Doug Kreis, David VanLoozen Headline 2019 Michigan PGA Special Award Recipients

EAST LANSING, MI – Doug Kreis, Head Golf Professional at Battle Creek Country Club, has captured the 2019 Michigan Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year award. This prestigious honor is awarded to the professional that has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership and strong moral character. The individual must also maintain a substantial record of service to the Association and game of golf and be well-regarded as a model PGA Golf Professional.

Kreis was chosen by his peers for the award based on his overall performance as a Golf Professional, service to the Section and the Association, leadership ability, image and ability to inspire others and his promotion and growth of the game. Kreis makes education a priority for him and his staff as well as ensuring his club members receive exceptional service, a well-appointed golf shop and tour quality events and instruction.

David VanLoozen, a PGA Teaching Professional at Oakland Hills Country Club, was awarded the 2019 Michigan Section PGA Teacher of the Year. VanLoozen was honored for his overall impact on teaching and coaching at his facility along with his innovative and special teaching programs he implemented.

VanLoozen has made a lasting impression on his fellow teachers through his passion for the game and his unwavering commitment to improving the games of golfers at every level. He helps his fellow professionals by sharing his knowledge and experience acquired over twenty years teaching golf and over forty years of competitive golf.

Emily Rohdy, Head Golf Professional at Bucks Run Golf Club, was named the 2019 Michigan Section PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. Rohdy’s strengths as a player, teacher, merchandiser, tournament administrator and overall golf professional while employed as an Assistant Golf Professional at Railside Golf Club all contributed to her success at her facility and the game of golf.

Bernie Friedrich, Senior Vice President, Golf Operations and Resort Sales at Boyne Resorts, has been selected as the Michigan Section PGA’s 2019 recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award. Friedrich was honored for his outstanding integrity, character, and leadership through a commitment to mentoring and making significant impacts on the careers of PGA Professionals.

Established in 1979, the Bill Strausbaugh Award is presented to a PGA Professional who by their day-to-day efforts, have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community. The award reflects the characteristics and qualities of Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who died in 1999.

Kevin McKinley, Director of Golf at Treetops Resort, and Michigan PGA President, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the recipient of the 2019 Horton Smith Award. The Horton Smith Award is awarded annually to a PGA Member for his outstanding contributions to professional education.

McKinley reflects this commitment through his day-to-day activities in the Michigan Section PGA and at Treetops Resort. He served two years on the PGA of America’s Inclusion Committee and currently serves on the PGA of America’s Special Awards Committee. He also provides education on PGA of America’s partner charity Folds of Honor Foundation to PGA Professionals all over the country.

John Paul Westbrook, Head Golf Professional at Indian River Golf Club, has been named the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Public Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA. This award recognizes excellence in business and merchandising at public golf facilities as well as innovation in displays, merchandising techniques, staff training and overall success and growth.

Doug Brody, Head Golf Professional at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, has been named the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Private Golf Facilities, and Elliott Oscar, Head Golf Professional at Forest Dunes Golf Club, has been named the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA.

Dean Kolstad, Director of Golf at Gull Lake View Golf Course, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2019 recipient of the Patriot Award. Kolstad was honored for personifying patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrating unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America. The Patriot Award originated in 2008 following the inspiration of Patriot Day founder Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Kolstad has been involved in military programming since its inception at the Michigan Section PGA, nearly 15 years ago. Since 2012, he’s held five PGA HOPE spring sessions and five fall sessions for inpatient and outpatient veterans at the VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, MI.

Michael Fay, Director of Instruction at BOYNE Golf Academy, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2019 recipient of the Player Development Award. This award recognizes a PGA Golf Professional, who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of player development. It also considers the PGA Professional’s growth of the game leadership, commitment at the Section and National levels in the player development arena, and the meaningful impact made at the facility.

Fay has 25 years of teaching experience and has become a leader in the world of golf instruction. Everything from cutting edge social networking techniques to hosting his own podcast, Fay has helped to change the face of teaching golf. His videos have included mentoring PGA Professionals, implementing new products and techniques, growing the game of golf through player development, and a documentary on his life as a 21st Century Golf Coach.

Scott Wilson, a PGA Teaching Professional at Bay Meadows Family Golf Course, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2019 recipient of the Youth Player Development Award. This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional, who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of youth player development. The award considers the PGA Professional’s focus on youth through their growth of the game leadership, commitment at the Section and National levels in the youth player development arena, and the meaningful impact made upon youth through the introduction and participation in the game.

Wilson serves on the Michigan PGA’s Growth of Game Committee, has built an impressive Golf in Schools program at more than a dozen elementary schools in the Traverse City area, and has just under 100 kids participating in PGA Jr. League. As one of the state’s best junior instructors, he’s had 40 students that have gone on to play college golf, nine Michigan High School individual State Championship medalists, helped win three state team championships, 30+ individual All-State and All-State Academic members, 12 Michigan Super Team members, and three-time “Miss Golf” for the State of Michigan. Scott has twice brought a student to the National Finals of Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National as well as eight times to the Regional Finals. His PGA Jr. League All-Star teams have finished runner-up in the State Championship the last two years.

The Michigan Section PGA will honor its 2019 Special Award Winners at the President’s Dinner this fall. The President’s Dinner celebrates PGA Members who have excelled in their profession as well as those who have volunteered and given of themselves to serve the Section.

For photos of individual award winners, click below:

Doug Kreis
Dave VanLoozen
Emily Rohdy
Bernie Friedrich
Kevin McKinley
John Paul Westbrook
Doug Brody
Elliott Oscar
Dean Kolstad
Mike Fay
Scott Wilson

Media Contact:
Anna Epkey, Communications Coordinator

aepkey@michiganpga.com
517.641.7421
michiganpgagolf.com

Final Round of Michigan Open Washed Out; Eric Lilleboe of Okemos Declared Champion

The final round of the 102nd Michigan Open Championship presented by Grand Traverse Resort & Casino/Yamaha Golf Cars Plus/Lake Trust Credit Union has been cancelled and the championship has been declared final at 54 holes. Eric Lilleboe of Okemos is declared the winner.

View the Michigan Open Championship Results here: https://mipga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mipga19/event/mipga1916/contest/1/leaderboard.htm

Golf Day at the Capitol: Legislators Learn Golf Industry’s Impact

LANSING –  State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, proclaimed “June is Michigan Golf Month” on behalf of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature, and former Lt. Governor Brian Calley, who is now the president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, coached Michigan Golf Alliance members on how to approach their legislators and build relationships. 

It was all part of the Legislative Day 2019 Golf on the Capitol Lawn event Thursday in the shadow of the Capitol Building. Members of the Michigan Golf Alliance, a cooperative body of six state golf associations, visited each state legislator in their Senate and House offices and then invited them and their staffs to have “lunch at the turn.”

“Golf is a great sport where you get to be outside to enjoy Michigan,” Horn said before reading the proclamation. “Where I live in Frankenmuth people can come and enjoy a beautiful golf package along with the other great things to do in our community, and it is like that in a lot of our communities around the state.”

Calley told the Alliance members to try and move the message from its fun to go out and play golf to what’s at stake when there is legislation that impacts the golf industry.

“What’s at stake is an industry that is integrated into so many other things that happen and are important in our state,” he said. “Let them know the economic impact in Michigan is $4.2 billion, yes billion with a b. Let them know 60,000 people are employed by Michigan golf courses and that Michigan has the most public course in the nation. Build a relationship and tell them what is at stake. That is what you have built here and you should be really proud of it.”

The Michigan Golf Alliance is made up of the Michigan Golf Course Association, the Greater Michigan Club Managers Association, the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation.

For over a decade golf course owners, operators and superintendents have gathered each spring to voice a cooperative message. The executive directors, presidents and members of the organizations in the Michigan Golf Alliance took part in the visits to offices and then shared conversation and concerns over a lunch.

“The Michigan Golf Alliance created this event to facilitate golf industry representatives introducing themselves and informing the Legislators and their staff on who we are and what our industry brings to the State of Michigan,” Jada Paisley, executive director of the MGCA said. “I can’t overstate the importance of this day in delivering the message to our government leaders.”

PHOTO: Sen. Ken Horn and Tom Schwark of the Michigan Golf Course Association hold a proclamation from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declaring June is Michigan Golf Month. From left, Bob Bales of the Michigan PGA, Sen. Horn, Schwark, Chris Angott of the Golf Association of Michigan and Doug Johanningsmeier of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation.

Contact: Jada Paisley at 800-860-8575 or jpaisley@michigangca.org

Foursome Inducted, GAM Honored by Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

BIG RAPIDS –  The late George Bayer, a former Detroit Golf Club head professional and PGA Tour player, Ron Beurmann, head professional at Country Club of Jackson, Bernie Friedrich, senior vice-president of golf operations and resort sales for Boyne Resorts, and Al Mengert, a former Oakland Hills Country Club head professional, were inducted Sunday to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

In addition, the MGHOF presented just its fourth Special Award in history to the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM), which in 2019 is celebrating its centennial year of service to the game.

The festivities were presented following a ribbon cutting at the new home of the Hall of Fame, which is now housed in the Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club.

Beurmann, Friedrich and David Graham, the retiring executive director of the GAM, took part in the induction program. Mengert was unable to attend due to a recent health issue, and Bayer was inducted posthumously.

Beurmann, 58, has been the head professional at CC of Jackson for 26 years, and one of the Michigan PGA Section’s top golfers. He won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2010, and the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship in 1998, and has also won a Michigan PGA Senior Championship (2013) and two Michigan Senior Open Championship titles in (2012, ’13).

He called induction day his best day in golf ever and said when first notified of his election by nominating member Randy Erksine he researched the golf greats in the Hall of Fame.

“I couldn’t believe, I still can’t believe I belong with those people, those names,” he said. “I had my family here on the 18th green today, and that meant so much to me, and I’ve been so fortunate to work at a job I love at a great club with great members. And then this happens.”

Friedrich, 66, has worked for Boyne Resorts for 44 years and currently oversees a staff of over 200 employees in agronomy, course and golf shop operations for 12 golf courses, including 10 at three resorts in Michigan and one course each at resorts in Maine and Montana. He is a two-time Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1998, 2001).

Friedrich said when he got the notification call from nominating member Larry Mancour, he thought his long-time friend was kidding.

“I’ve never been a great player, and the Hall of Fame was something held for great players so I never let my mind drift to being in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “This is obviously, the high point of my life.”

Bayer, who died in 2003 in California at the age of 77, was once one of golf’s longest drivers and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1957 and 1960. He was the head golf professional at Detroit Golf Club for 12 years (1972-1983). Prior to becoming a golf professional at age 29, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bayer was an All-American college football tackle and end for the University of Washington and was drafted and played briefly in the NFL.

Mengert, 89 and a resident of Carefree, Ariz., was a club professional who also played on the PGA Tour. He suffered a recent fall and doctors did not want him to travel to the ceremony.

Mengert worked at many notable clubs, including Oakland Hills Country Club as head professional from 1976 to ’86. He won the 1976 and 1980 Michigan PGA Professional Championships, three Michigan Senior PGA Professional titles (1980, ’83, ‘86)  and two Michigan Senior Open titles (’83 and ’85) as well as several other PGA section titles from around the country. He also played in 27 major championships, including eight Masters Tournaments.

The MGHOF is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that now commemorates 127 members, including Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith and more current notables Dave and Mike Hill, Dan Pohl, Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins.

The new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center is named for the Hall of Fame founder. His son, Ken, and Ken’s wife, Kim, attended the ribbon cutting.

Learn more at mghof.org.

PHOTO: From left, Ron Beurmann, David Graham of the GAM and Bernie Friedrich.

MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, chairman MGHOF, 616-560-8995, greggie24@hotmail.com

Ben Cook Named to U.S. Team Roster for 29th PGA Cup

May 22nd, 2019

By Bob Denney
PGA Historian

The United States will attempt to win back a trophy as it sends six rookies and four veterans to face Great Britain & Ireland in the 29th PGA Cup, to be conducted Sept. 27-29, at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. The Americans lost the Llandudno International Trophy on home soil for the first time in 2015 at CordeValle in San Martin, California, and the GB&I team held onto the trophy in 2017 with a victory in England

The 10-member U.S. Team in the biennial international showcase for PGA Professionals was determined through a two-year points system that included the past two PGA Professional Championships and two PGA Championships. The points race ended last week at the conclusion of the PGA Championship.

The final two players – 2016 PGA Professional Champion Rich Berberian Jr. of Hooksett, New Hampshire, and Sean McCarty of Solon, Iowa – clinched berths after final points were tabulated.

They will join the eight who earned a spot April 28 – May 1, at the 52nd PGA Professional Championship at Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina: reigning PGA Professional Champion Alex Beach of Stamford, Connecticut; Danny Balin of Irvington, New York; Jason Caron of Oyster Bay, New York; Ben Cook of Caledonia, Michigan; Stuart Deane of Arlington, Texas; Ben Kern of Round Rock, Texas; reigning Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year and 2004 PGA Professional Champion Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio; and 2018 PGA Professional Champion and reigning PGA Professional Player of the Year Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska.

Berberian, Balin, Deane and Sowards are all veterans, having competed in a combined six PGA Cups.

The PGA Cup began in 1973, and although the U.S. Team dominated early, GB&I has made a resurgence. The U.S. is 17-7-4 overall, but hasn’t won the trophy since 2011 at CordeValle.

“I am impressed by the talent on the team,” said PGA Past President and U.S. Captain Derek Sprague of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “We do have six rookies, but they are proven champions in many respects. And, we have those who have won our PGA Professional Championship in Alex (Beach), Rich (Berberian Jr.), Bob (Sowards) and Ryan (Vermeer). Overall, I feel good about this team because of their experience. They will be very competitive this September.”

The Great Britain & Ireland Team is captained by Captain Cameron Clark, who was a player in 2015, and served as a vice captain in 2017 on the way to a 16-10 triumph over the Americans at Foxhills in Ottershaw, Surrey, England.

The 2019 United States PGA Cup Team:

PLAYERHOMETOWNCLUB/FACILITYPGA SECTIONPGA CUP EXPERIENCE
Danny BalinIrvington, N.Y.Fresh Meadow Country Club/Lake Success, N.Y.New England2011 (2-2-0)
Alex BeachStamford, Conn.Westchester Country Club/Rye, N.Y.MetropolitanDebut
Rich Berberian Jr.Hooksett, N.H.Vesper Country Club/Tyngsborough, Mass.Metropolitan2017 (3-2-0)
Jason CaronOyster Bay, N.Y.Mill River Club Oyster/Bay, N.Y.MetropolitanDebut
Ben CookCaledonia, Mich.Yankee Springs Golf Course/Wayland, Mich.MichiganDebut
Stuart DeaneArlington, TexasTexas Star Golf Course/Euless, TexasNorthern Texas2015 (2-2-0)
Ben KernRound Rock, TexasGeorgetown Country Club/Georgetown, TexasSouthern TexasDebut
Sean McCartySolon, IowaBrown Deer Golf Course/Coralville, IowaIowaDebut
Bob SowardsDublin, OhioKinsale Golf & Fitness Club/Powell, OhioSouthern Ohio2005, ’13, ‘15 (7-4-2)
Ryan VermeerOmaha, Neb.Happy Hollow Club/Omaha, Neb.NebraskaDebut

Foursome Elected to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame; Golf Association of Michigan Honored

BIG RAPIDS – The late George Bayer, a former Detroit Golf Club head professional and PGA Tour player, Ron Beurmann, head professional at Country Club of Jackson, Bernie Friedrich, senior vice-president of golf operations and resort sales for Boyne Resorts, and Al Mengert, a former Oakland Hills Country Club head professional, have been elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

In addition, the MGHOF has elected to present just its fourth Special Award in history to the Golf Association of Michigan, which in 2019 is celebrating its centennial year of service to the game.

The induction celebration is planned for Sunday, June 2, at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club, home of the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center which will soon house the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The 2019 class will bring the number of inductees to 127.

Bayer, who died in 2003 in California at the age of 77, was once one of golf’s longest drivers and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1957 and 1960. He was the head golf professional at Detroit Golf Club for 12 years (1972-1983). Prior to becoming a golf professional at age 29, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bayer was an All-American college football tackle and end for the University of Washington and was drafted and played briefly in the NFL. The native of Bremerton, Wash., was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. While working at Detroit Golf Club he was the winner of the 1973 Michigan Open Championship.

Beurmann, 58, has been the head professional at CC of Jackson for 26 years, and one of the Michigan PGA Section’s top golfers. He won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2010, and the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship in 1998, and has also won a Michigan PGA Senior Championship (2013) and two Michigan Senior Open Championship titles in (2012, ’13). He was the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 2004, the Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2014 and twice has been the Michigan PGA Merchandiser of the Year (1998, 2008). He has also mentored caddies, including 25 who became Evans Scholars.

Friedrich, 66, has worked for Boyne Resorts for 44 years and currently oversees a staff of over 200 employees in agronomy, course and golf shop operations for 12 golf courses, including 10 at three resorts in Michigan and one course each at resorts in Maine and Montana. He is a two-time Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1998, 2001), a four-time Michigan PGA Resort Merchandizer of the Year and has served in various capacities with The First Tee of Northern Michigan, the Michigan Golf Course Association and the Michigan PGA Section. He is also co-founder and a leader of the annual Harbor Cup golf event, which has raised over $400,000 for charitable food projects in Northern Michigan.

Mengert, 89 and a resident of Carefree, Ariz., was a club professional who also played on the PGA Tour. He worked at many notable clubs, including Oakland Hills Country Club as head professional from 1976 to ’86. He won the 1976 and 1980 Michigan PGA Professional Championships, three Michigan Senior PGA Professional titles (1980, ’83, ‘86) and two Michigan Senior Open titles (’83 and ’85) as well as several other PGA section titles from around the country. He was a top-ranked amateur when he lost in the final match of the 1952 U.S. Amateur to Jack Westland. He worked as a club professional for steady income, yet played in 27 Grand Slam major championships, including nine U.S Opens and eight Masters Tournaments. The U.S. Air Force veteran was also the host professional at Oakland Hills for the 1979 PGA Championship, the 1981 U.S. Senior Open and the 1985 U.S. Open.

The MGHOF is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that currently commemorates 123 members, including Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith and more current notables Dave and Mike Hill, Dan Pohl, Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins. The collection will soon be housed and displayed in the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Ferris State University’s Katke facility. The late Ken Janke Sr. is co-founder and a member of the MGHOF.

The MGHOF is administered by the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee, which is funded through the non-profit Michigan Golf Foundation (501(c) (3) since 1996) and includes 18 people representing a cross-section of the state’s golf associations as well as golf media. The MGHOF committee conducts an annual election to recognize the achievements of competitive Michigan golfers, but also accomplishments of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.

MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, chairman MGHOF, 616-560-8995, greggie24@hotmail.com

Foursome Elected to Michigan Golf Hall of Fame; Golf Association of Michigan Honored

BIG RAPIDS – The late George Bayer, a former Detroit Golf Club head professional and PGA Tour player, Ron Beurmann, head professional at Country Club of Jackson, Bernie Friedrich, senior vice-president of golf operations and resort sales for Boyne Resorts, and Al Mengert, a former Oakland Hills Country Club head professional, have been elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame (MGHOF).

In addition, the MGHOF has elected to present just its fourth Special Award in history to the Golf Association of Michigan, which in 2019 is celebrating its centennial year of service to the game.

The induction celebration is planned for Sunday, June 2, at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Club, home of the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center which will soon house the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. The 2019 class will bring the number of inductees to 127.

Bayer, who died in 2003 in California at the age of 77, was once one of golf’s longest drivers and won four times on the PGA Tour between 1957 and 1960. He was the head golf professional at Detroit Golf Club for 12 years (1972-1983). Prior to becoming a golf professional at age 29, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bayer was an All-American college football tackle and end for the University of Washington and was drafted and played briefly in the NFL. The native of Bremerton, Wash., was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. While working at Detroit Golf Club he was the winner of the 1973 Michigan Open Championship.

Beurmann, 58, has been the head professional at CC of Jackson for 26 years, and one of the Michigan PGA Section’s top golfers. He won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2010, and the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship in 1998, and has also won a Michigan PGA Senior Championship (2013) and two Michigan Senior Open Championship titles in (2012, ’13). He was the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 2004, the Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2014 and twice has been the Michigan PGA Merchandiser of the Year (1998, 2008). He has also mentored caddies, including 25 who became Evans Scholars.

Friedrich, 66, has worked for Boyne Resorts for 44 years and currently oversees a staff of over 200 employees in agronomy, course and golf shop operations for 12 golf courses, including 10 at three resorts in Michigan and one course each at resorts in Maine and Montana. He is a two-time Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year (1998, 2001), a four-time Michigan PGA Resort Merchandizer of the Year and has served in various capacities with The First Tee of Northern Michigan, the Michigan Golf Course Association and the Michigan PGA Section. He is also co-founder and a leader of the annual Harbor Cup golf event, which has raised over $400,000 for charitable food projects in Northern Michigan.

Mengert, 89 and a resident of Carefree, Ariz., was a club professional who also played on the PGA Tour. He worked at many notable clubs, including Oakland Hills Country Club as head professional from 1976 to ’86. He won the 1976 and 1980 Michigan PGA Professional Championships, three Michigan Senior PGA Professional titles (1980, ’83, ‘86) and two Michigan Senior Open titles (’83 and ’85) as well as several other PGA section titles from around the country. He was a top-ranked amateur when he lost in the final match of the 1952 U.S. Amateur to Jack Westland. He worked as a club professional for steady income, yet played in 27 Grand Slam major championships, including nine U.S Opens and eight Masters Tournaments. The U.S. Air Force veteran was also the host professional at Oakland Hills for the 1979 PGA Championship, the 1981 U.S. Senior Open and the 1985 U.S. Open.

The MGHOF is a heralded collection of portraits, plaques and memorabilia that currently commemorates 123 members, including Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Horton Smith and more current notables Dave and Mike Hill, Dan Pohl, Meg Mallon and Kelly Robbins. The collection will soon be housed and displayed in the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf Learning Center at Ferris State University’s Katke facility. The late Ken Janke Sr. is co-founder and a member of the MGHOF.

The MGHOF is administered by the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame Committee, which is funded through the non-profit Michigan Golf Foundation (501(c) (3) since 1996) and includes 18 people representing a cross-section of the state’s golf associations as well as golf media. The MGHOF committee conducts an annual election to recognize the achievements of competitive Michigan golfers, but also accomplishments of individuals who have contributed to the growth of the game.

MEDIA CONTACT: Greg Johnson, chairman MGHOF, 616-560-8995, greggie24@hotmail.com

Monty Elam, PGA wins PGA of America’s 2018 Deacon Palmer Award

PGA Members Monty Elam, Ken Juhn honored as they face physical hardships;
Joseph Hallett, Marvol Barnard, Cameron Doan, Cameron Milton also receive top awards

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2018) – In an emotional and inspiring ceremony, a class of eight PGA Members were spotlighted for their career achievements, as the annual PGA of America National Awards Night kicked off the 102nd PGA Annual Meeting at Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa, in Indian Wells, California.

Dan Pasternak, the PGA General Manager at Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club, was presented the 65th PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. In addition, 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, was the recipient of the 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”

The night also featured two prominent PGA Members battling significant physical setbacks among the Awards class.

Monty Elam, PGA Director of Golf at Whiteford Valley Golf Club in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, was presented the Deacon Palmer Award for overcoming a hardship to work at a high level. Elam was blinded during what was supposed to be a routine eye surgery. A procedure later restored partial sight in one eye. When asked what motivated him to continue in golf, Elam said, “Being told that I couldn’t do it…People inspire me every day.”

In addition, Patriot Award recipient Ken Juhn, PGA Head Professional at Terrace Hill Golf Center in Temple Terrace, Florida, is battling Stage 4 cancer. Yet, he regularly continues his work with military veterans through the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program, which provides golf instruction to military veterans as a means of assimilation and rehabilitation.

“It is extremely special and humbling to receive this award,” said Juhn. “With PGA HOPE, we have an opportunity to express the value of the game and its importance as a rehab tool. We need more programs to help the men and women coming out of battle.”

In my 30-plus years with the PGA of America, I’ve never experienced a more meaningful moment than the Awards Night last evening,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “It was a moving night and a remarkable ceremony. Congratulations to this outstanding class of PGA Members who serve as consummate PGA Professionals and an inspiration to us all.”

In winning the highest annual honor given to a PGA Golf Professional, Pasternak headed 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. The first New Jersey PGA Section Member named PGA Golf Professional of the Year, he 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 role as President of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, which he helped launch in 2004, as the charitable arm of the NJPGA. Pasternak was also the national Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient in 2013.

“I’m a big believer in the PGA,” said Pasternak, who offered advice to the next generation of PGA Members. “I believe there’s a lot of opportunity in the business, and people looking to get in this industry should not limit themselves.”

Sieckmann currently instructs 14 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour players, including Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, Anirban Lahiri, Cameron Tringale, Ben MartIn, 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.

“Many have inspired me but [PGA Tour Professional] Tom Pernice was the first to say to me, ‘You’re my guy,’ explained Sieckmann. “Golf is a lot like life. You are always working on yourself.”

A total of eight PGA Members were honored throughout the evening:*

  • PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Dan Pasternak, PGA, Essex Fells (New Jersey) C.C.
  • 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 Club – 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

In addition, the Herb Graffis Award will be officially presented Thursday, Nov. 8, to the Colorado PGA Section during the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting. The three PGA Merchandisers of the Year will be honored at the 2019 PGA Magazine Merchandiser of the Year Conference in January, prior to the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

  • Private Facilities: Nick Muller, PGA, C.C. of Lincoln (Neb.)
  • Public Facilities: Mark Rashell, PGA, The G.C. at Newcastle (Wash.)
  • Resort Facilities: Erik Wilson, PGA, Fairmont Grand G.C.- San Diego

For bios and information on the individual award winners, 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 Web.com 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.

    About the PGA of America
    The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

    Media Contact:
    Michael Abramowitz    PGA of America        561/624-8458 mabramowitz@pgahq.com

Golf Day at the Capitol: Legislators Learn Golf Industry’s Impact

LANSING – Lt. Governor Brian Calley presented the proclamation from the Governor’s office declaring June is Pure Michigan Golf Month, and then he told the members of the Michigan Golf Alliance that they are having a great impact.

  “The generosity in the $118 million in charitable impact from golf in Michigan alone is so great,” he said at the Michigan Golf Industry Legislative Day on the Capitol Lawn Thursday.

  “You are using your facilities to make communities across the state stronger. The utilization of your facilities makes an impact far beyond the impact of people playing rounds of golf. The economic impact is massive. Golf is providing quality of life enhancements to our communities. It is really great what you do.”

  The Michigan Golf Alliance is made up of the Michigan Golf Course Association, the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Michigan Section PGA, the Golf Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation.  Members of the Alliance spread out around the Capitol to visit each legislator in their Senate and House offices, and legislators and staff members were also treated to a “lunch at the turn” in a large tent on the Capitol Lawn.

  Part of the message presented was the numbers; $4.2 billion in total economic impact in Michigan from the industry, wage contributions of $1.4 billion, 58,000 jobs and the $118 million in charitable impact.

  The other part was in regard to legislation of concern to the golf industry.

  Kevin McKinley, director of golf at Treetops Resort in Gaylord and the President of the Michigan Section of the PGA, said the legislators listened, enjoyed lunch and offered advice for dealing with political issues. He called it a rewarding event that helps legislators and golf industry members.

  “I talked with one of the legislators about the minimum wage law and he looked at me and asked ‘What are you going to do? What are you going to do to make sure that bill fails?’” McKinley said. “It made me kind of take a step back and I realized it really does matter if I write a letter. It really does matter if my employees who work for tips write letters. That does matter to the legislators. It was refreshing to hear, that me, not as the Michigan Section president, but as an employee of a business in Northern Michigan, that my voice is actually being heard by legislators.”

PHOTO ATTACHED: Lt. Gov. Brian Calley holds a proclamation from Gov. Rick Snyder declaring June is Pure Michigan Golf Month. He is joined by, from left, Kevin McKinley of the Michigan PGA, Sara Wold of the Golf Association of Michigan, Doug Johanningsmeier of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Dan Dingman of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association and Bill Fountain of the Michigan Golf Course Association.

Contact: Kate Moore at 800-860-8575 or 517-230-8040; kmoore@michigangca.org