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!!!

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