East Lansing, MI – The Section held its Spring Meeting on Monday, March 27 with over 320 members and apprentices in attendance. President Ron Osborne welcomed everyone to Eagle Eye Golf Club. He also welcomed special guests John Allen, Legal Counsel, Pete Bevacqua, CEO PGA of America, Duane Bucklin, Tiffany, Marlee & Myles Eckert, Folds of Honor, Frank Chieppa, PGA, Player Development Regional Manager, David Graham, GAM, Tim Marks, PGA Employment Consultant, Sabrina Potterpin, and all Past Presidents in attendance. Jim Dewling delivered the invocation and remembered deceased Honorary Member Dr. Lowell LeClair.
After Ms. Potterpin sang a wonderful rendition of our national anthem, Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua provided updates on National activities. With Executive Director Kevin Helm being the facilitator, Pete, along with President Ron Osborne and District 5 Director John Lindert, fielded questions from the membership in a town hall session for the remainder of the morning session.
After a short break, Honorary President Doug White oversaw a candidate’s forum with John Pershern and Wally Sierakowski talking about their desire to run for the office of Secretary.
Business discussions included information from PGA Employment Consultant Tim Marks, Growth of the Game Chair Joe Simpson and Tournament Chair John Seltzer. Special Awards Chair Doug Kreis announced the 2017 Special Awards winners. David Graham from the Golf Association of Michigan talked about the Youth on Course Program whereby juniors can play golf at participating courses for $5.00 or less.
As part of the Patriot Golf Day report, Chair Kevin McKinley introduced Tiffany Eckert, who each gave an emotional speech and thanked PGA members for their continued support of the organization. Duane Bucklin awarded the top Michigan performers an official Brock Bucklin Challenge coin.
Thanks to PGA National Resort & Spa for hosting the meeting and WholesaleGRIPS.com for sponsoring the luncheon.
The 5th Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit began Monday afternoon which featured Jim Hackenberg, PGA, from Orange Whip, and also Mark Blackburn, PGA, founder of Blackburn Golf, and authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine spoke about “Critical Thinking/Coaching”. Daniel Wolocko, Director of Mercy Elite Sports Performance & Therapy, talked about “Training Lateral vs. Vertical Power”.
Tuesday featured Jason Sutton, PGA, Director of Instruction at the prestigious Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the “Evolution of Teaching”, along with Jason Carbone, PGA, Director of Instruction at Baltusrol Golf Club, in “What I’ve Learned from the Best”.
The afternoon also featured discussion by leading Michigan Section teachers Jason Guss, Brandon Roby and Kelly Sivier. The discussion was moderated by Charley Vandenberg.
Approximately 140 members and apprentices attended the 1 ½ day Summit.
Thank you to Jim Hackenberg of Orange Whip for their sponsorship.