Michigan PGA Spring Meeting

The Section held its Spring Meeting on Monday, March 25 with over 300 members and apprentices in attendance. President Gary Koenes welcomed everyone to Eagle Eye Golf Club. Randy White gave the invocation and remembered deceased members Jason Leising, Jack Todhunter, Steve Tyler, and former Michigan PGA Member Dave Zielinksi.

District 5 Director Gil Gusweiler updated the membership on the recent PGA of America Board of Directors Meeting and Leadership Conference.

Vice President Doug White, along with Executive Director Kevin Helm, reviewed the Section’s investments as well as year end financials.

Secretary Ron Osborne acknowledged and welcomed new members, quarter and half century members as well. He also congratulated the inductees into the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame: Steve Brady, Dave Kendall and Ron LaParl.

Business discussions included chapter/committee reports, as well as information from Frank Chieppa, PGA of America Player Development Regional Manager, regarding Growing the Game of Golf through strategic initiatives and National programming.  Honorary President John oversaw a candidate’s forum with Brian Cairns and Kevin McKinley talking about their desire to run for Secretary. Thanks to Wholesalegrips.com for hosting the luncheon.

The 3rd Michigan PGA Teaching Summit began Monday afternoon.  Karen Keller PHD introduced the dynamics and importance of soft skills, and communication and relationship building between the teacher and the student.  Participants also discovered the value and benefits of understanding and developing their communication, thereby bridging the gap to a student’s ability to achieve their goals.

The second half was Judy Alvarez, PGA LPGA, who covered teaching golf to persons with various disabilities. Judy has written a book “`Broken Tees and Mended Hearts” about her experiences. Judy has been awarded the LPGA Section Teacher of the Year, been voted 3 times by Golf for Women magazine as a Top 50 Instructor and Golf Digest’s Top 50 Teachers in Florida. She volunteers for the PGA of America on the National Disabled Committee and National Inclusion Committee.

On Tuesday we featured Mike Bender, our keynote speaker and 2009 PGA of America Teacher of the Year. Mike accomplishments also include being ranked as one of the Top Five Best Teachers in America by Golf Digest (2011) and by GOLF Magazine (since 1996) as one of the Top 100 Teachers in America.

Tuesday ended with a roundtable discussion by leading Michigan Section teachers Jordan Young, Jason Guss, Bill Baldwin, Paul Haase and Dave Kendall. The discussion was moderated by Charlie Vandenberg.