PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Mike Schultz, only the second PGA head professional in the history of storied Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., has shaped the careers of more than 40 aspiring PGA Professionals for nearly four decades. Schultz's legacy of service has elevated him to become the 58th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, the highest annual honor bestowed by The PGA of America on a PGA Professional.
A 37-year member of The PGA of America, Schultz is the fourth member of the Minnesota PGA Section to be honored as the PGA Golf Professional of the Year. Schultz is retiring from his Hazeltine National post at the end of the season, pursuing other interests within the golf industry.
He will be honored during The PGA of America Awards ceremony on Jan. 24, 2013, during the 60th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center's Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla. The program also will honor the following:
* Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn. – PGA Teacher of the Year
* Don Law of Boca Raton, Fla. – PGA Junior Golf Leader
* Harry Hammond Jr. of West Chester, Pa. – Bill Strausbaugh Award
* Carl Alexander of Bedford, N.Y. – Horton Smith Award
* Mark Holiday of Bozeman, Mont. – PGA Player Development Award
The PGA of America also will honor recipients of two national awards, Nov. 10, at the 96th Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor in Baltimore. They are:
* John Kennedy of New Canaan, Conn. – Patriot Award
* New Jersey PGA Section – Herb Graffis Award (for exemplary contributions to Player Development)
The PGA Merchandisers of the Year will be honored Jan. 18, 2013, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Fla. They are:
* Amy Pendergast of Bandon, Ore. – Resort Facilities
* Dale Smigelsky of Fort Collins, Colo. – Public Facilities
* George Kahrhoff of Castle Rock, Colo. – Private Facilities
"Our talented 2012 class of national award winners span more than four decades of service to our Association and to the game of golf," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "They are PGA Professionals of impact to their Section, their respective communities and in many cases they have influenced others throughout the country. We are proud of how they daily go about their business of inspiring young and old, and grow the game through innovation and their passion. By their dedication to serving others, we are proud to declare that they are truly experts in the game and the business of golf."
MIKE SCHULTZ – PGA Golf Professional of the Year
Mike Schultz, 64, follows Wally Mund (1969), Jock Olson (2002) and Jim Manthis (2006) as Minnesota PGA members to receive the Association's highest annual honor bestowed on a PGA Professional.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., who was raised in Houston, Schultz was introduced to the game by his father, a geologist in the oil industry. Schultz caddied for his father at Champions Golf Club in Houston, where he developed his game, as well as across the city at Sharpstown Country Club. Schultz later attended the University of Texas, competing in baseball before being injured in an automobile accident.
He turned his concentration to golf and attended South Texas Junior College for two years. He returned to the University of Texas and attempted to walk on to the Longhorns' golf team before turning professional in 1970.
Schultz competed in tours overseas before arriving in the Minneapolis area in 1971. He worked for PGA Professional Bob Olds at Minnetonka Country Club, and was elected to PGA membership in 1975. Schultz also gained invaluable experience from Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame PGA Professionals Bill Kidd at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn., and Joel Goldstrand at Minneapolis Golf Club.
In January 1976, Schultz succeeded Don Waryn as PGA head professional at Hazeltine National Golf Club, embarking on a career at a facility that became one of this country's hubs for premier golf. He guided club operations and was a member of the executive committee for three men's major championships – the 1991 U.S. Open, and the 2002 and 2009 PGA Championships. He also guided his staff to oversee the 1983 U.S. Senior Open, 1977 U.S. Women's Open, 2006 U.S. Amateur, 1999 NCAA Division I Men's Championship, 1994 U.S. Mid-Amateur, and 2001 U.S. Men's Team Championship.
One of the most decorated Minnesota PGA members, Schultz was named the 1988 Section PGA Professional of the Year, and served nearly four decades on the Section board of directors. He was Section president from 1986-87. Schultz was named the 1991 Section Merchandiser of the Year; the 2002 Section Facility Promoter of the Year; and was recipient of the 2006 Steve Weidner Award for Community Service. In 2009, Schultz was inducted into the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame. He has guided more than 40 young professionals, of whom more than 25 continue today within the industry.
Schultz said that serving as a member of the PGA Rules Committee (1990 to 2002) was one of the highlights of his career. He served as a referee at the 1999 Ryder Cup.
Among the initiatives at Hazeltine National Golf Club under Schultz's direction was developing a junior program in 1980 that twice earned Golf Digest's No. 1 award, and currently features 320 juniors.
In 1993, he co-founded the Fairway Foundation, bringing golf and its values to inner-city youth. Schultz also launched a junior golf program in 2010 for 400 Girl Scouts during their annual Camp Twilight and designed a state-of-the-art practice facility in 2010 outdoor facility and indoor fitting/teaching center.
Currently, Schultz is working with several foundations, the club, and the city of Chaska, Minn., to develop a beginner's course to serve as a prototype for Golf 2.0 projects.
Schultz and his wife, Diane, live in Eden Prairie, Minn.
MICHAEL BREED - PGA Teacher of the Year
Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn., whose telegenic instruction skills through his signature Golf Channel program, "The Golf Fix," has motivated countless viewers to enjoy the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Award.
Breed, 50, is in his 12th season as PGA head professional at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. He follows Michael Hebron (1991) of St. James, N.Y., as the only Metropolitan PGA members to receive The PGA of America's highest honor for a golf instructor.
A native of Greenwich, Conn., Breed began his athletic career in baseball as a shortstop, and was introduced to golf at age 13 by his father.
Breed is a 1985 graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., where he was a standout player for the Yellow Jackets, and was a 2004 inductee into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. Breed declared professional in 1985, and made a bid in 1991 to earn a berth on the former Ben Hogan (now Web.com Tour). Breed was a PGA assistant professional at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club from 1989 through 1992, before serving as assistant from 1992 to 1995, for former PGA Professional National Champion Darrell Kestner at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. In 1994, Breed competed in the Greater Hartford Open on the PGA Tour.
Breed made his venture into golf broadcasting at Golf Channel in 1999, appearing on numerous "Golf Academy Live" programs as both a guest instructor and host. He has served as an on-course reporter for the former Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour events, and as a guest on such Golf Channel programs as "Viewer's Forum" and "Golf Central." Breed also contributed numerous golf tips for CBS, Turner Sports, and Cablevision.
In 2009, Breed was selected to host "The Golf Fix," elevating it into one of golf's most popular instruction programs on cable television. He also serves as host instructor for Golf Channel's "Big Break Academy."
Breed's broadcasting venture, he said, would not have been possible without the support of his home facility, Sunningdale Country Club, where he has been PGA head professional since 2001.
Breed served from 2005 to 2010 on the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors and is in his second term on the national PGA Instruction Committee. A past chair of the Metropolitan PGA Education Committee, Breed won two Ely Callaway Awards in 2010 and 2011, recognizing individuals earning the most service hour credits for education recertification. He was the 2000 and 2009 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year, and recipient of the Section's 2006 and '07 Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education.
For more than a decade, Breed has served as a Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff member and is among Golf Digest's Top 50 instructors in the U.S., and since 2003 has been listed as a top 100 instructor by GOLF Magazine. Breed's worldwide travels include trips to Canada and China to promote PGA education and has appeared before more than 15 PGA Sections nationwide.
Breed has coached 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel, and past Tour winners Chris Smith and Joe Ogilvie. His current students include five-time Web.com Tour winner Darron Stiles, Ron Whitaker and LPGA winner Meghan Francella.
Breed also is co-author of "Picture Perfect Golf Swing: The Complete Guide to Golf Swing Video Analysis" (2008) and "The 3-Degree Putting Solution" (2011).
Breed and his wife, Kerri, live in Greenwich, Conn., and are parents of a son, William.
DON LAW – PGA Junior Leader
Don Law of Boca Raton, Fla., whose entire professional career has been a commitment to support and educate the next generation of golfers, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award.
Law, 57, is PGA director of instruction of the Club Med Academies in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and owner of the Don Law Golf Academy at Osprey Point Golf Club in Boca Raton; Cypress Creek Country Club in Boynton Beach and Ocean Breeze Golf & Country Club in Boca Raton.
He is a 19-year member of The PGA of America, and is the first member of the South Florida PGA Section to be named recipient of the national PGA Junior Golf Leader Award. The award was established in 1988, recognizing the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth.
Born in Clovis, N.M., the son of a career military father, Law was introduced to golf at age 15 by his high school assistant baseball coach while living in Anchorage, Alaska. Law's family later moved to a military base in Homestead, Fla.
Law would eventually teach the game of golf to his father, who retired a master sergeant in the Air Force. Law went on to advance his education at the Golf Academy of the South in Orlando, Fla. He was elected to PGA membership in 1993, beginning his career at Oriole Golf Course in Delray Beach, Fla. He was head professional and teaching professional from 1995 to January 1999 at Boca Golf in Boca Raton, Fla.
From the start of his career, Law has dedicated himself to junior golf. He opened the first Don Law Golf Academy in 1999, now located at Osprey Point Golf Course. Since then, he opened additional academies in East Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and a summer camp at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. In 2011, Law helped launch the Club Med Academies in Port St. Lucie.
Since 2001, Law has served as chair of the South Florida PGA Junior Golf Committee and since 2011 has been a member of the PGA National Junior Golf Committee. In 2010, he co-founded ParKit Golf, a company that provides golf professionals with innovative teaching kits and training materials designed to grow junior golf.
From 2006 to 2012, he teamed with the South Florida PGA to present the Dennis Walters Clinic, which has impacted more than 3,000 juniors, and was instrumental in the growth and implementation of the South Florida PGA Junior Tour, an initiative that encompasses more than 400 junior members each year.
Law was named the 2011 South Florida PGA Golf Professional of the Year; is a four-time Section Junior Golf Leader (2001,'07, 09, '10); and was the 2006 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient. From 2006 to 2010, Law was named a Top 50 Instructor by the Golf Range Association of America. From 2004-07, Law was named a Top 50 instructor with US Kids Golf and in 2008 a Master Instructor.
Law and his wife, Diana, live in Boca Raton, Fla., and are the parents of a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, David.
HARRY HAMMOND JR. – Bill Strausbaugh Award
PGA Master Professional Harry Hammond Jr. of Unionville, Pa., whose service to both members and aspiring PGA Professionals for nearly a half-century follows the spirit of one of the game's legendary mentors, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Bill Strausbaugh Award.
Hammond, 73, is PGA director of golf at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa., and a 49-year member of The PGA of America. He is the third member of the Philadelphia PGA Section to receive the Bill Strausbaugh Award, which was established in 1979 in tribute to the late Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who left an indelible mark in PGA of America history, excelling in both leadership and service to a PGA Section and the Association. Strausbaugh passed away in 1999.
Hammond, who also was recipient of the 1999 national PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, follows John Poole of West Chester, Pa. (1993), and Doug Ritter of Lancaster, Pa. (1997), as the Philadelphia PGA members to receive the national Bill Strausbaugh Award.
Born in Upland, Pa., Hammond attended Penn State University with the intent of becoming an engineer, but did not push that career goal for long. When his family moved to Kennett Square, Pa., in 1953, he elected to take up golf at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club, where he caddied and later entered a PGA apprenticeship in 1958 under the late PGA Professional William Palumbo.
Hammond was elected to PGA membership in 1963, first serving as PGA head professional at West Chester Golf and Country Club until 1969.
In 1969, Hammond was named PGA head professional at Whitford Country Club in Exton, Pa., and would spend the next 38 years at that post, training many men and women professionals who went on to successful careers in the industry. He was elected a PGA Master Professional in 1991.
Hammond has been a longtime leader within the Philadelphia PGA Section, serving as president in 1986, and as chair from 1993 to 2008 of the Section Junior Golf Committee, a group that he continues to serve. He has been president, since its inception in 1999, of the Greater Philadelphia Section PGA Foundation, an organization that contributes to multiple charities, including the Section's official charity, the Variety Club.
He also is a member of the national Golf 2.0 Growth of the Game Committee. From 2009 through this year, Hammond served on the national PGA Junior Golf Committee, and spent two terms on the PGA Special Awards Committee and the PGA Master Professional Certification Committee. Since 2004, Hammond has been a member of the Section Hall of Fame Committee, and a past member of the Section's Education, Long Range Planning, Executive Director Search, and Special Awards Committees.
In 2007, Hammond retired from Whitford Country Club, where his son-in-law, Michael Ladden, is now its PGA head professional. In '07, Hammond accepted the head men's coaching position at West Chester University, an NCAA Division II program. Hammond's mentorship and coaching expertise was immediately apparent, and he guided the school to the NCAA Regional Championships the past two seasons, and was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the 2010-2011 seasons.
Prior to his retirement from Whitford Country Club, Hammond entered into a partnership to purchase Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa., where he became a consultant to elevate the club business practices and was named its PGA director of golf in 2008.
Service to others, says Hammond, keeps him excited about the game's future. In 2011, the Make-A-Wish Pro-Am committee brought an event to Penn Oaks. The Pro-Am has contributed more than $350,000 to The First Tee of Chester County and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Hammond and his wife, Sally, live in Unionville, Pa. They are the parents of a daughter, Laura, a former Penn State University standout and an eight-time Women's Golf Association of Philadelphia champion. The Hammond family also includes sons David and Brian; and daughters Diane and Sonya.
CARL ALEXANDER – Horton Smith Award
Carl Alexander of Bedford, N.Y., whose leadership within the Metropolitan PGA Section resulted in showcasing both model programs and inspiring new audiences to the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Horton Smith Award for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.
Alexander, 46, is PGA director of golf at The Golf Club of Purchase (N.Y.), and a 16-year member of The PGA of America. He is the fourth member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to receive the Horton Smith Award, which was established in 1965, and named for the late PGA Past President and inaugural Masters Champion.
Born in New York City, Alexander is the son of renowned golf photographer Jules Alexander, and attended Rollins College in Orlando, Fla., before transferring to the University of Arizona. He turned professional in 1992, and joined the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf staff in Orlando, Fla. In 1997, Alexander accepted a teaching and assistant professional position at Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich, N.Y. In 1999, he was recruited to join GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., as PGA head professional to help build the new private golf club.
In 2005, Alexander joined The Golf Club of Purchase, where he has built successful teaching programs, and managed a first-class golf club with high-end services. Throughout his career, Alexander has hired and trained many assistants, several of whom have gone on to their own head professional positions in the Metropolitan PGA Section.
Alexander was introduced to golf at age 6, encouraged to join his neighborhood friends, and would take his first formal lessons from then-Westchester Country Club assistant professional Jim McLean, who went on to become one of the country's most celebrated instructors and the 1994 PGA Teacher of the Year.
Previous Metropolitan PGA Professionals receiving the Horton Smith Award were Andy Nusbaum (1978) of Bronxville, N.Y., Mike Hebron of St. James, N.Y. (1990), and John Kennedy Jr. of Rye, N.Y. (2010).
Since 2003, Alexander has served as a member of the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors; was Section vice president from 2007 to 2011; and has been a member of the Section Education Committee since 2004, and chair of the committee since 2009. He also is co-chair of the Section Communications and Public Relations Committee, serving in those capacities since 2008.
Alexander was the 2006 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year and the 2010 Section Horton Smith Award recipient, and the 2000 Westchester Golf Association Player of the Year.
Among Alexander's endeavors of the past several years include teaming with LPGA Tour player Jane Blalock and other LPGA Tour professionals for a women's executive golf clinic; and developing a junior golf program at The Golf Club of Purchase, which pairs junior golfers for clinics, contests, and on-course competition with professional staff.
In 2009, Alexander met with and recruited Stuart Levine, formerly of Dale Carnegie, and together they developed a leadership and governance program for the Metropolitan PGA Educational Programs and the Board. In 2010, Stuart Levine was one of several keynote speakers at the Met PGA Spring Educational Forum along with Barry Hyde of the USGA and PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka. The PGA of America's Education Department later created four regional educational conferences and teamed with Stuart Levine & Associates to create the Power of Fundamentals Executive Program.
Alexander later served on the committee to develop the Met PGA Head Professional Handbook, which featured more than 400 pages of materials and outlines designed to help professionals in every phase of their operations, business, and personal development. Alexander created the Teaching Center at Purchase, a year-round state-of-the-art facility offered to players of all skill levels.
He used that experience to promote opening of learning centers at clubs throughout the Metropolitan PGA Section, and along with PGA Professional Michael Breed (the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year) hosted a Winter Teaching Program instructing other professionals on how to develop winter teaching programs with indoor facilities that range from cart barns, to the golf shop and local practice ranges.
As a means of networking to build future golf endeavors with the state, Alexander has coached New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and given a series of lessons to Larry Schwartz, chief of staff to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Additionally, Alexander hosts a Teaching Tips seminar that has expanded to local newspaper weekly circulation, and has worked to attract a wide-ranging group of speakers and topics to address Section members.
Alexander and his wife, Anne, live in Bedford, N.Y., and are the parents of sons Jack and Will.
MARK HOLIDAY – PGA Player Development Award
Mark Holiday, the owner and PGA director of golf at Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, Mont., and a promoter of growth of the game initiatives that engage a host community, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Player Development Award.
Holiday, 60, is a 20-year member of The PGA of America and is the first member of the Rocky Mountain PGA Section to be named recipient of the PGA Player Development Award, (formerly The President's Plaque), which was established in 1982, and in 2006 became a special award that supports Play Golf America initiatives.
Born in Valley City, N.D., Holiday picked up golf when a neighborhood friend suggested that they play the local nine-hole Valley City Town & Country Club. Holiday went on to attend the University of North Dakota from 1971-72 before transferring to the University of Kansas, where he graduated in 1974.
It was at that point in life that Holiday made a decision to expand his horizons. He joined the Peace Corps, and from 1974-77 worked in India as an agricultural village level worker with residents in Bahala, a small village some 90 miles southwest of Delhi.
Holiday is serving his sixth year as chair of the Rocky Mountain PGA Growth of the Game Committee. He is a four-time (2005, '07, '09, '11) Rocky Mountain PGA President's Plaque Award recipient; and was the 2003 and 2011 Section Merchandiser of the Year and the 2005 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient.
Holiday says his work is energized by the more than 94,000 golfers in a state of 1 million people, who utilize 121 total golf facilities.
Growth of the Game initiatives that Holiday has promoted at Bridger Creek Golf Course attracted more than 1,100 participants to a schedule of events ranging from youth lessons and family fun nights to novice nights, a junior lease program, leagues, junior golf academy and adult group lessons – the cornerstone of Holiday's adult program since 1995. Adult lessons are scheduled Monday through Friday, with one session each month April through August. Attendance has ranged from 155 through 180 golfers per summer over the past five seasons, with 85 percent women participants.
The junior lease program, which began in 2006, involves leasing junior sets matched to participants in the club's junior lesson program.
The shortened golf season in Montana, a northern tier state, is not a roadblock for Bridger Creek Golf Course access and heightening community image. Holiday hosts events year-round that attract thousands of non-golfers to experience open space and beauty, including Montana State University invitational cross-country meets, and the Montana Junior AAU cross-country championships. In the winter, the course hosts the Bridger Ski Foundation's Nordic ski trails; and the largest single-day event ever on site – a 2009 Journey Church Easter egg hunt that featured 40,000 plastic eggs planted on the practice range. More than 2,200 attended the event.
Holiday and his wife, Kate, live in Bozeman, Mont. They are the parents of daughters Maria, Rikka, and a son, Henry. Rikka is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., where she was a three-year letter winner for the school's NCAA Division III women's golf program.
JOHN KENNEDY JR. – Patriot Award
John Kennedy Jr. of New Canaan, Conn., whose leadership within the Metropolitan PGA Section extended to establishing a foundation for supporting the men and women of the military along with affiliation with the VA to help instruct disabled veterans, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Patriot Award.
First presented in 2008, the Patriot Award honors a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.
The 61-year-old Kennedy is in his 22nd year as PGA head professional at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., and is a 36-year member of The PGA of America. He is the second Metropolitan PGA Section member to receive the Patriot Award, following John Hines of Calverton, N.Y., in 2011.
Kennedy established Golfers in Support of the Troops Foundation in 2008, which has raised more than $90,000 over a four-year period to distribute more than 20,000 articles of clothing to U.S. troops and their families. Clothing was sent to Baghdad, Iraq; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Fort Drum, N.Y. Kennedy contributed 50 percent of the clothing that he purchased for his own golf shop.
In addition to Westchester Country Club serving as a strong supporter of Patriot Golf Day since the initiative began in 2007, it also has supported Kennedy's efforts to build an alliance between the New York VA Hospital Prosthetics Device Department and 2010 Patriot Award recipient Jim Estes of Olney, Md., founder of the Salute Military Golf Association. Together with 2011 Patriot Award recipient John Hines, the group are working to expand training of PGA Professionals to give golf instruction to disabled veterans.
Born in Fairfield, Conn., Kennedy graduated from Fairfield University in 1972 and turned professional that year. He was elected to PGA membership in 1976, during which time he was an assistant professional at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y. In 2010, he became the third member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to be named a recipient of the national Horton Smith Award, which recognizes an individual PGA member for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.
Kennedy also was the 1997 Metropolitan PGA Golf Professional of the Year; and recipient of the 2005 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award; the 1985, '88 and 2009 Section Horton Smith Award; and the 1983 and '91 Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities.
Kennedy and his wife, Eileen, live in New Canaan, Conn., and are the parents of a son, John III, and a daughter, Sarah.
NEW JERSEY PGA SECTION – Herb Graffis Award
The New Jersey PGA Section, comprised of 452 members and apprentices, is the recipient of its first Herb Graffis Award, presented annually to a PGA Section for extraordinary or exemplary contributions in player development, whether by conducting or supporting Play Golf America initiatives.
The Herb Graffis Award is named in honor of the late golf historian, author, and founder of golf magazines, the National Golf Foundation, and co-founder of the Golf Writers Association of America. Graffis passed away in 1989, at the age of 95.
Founded in 1931, the New Jersey PGA Section currently has PGA members employed in 66 percent of the 262 total golf facilities with the Section's boundaries. Section headquarters staff includes a three-person staff guided by Executive Director Scott Kmiec, and a six-month New Jersey Golf Foundation employee. The Section staff oversees three primary endeavors – Juniors, Women and Family Golf.
The New Jersey PGA's Golf In Schools expanded in 2012 to 168 schools with more than 95,000 students participating in the program. Golf In Schools is funded by the charitable arm of the Section, the New Jersey Golf Foundation (NJGF), at no cost to school districts. PGA Professionals provide equipment and train physical education instructors on how to incorporate golf into their classes.
The NJGF demonstrated its commitment to growth of the game in the state in 2011, by raising nearly $200,000 in one day at its fifth annual Golf Classic at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
Golf In Schools is one of three endeavors within Junior Golf in the Section, which also hosts four Youth Golf Open House at public access golf facilities throughout the year and a High School Junior Varsity program to retain participation for prep golfers who did not make their respective high school team.
The New Jersey PGA Section also conducts Junior Golf Tours that include a US Kids Tour for youngsters ages 5 to 14; and a NJPGA Junior Tour for juniors ages 11 to 18. New Jersey has ranked as the No. 1 US Kids Golf summer tour for the past five seasons, with an average of 120 members per event.
The Section and the NJGF also host a series of Free Lesson Days to bring golf to local events ranging from minor league baseball, the Tri-State Health and Wellness Fair and LPGA and PGA Tour events conducted in the state.
The NJGF funded its first Golf for Women Day in 2011, which led to three additional events in 2012 featuring golf skills clinics, on-course instruction and capped by a wine tasting event. Additionally, the Hunterdon YMCA and the NJGF partnered to offer women's golf clinics over a six-week period.
Family Golf expanded in the Section to feature Play Golf America Days and Youth Open Houses, with on-course access and guest presenters. The NJGF also funded a Parent-Child Series at the Woodbridge YMCA to attract more families to play golf together.
AMY PENDERGAST - PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facilities
Amy Pendergast, PGA head professional at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Resort Facilities.
Pendergast, 36, is the second member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section to be honored with a PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excel as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.
A graduate of Portland State University, where she competed on the women's golf team, Pendergast was elected to PGA membership in December 2010, the same year that she was named PGA head professional at Bandon Dunes. Prior to that, she had served as director of retail since joining the seaside resort facility in 2000. Following her first full year as PGA head professional, she was recognized as the 2011 Pacific Northwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities.
Pendergast said a key to the success of Bandon's retail operation is the emphasis that is placed on training and motivation of staff led by PGA Director of Golf Jeff Simonds. Included in that is a monthly newsletter she produces, which contains selling tips and product information specifically for educating the sales staff. In addition, she schedules monthly training sessions with vendors to enhance the expertise of her team.
Another key is the emergence of Bandon Dunes as premier golf destination. Since joining the staff only 10 months after the resort opened, Pendergast has seen it grow from 18 holes and one 800-square-foot golf shop to 85 holes and approximately 5,000 square feet of retail space. In 2011, Golf Digest named Bandon Dunes the country's best golf resort, adding to the allure of wearing one of its logos.
Pendergast and her husband, Tyler, live in Bandon, Ore., and are the parents of a daughter, Allee, and a son, Mason.
DALE SMIGELSKY – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facilities
Dale Smigelsky, PGA director of golf at Collindale Golf Club in Fort Collins, Colo., has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Public Facilities. Smigelsky, 52, is one of two Colorado PGA Section members to be named a 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year, and one of four in Section history since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excel as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.
Smigelsky, who attended Central Florida University, declared professional in 1979, and was elected to PGA membership in 1994. He said that the award is a testament to his staff, which includes his wife, Anne, and the hard work they put in as a team.
Smigelsky was previously honored for his merchandising skills as the 2010 Colorado PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities. He returned to Collindale in 2009, roughly 15 years after he began his career there as an assistant golf professional. In between, he served at two other municipal golf facilities – as PGA head professional at City Park Nine Golf Course in Fort Collins, and as PGA head professional and PGA director of golf at Southridge Golf Club, also in Fort Collins.
Smigelsky owns the merchandise concession at Collindale, which has helped him better understand the wants and needs of his clientele at the municipal facility.
Smigelsky and his wife, Anne, live in Fort Collins, Colo., and are the parents of daughters Kali and Casi, and a son, Alex.
GEORGE KAHRHOFF – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities
George Kahrhoff, PGA head professional at The Country Club at Castle Pines in Castle Rock, Colo., has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Private Facilities.
Kahrhoff, 47, is one of two Colorado PGA Section members to be named a 2012 PGA Merchandiser of the Year, and one of four in Section history since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excel as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.
A 1988 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Kahrhoff achieved PGA membership in 1992.
Kahrhoff has twice been named a Colorado PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year – for Resort Facilities in 2006 while at Sonnenalp Golf Club in Vail, Colo., and for Private Facilities in 2010 while at Castle Pines. He began his PGA Professional career as an assistant professional at the Country Club of Colorado in 1988, where he remained for a decade before moving on to Cherry Hills Country Club.
After five years as an assistant professional at Cherry Hills Country Club, he was named director of golf and club operations at Sonnenalp in 2003. He has been at Castle Pines and served as the club's general manager and head professional from 2008 to January 2012.
Located just south of Denver, The Country Club at Castle Pines is known as one of Colorado's premier private facilities, featuring a Jack Nicklaus Signature Championship course woven into the natural contours of the land. With the golf shop facing stiff competition from big-box retailers, Kahrhoff and his staff have combatted that challenge through creative thinking and follow-through, such as converting to an "all-women's" shop to coincide with a pair of annual women events held at the club.
Kahrhoff and his wife, Aimee, live in Castle Rock, Colo., and are the parents of sons Trey and Mitchell.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.