A wave of emotional performances among veterans and young stars from around the globe, national award winners of impact and the election of a new president form the script for The PGA of America’s 2010 Year in Review. Those events, along with behind-the-scenes profiles on a leader in adaptive golf for injured veterans and a leader in junior golf among underprivileged youth in the Metropolitan PGA Section will be part of an hour-long Golf Channel special, beginning Monday, Dec. 13, from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET.
Hosted by Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman, The PGA of America’s Year in Review will have additional airings Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., and Saturday, Dec. 18, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET. Golf Channel has a potential reach of 88 million U.S. households.
The program reflects upon a championship year of final-day dramas, beginning with Tom Lehman capturing the Senior PGA Championship on the first extra hole in Colorado; followed by Germany’s Martin Kaymer outlasting Bubba Watson at Whistling Straits after a three-hole playoff in the PGA Championship to become the first from his country to claim the Wanamaker Trophy. In October, host Europe held off a late charge by the U.S. in singles at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, to win back the Ryder Cup.
It also was a year to recognize excellence in performance off the course. In August, at the PGA Championship, legendary Billy Casper, one of the game’s most overlooked superstars, received the PGA Distinguished Service Award, the Association’s highest annual honor.
In November, Allen Wronowski, a former PGA assistant professional who was mentored by a PGA Past President, was elected the 37th president of The PGA of America. Wronowski is the PGA director of golf at Hillendale Country Club in Bel Air, Md., and an ardent spokesperson for the development of junior golf.
Special features include a look at Patriot Award recipient Jim Estes of Germantown, Md., a PGA teaching professional at Olney Golf Park in Olney, Md., and co-founder of Salute Military Golf Association. Estes, a former full-time Tour professional, followed a 2005 visit to Walter Reed Medical Center into becoming one of the premier coaches of adaptive golf in the United States.
Rich Jones, PGA director of instruction at Gull Haven Golf Club in West Islip, N.Y., is a leader in junior golf within the Metropolitan PGA Section, and the recipient of the Herb Graffis Award for outstanding contributions to player development.
Jones is featured in the show as a community leader through the initiative of PAR FORE (Perseverance, Accountability, Resiliency, Fellowship, Opportunity, Respect and Empowerment), which has helped combat gang activity in the inner city.
The PGA's Year in Review also features:
- The fourth annual Patriot Golf Day, which, with support by PGA Professionals and amateurs nationwide, has raised more than $7.8 million since its origin in 2007.
- Former major champion Ernie Els, who made the most of his opportunity to fill a spot in the foursome at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf by posting a one-stroke victory in Bermuda.
- University of Illinois Coach Mike Small, who successfully defended his PGA Professional National Championship in June in French Lick, Ind., and pocketed a record-tying third title.
A review of the 2010 PGA of America national award winners:
- PGA Golf Professional of the Year – Jim Mrva, Monroe Golf Club, Pittsford, N.Y.
- PGA Teacher of the Year – Todd Anderson, Sea Island Golf Club, St. Simons Island, Ga.
- Horton Smith Award - John Kennedy Jr., Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.
- Bill Strausbaugh Award - Nelson Long Jr., Century Country Club, Purchase, N.Y.
- PGA Junior Golf Leader - Ann Finke, Country Club of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colo.
- President’s Plaque - Andy Barbin, Chesapeake Golf Club, Rising Sun, Md.
- PGA Merchandisers of the Year: Mark Mongell, Cherokee Town & Country Club, Atlanta, Ga. (Private Facilities); Dennis Johnsen, Pine Meadow Golf Club, Mundelein, Ill. (Public Facilities); Tom Davidson, Circling Raven Golf Club, Worley, Idaho (Resort Facilities)
- Patriot Award – Jim Estes, Olney Golf Park, Olney, Md.
- Herb Graffis Award – Metropolitan PGA Section, Elmsford, N.Y.