been a dominant player in state play since graduating from Saginaw Valley State University where he made All-American in 1980. He was named to the SVSU Hall of Fame in 2010.
Brady turned pro and played in 10 Buick Opens, played the Ben Hogan (now web.dotcom) Tour, played in two United States Opens and three PGA Championships. Brady always had family support – his wife, Judi, and parents and friends wore BRADY BUNCH shirts and always got gallery support.
Brady became one of the state’s top players at a time when the competition included now current PGA Tour millionaire Tom Gillis, Jeff Roth and Jack Seltzer, both now in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and sure-to-be member Scott Hebert. He won three Michigan Opens, two PGA Championships, two Michigan Bell Showdowns at Grand Traverse Resort, one Assistant Professional championship and one Shanty Creek title, six Pro-Pro, two Senior-Junior one Pro-Am and one Pro-Assistant, all events sponsored by the Michigan PGA Section.
Brady now is Director of Instruction at Oakland Hills Country Club, his home for 16 years. In addition to teaching club members, Brady gives back to the game. He is volunteer golf coach at Rochester Adams High School, is a CYO basketball and soccer coach, gives numerous free golf clinics and exhibitions to high school and elementary school students and is a volunteer at the Pontiac Soup Kitchen.
Dave Kendall was elected to PGA Membership on April 1, 1981. On that very day, he became the Head Professional at Cadillac Country Club. A Graduate of the Professional Golf Management Program at Ferris State University, Dave, along with fellow classmate, Phil Benson, became the first PGA Member Head Professionals from a PGM Program.
Since 1981, Dave has distinguished himself for his service to his PGA Chapter, Section, and PGA of America. He has also been recognized for his playing ability and his contributions to Golf Instruction and Player Development.
Dave’s service to PGA began in 1982 when he was appointed to the Western Chapter Policy Board. His service continues over 30 years later. In between, Dave served the Northern Chapter in every office including 2 terms as President. Over the years, Dave has served the Michigan Section and the Section Board of Directors as a Member of several Section Committees, including a term as Tournament Committee Chairman. Dave became a Section Officer in 2004, the same year the Michigan Section hosted the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills. During his term as Section President, the Michigan Section hosted the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. From 2008 through 2012, Dave served the PGA of America as a Member of the PGA of America Tournament Committee. His service continues today, as Honorary President of the Michigan PGA Seniors Organization. Dave has been a Member of the Section Board of Directors for 23 years.
As a competitive player Dave has won 2 Northern Chapter Championships, a Chapter Match Play Championship, 3 State Pro-Pros, 2 State Pro-Ams, and qualified for 10 PGA PNC Championships. A late bloomer as a player, since the age of 50, Dave has compiled quite a resume. In 2007, Dave won both the Michigan Senior Open and the Michigan Senior PGA. Since then he has won another Michigan Senior Open, in 2009, and the Senior PGA Match Play Championship, in 2012. He qualified for the Senior PGA PNC 7 times and played in the National PGA Senior Championship in 2011. He has qualified for the Fuller Cup team 6 times, 5 times since age 50.
Dave has been recognized by Ferris State University as recipient of its Norm Bennett Award and Bill Strausbaugh Award, by the Northern Chapter PGA as recipient of the Golf Professional of the Year, Horton Smith Award, and Player of the Year, each twice, by the Michigan PGA as recipient of the Golf Professional of the Year, in 1991 and 2006, Teacher of the Year, in 2000 and 2004, Horton Smith Award, in 2010, and Senior Player of the Year, in 2007.
His greatest source of pride is the Kendall Academy of Golf. Since its founding the Kendall Academy has grown from one Instructor, in 1997, to 9 Instructors at its Miles of Golf location, and relationships with 2 other locations. Since 1997, the Kendall Academy has become very well respected and very highly regarded in Golf Instruction and Player Development. The number of Professional, Amateur, Junior, and High School Championships, All State Awards, All American Awards, Club Championship Awards that have been earned by Kendall Academy Students number in the hundreds. Dave is ranked #2 on Golf Digest’s most recent list of Top Teachers in Michigan and has been ranked since it started its rankings in 2000. Golf Range Magazine has included Dave in its Top 50 Teachers in America from 2003 thru 2013. Dave was inducted into the Jackson, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ronald LaParl was elected to Membership in the PGA of America on June 16, 1945 and elected to the Half Century Club in 1995. Before the age 10, Ron knew he wanted to be a PGA Professional. Without the guidance of a Mother or Father, Ron accomplished his childhood ambition. During his nearly 70 years as a PGA Professional, Ron has been a PGA leader, an outstanding player, an outstanding Teacher, mentor, and a tremendous contributor to his community.
As a PGA leader, Ron served the Western Chapter as President and as a Member of the Polcy Board for many years. Ron served on the Michigan Section Board of Directors for 23 consecutive years and 30 years in all. During that time, Ron served the Michigan Section as a Delegate to the PGA of America Annual Meeting on several occasions. On one occasion, in cooperation with former PGA of America President, Horton Smith, Ron and fellow Delegate, Warren Orlick, presented a Resolution to abolish the Caucasian Only Clause in the PGA of America Constitution, for the first time. Although the Resolution was defeated that year, the discussion was started and the Resolution was presented again, by another Section, and passed the next year. Ron was honored by the Michigan Section as Golf Professional of the Year, in 1969, the Horton Smith Award, in 1980, and Teacher of the Year, in 1989.
As an outstanding player, Ron won the the Western Chapter Championship over one of Michigan’s all time best players, John Barnum. Ron qualified for the National PGA Championship, 3 times, and also qualified for the US Open. In the 1940’s, playing in an exibition at Cadillac Country Club, Ron shot a 63, to win medalist honors against all time greats, Byron Nelson, Chick Harbert, and Marv Stahl.
As an outstanding Teacher, Ron has guided the development of many players of all levels, from beginners to outstanding Champions. Most notably, those who competed on Tour. Sharon Miller, Sue Ertl, Randy Erskine, and John Morse are among those who have benefitted from his guidance.
As a mentor, Ron is a Pro’s Pro. He represented the PGA and his beloved Battle Creek Country Club in the most Professional manner, and expected all who were guided by him to do the same. This years fellow Michigan PGA Hall of Fame Nominees, Greg Matthews and Dave Kendall, are among the many who have worked for Ron and benefitted from his example.
Of all of his accomplishments, Ron may be most proud of his contributions to his community. In 1954, Ron was instrumental in starting the Michigan Section VA Tournament. A World War II Veteran himself, Ron organized the VA Championship, that is still contested annually, for the benefit of the patients of the VA Hospital in Battle Creek. He also organized visits by the patients to Battle Creek Country Club, many of whom were very seriously injured in combat. His relationship with his fellow PGA Professionals, and others in the golf business, created the design of a golf course on the grounds of the Hospital and annual contributions of cash, equipment and apparel, at no cost to the patients. Upon retiring, after 35 years as the Head Professional at Battle Ceeek Country Club, Ron started a scholarship fund that has awarded no less than two scholarships a year ever since.