Archives for August 2018

Joe Pollack wins the Michigan Senior PGA Professional Championship

Harbor Springs, MI –  Joe Pollack from Yamaha Golf Cars Plus made the most of his Michigan Senior PGA Professional Championship debut by shooting 69 in the final round to win by one shot.

67 Michigan Senior PGA Professionals teed it up on Monday and Tuesday on the Farms / Birches course at Birchwood Farms Golf & Country Club. This is the 6th year in a that Birchwood Farms in Harbor Springs has hosted this championship and it always makes for a spectacular event.  

The players were not only competing for the championship and the $14,700 purse, but also 8 qualifying spots for the  30th  Senior PGA Professional Championship supported by Golf Advisor and John Deere to be held October 25 – 28 ,2018 at PGA Golf Club.

After Round 1 we had 4 players tied the top with rounds of (-2) under par 70 – Jeff Roth from Boyne Highlands, Al Kuhn from Oakhurst Golf & CC, Lee Houtteman from Manitou Passage Golf Club and Ron Beurmann from the Country Club of Jackson. With 10 players within 3 shots of the lead we knew it would make for an exciting last round.

After some scrambling pars on the first 8 holes Joe turned it on with birdies on #9, #12 and #14 on his way to a final round 69 (-3), which put him at (-4) for the tournament ,good enough for a one shot victory over Ron Beurmann and Jeff Roth.

In the Super Senior (70 and older ) Division it was Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Larry Mancour edging out Nick Berklich, former long -time professional at Warwick Hills Country Club by one shot.

Along with Joe Pollock the following players will represent the Michigan PGA Section this coming October at the 30th Senior PGA Professional Championship supported by Golf Advisor and John Deere : Ron Beurmann, Jeff Roth, Kevin Muir from The Wyndgate, Lee Houtteman, Al Kuhn from Oakhurst Golf & CC, Brian Cairns from the Fox Hills Learning Center and Frank McAuliffe from Meadowbrook Country Club .Frank secured the last spot with a playoff win over Dave Kendall from the Kendall Golf Academy, Dave will be the 1st Alternate.

We would like to thank Birchwood Farms Golf & Country Club for opening their doors and welcoming this Championship. The golf course was in great shape and always provides a beautiful setting in Northern Michigan.

For final results and payout click HERE

Great Scott: Traverse City’s Alex Scott Shoots 61, Wins Playoff at Tournament of Champions

  BOYNE FALLS – Traverse City’s Alex Scott shot the best round of his life Wednesday tying the course and tournament record with an 11-under 61, and then had to win a sudden-death playoff with Mackenzie Tour PGA-Canada professional Sam Weatherhead of Grand Rapids.

  The Grand Valley State University golfer did that too – with a birdie on the second playoff hole at the Alpine course – and became the first amateur to win in 27 years of the Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort.

  “Oh yeah, I did shock myself,” he said after making the eight-foot birdie putt to win the playoff on hole No. 16.  “My phone is blowing up in my pocket right now. I shocked myself, so it’s not surprising I shocked a few others.”

  Scott’s 61 left him at 15-under 201 for the tournament, and Weatherhead dropped a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to shoot 68 for 201 and force the playoff.

  Both played to par on the first playoff hole (par 5 No. 18) with Weatherhead just missing an eight-foot birdie attempt. At the par 4 No. 16, Weatherhead missed a 10-foot birdie putt, and then Scott made his 8-footer to win.

  “I’ve been in a lot of playoffs now, and the same thing happens every time,” said Weatherhead, a former Michigan State golfer. “Whoever fails to put the nail in the coffin first is usually the one who ends up coming in second. Once I had a good look at birdie on the first playoff hole and missed it, I knew it was going to be harder work, and Alex didn’t miss when he got the good look for birdie (on the second playoff hole).”

  Weatherhead, headed to qualifying in the fall, netted the first-place check of $8,000 as the low pro in the championship. Scott took home the trophy and a $750 gift certificate, the most allowed for amateurs under the rules of golf.

  Scott, who started the final round on the Alpine course eight shots off the lead of Eric Lilleboe of Okemos, birdied the first two holes, had a tap-in eagle that was almost a double-eagle on No. 5 and shot 6-under 30 on the front nine. He wasn’t finished. He followed it up with another eagle-3 on the par 5 No. 12 hole with a 60-foot putt to highlight a 31 on the back nine.

  “I knew a low score was coming,” said Scott, who will be a senior at Grand Valley this fall and is playing in the upcoming U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. “I’ve been talking with my dad and we knew it was coming,” he said. “I needed to shot a low score in a tournament, one of those where you know early you are going low and everything keeps going in. I didn’t expect 61. I’ve never done that before, but once I got it going I didn’t back up, I didn’t back down. It took some luck. There was luck in both eagles, but I kept grabbing driver and saying let’s go make birdie.”

  Lilleboe, a 30-year-old mini-tour pro, shot 70 to close at 214, just missing a final eagle putt at No. 18 in regulation play that would have put him in the playoff, too.

  Michigan Open champion Jake Kneen of White Lake, the recent Oakland University graduate who with Scott is making this the year of the amateurs in Michigan golf, shot 67 for 206 and fourth place, and Meadowbrook Country Club assistant Travis Dodson shot 69 for 208 and fifth.

  Four pros – defending champion Mike Nagy of Manistique, Willie Mack III of Grand Blanc, Randy Hutchison of Traverse City and first-round leader Chris Mory of Haslett – tied at 209. Boyne Golf teaching professional Jeff Roth, a five-time Tournament of Champions winner and one of 16 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members in the field, shot 68 for 210, and two-time Tournament of Champions winner Andy Ruthkoski of Muskegon shot 69 for 210 to round out the top 10.

  It was Ruthkoski, who won the TOC in 2013 and ’14, who set the record of 61 on the Alpine during the first round in 2015.

  Scott, a Golf Association of Michigan Champion last summer and the GLIAC Golfer of the Year during school, said it was hard to put into words how he felt winning the unique championship that brings together juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs of both sexes all playing for one title from different tee positions. All the golfers invited have won selected significant Michigan golf championships, both amateur and professional.

  “It’s amazing,” he said. “There are so many great players in the field. It wasn’t realistic to think I would shoot 61 today. The odds say I couldn’t do because I never have done it before. My lowest before this was a 64 in qualifying at college. But I did it. It’s a good feeling.”

  He credited his golf instructor Scott Hebert, who as a Michigan Golf Hall of Fame member and former Tournament of Champions winner was also in the tournament, his family and Grand Valley teammates and coaches afterward. He also said Lilleboe inspired him with comments after he shot 73 and Lilleboe shot 66 to open the tournament.

  “Eric was a (NCAA) Division II golfer like me – he played at Ferris State,” he said. “He told me I was probably the best player in Division II and I should realize it, step up and play like it. It motivated me, and I had this great day. It’s amazing.”

  The 23-year-old Weatherhead, who started the day one shot off the lead and seven ahead of Scott, said the first-place money will help as he continues to pursue his dream of playing on the PGA Tour. The former Michigan Amateur champion said he was not hanging his head as he departed.

  “I still wanted that trophy, the feeling of winning outweighs the nice check, but the check eases the pain for sure,” he said and laughed. “I will take what I learned from this and know that I’m playing good enough to beat a lot of great golfers besides Alex’s 61. Hopefully that doesn’t happen to me every time I’m in the hunt.”

For final results click HERE

Michigan PGA Member, Monty Elam, Named 2018 PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award Winner

A HUGE congratulations to Michigan Section PGA Member, Monty Elam, PGA, for being named the 2018 PGA of America Deacon Palmer Award Winner!
“What an amazing story of true grit, determination and perseverance. Life gave Monty a raw deal and in his situation, most would give up hope, some would keep doing what they were doing, but only a very select few would do what Monty did. He went out and made himself even more of an asset to his facility. He is a model PGA Professional that we all should learn from,” said Michigan PGA President, Kevin McKinley.
William “Monty” Elam, a 23-year PGA Member in the Michigan PGA Section, is the PGA Director of Golf at Whiteford Valley Golf Club in Ottawa Lake, Michigan.
The Deacon Palmer Award honors a PGA Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life.
In 2007, Elam had a routine eye procedure that went terribly wrong and left him completely blind. After six months, a special procedure enabled him to regain limited sight in his left eye, while he remained completely blind in his right eye.
The advice from health professionals was to give up his dream and leave the golf business. However, Elam knew that was NOT an option, as he was ready to tackle the new challenges he faced, while determined to continue his lifelong passion as a PGA Member.
Elam’s ability to adapt to different situations, combined with his knowledge of club operations and impeccable attention to detail, has allowed him to re-assume a leadership role at his club.
Elam is an advocate for individuals with special needs, as his facility hosts several programs annually for golfers with disabilities. And, his work with the Northwest Ohio Sight Center is close to his heart, as he enjoys giving lessons to blind golfers. Elam is an inspiration through his actions and commitment to excellence on a daily basis.
When Monty found out he won the Deacon Palmer Award, he said, “My family was very excited and are very proud. I am very honored and humbled by the award. It means a lot that it is associated with Arnold Palmer and his Dad. I always idolized Mr. Palmer, especially after meeting him in one of my PGA classes in Orlando many years ago. I know it is a tremendous honor to be receive this award, but for me it is just an honor being able to do what I love everyday, despite my disability.”
Monty is one of only 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section that will be awarded a PGA of America 2018 National Award. The Deacon Palmer Award will be presented on Nov. 6, as part of the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting in Indian Wells, California.
Congratulations, Monty!!!

Dan Pasternak, James Sieckmann Headline 2018 PGA of America National Award Recipients

Pasternak Named PGA Golf Professional of the Year,
Sieckmann PGA Teacher of the Year; Lead Class of 12 Honorees 

Editor’s Note:
For images of the 2018 PGA of America National Award recipients, please click here.

For more information on the individual award winners, click here.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2018) – Dan Pasternak, the PGA General Manager at Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club, has been named the 65th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. In winning the highest annual honor given to a PGA Golf Professional, Pasternak heads the 2018 PGA National Awards class for “qualities of leadership, strong moral character, and a substantial record of service” to the PGA and the game of golf overall.

As the first-ever PGA Professional to assume the role of General Manager at the 122-year old Essex Fells Country Club, Pasternak has enjoyed a distinguished 22-year career as a PGA Member. A selfless leader and mentor, Pasternak has guided more than 20 former assistants and colleagues to PGA Head Professional status. This is part of an unrelenting passion to ensure his fellow colleagues and young professionals are equipped with the tools needed to advance in their careers.

Pasternak, the first New Jersey PGA Section Member named PGA Golf Professional of the Year, has served as a New Jersey PGA Section Officer and on virtually every committee in the Section, as well as at the national level on the PGA of America’s Board of Directors. This commitment to volunteerism and service is reinforced by his current role as President of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, which he helped launch in 2004, as the charitable arm of the NJPGA. Additionally, recognizing the importance of continued education, he recently earned certification in General Management through the PGA Certified Professional Program.

The 2013 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient on the national level, Pasternak also received the award from the New Jersey PGA Section on four occasions (2007, ’08, ’09, ’11). Among his many awards, he is also a two-time recipient of the NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year (2007, ’11).

James Sieckmann, a 23-year PGA Member in the Nebraska Section and the PGA Director of Instruction at The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha, is the recipient of the 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”

Recognized by GOLF Magazine as a “Top 100 Teacher in America,” Sieckmann currently instructs 16 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Tour players, including Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, Anirban Lahiri, Cameron Tringale, Ben Marten, Tom Pernice Jr., Duffy Waldorf and 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion In-Kyung Kim, among others. He has also been named to Golf Digest’s “50 Best Teachers in America” list from 2015-2018.

Sieckmann is highly regarded as a mentor, educator and role model for fellow PGA Members. His recognition as 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year follows a long list of awards and accolades, including nine times as the Nebraska PGA Section’s Teacher of the Year (1996, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’04, ’09, ’14, ’15, ’16). He was also named the Nebraska Section Horton Smith Award Winner in 2000, and was inducted into the Nebraska Golf Association’s Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.

“The PGA of America National Awards winners represent the best of the best among our nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “Their expertise and acumen for both the game and business of golf is so highly respected throughout the industry. Through their best practices and innovations in teaching, coaching, management, merchandising, growth-of-the-game initiatives, community and veterans outreach, and much more, they have earned the admiration of their peers. Congratulations to this outstanding class of PGA Members who serve as consummate PGA Professionals.”

Pasternak and Sieckmann lead a group of 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section in winning the PGA of America’s 2018 National Awards. The majority of the awards will be presented on Nov. 6, as part of the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting in Indian Wells, California. The three PGA Merchandiser of the Year Awards will be presented during the 2019 PGA Magazine Merchandiser of the Year Conference prior to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando next January.

Recipients of the 2018 PGA of America National Awards include:

  • PGA Golf Professional of the Year:
    Dan Pasternak, PGA, Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club
  • PGA Teacher of the Year:
    James Sieckmann, PGA, The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge C.C.-Omaha, Nebraska

  • PGA Youth Player Development Award:
    Cameron Milton, PGA, Polson (Montana) Bay G.C.

  • Bill Strausbaugh Award:
    Cameron Doan, PGA, Preston Trail G.C.- Dallas

  • Horton Smith Award:
    Joseph Hallett, PGA, Vanderbilt Legends G.C.-Franklin, Tennessee

  • PGA Player Development Award:
    Marvol Barnard, PGA/LPGA, Haven G.C.- Green Valley, Arizona

  • Patriot Award:
    Ken Juhn, PGA, Terrace Hill Golf Center- Temple Terrace, Florida

  • Deacon Palmer Award:
    Monty Elam, PGA, Whiteford Valley G.C.- Ottawa Lake, Michigan

  • Herb Graffis Award:
    Colorado PGA Section

  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Facilities:
    Nick Muller, PGA, C.C. of Lincoln (Nebraska)

  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Facilities:
    Mark Rashell, PGA, The G.C. at Newcastle (Washington)

  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Resort Facilities:
    Erik Wilson,PGA, Fairmont Grand G.C.- San Diego

    For bios and information on the individual award winners, click here.

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