NEW YORK – Call him Mayor Matty! It’s actually Mayor-elect, Matty, at least until December, when PGA Professional Matt Brown is sworn into office.
Brown, 41, is having quite a week. In addition to receiving his national award Wednesday night at the Grand Hyatt in New York City as 2016 PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Category, he was elected Mayor of Gearhart, Oregon on Tuesday, in a landslide.
“Total whirlwind—the last 24 hours have been crazy,” said Brown. “We were anxiously awaiting the results (Tuesday) night. They came in about midnight Eastern Time. . .We were up all night having newspapers call into town and celebrating.”
Using a “Matty for Mayor” campaign slogan, Brown won with nearly 80 percent of the vote in the coastal resort town of nearly 1,500. To compare, the previous mayoral election was decided by just five votes—and there was a recount.
“This whole week has been amazing, really one of the coolest weeks of my life,” said Brown.
The popular PGA General Manager and Head Professional at Highlands Golf Club in Gearhart will serve in the unpaid, volunteer mayoral position that he plans to work around his day job in the golf shop. The Gearhart City Council meets once a month.
“I plan on designating a day a week where I go to the city and see what’s going on, giving time to listen and talk to citizens, and get their feedback. Staying involved with the citizens and running the golf course. It will be a little bit of time management.”
Brown campaigned through traditional avenues, such as meet and greets, as well as modern day social media outlets.
“Being mayor is just like being a golf pro – you listen to what your members are going through and try to solve problems.”
Brown joins fellow Oregonian PGA Professional Bill Rosholt in the political circles. Rosholt, a member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section Hall of Fame, served for five years as Union County (Oregon) Commissioner.
The PGA of America celebrated a class of 11 National Award winners Wednesday night. The honorees were:
PGA Golf Professional of the Year:
Cary Cozby, Southern Hills C.C.—Tulsa, Oklahoma
PGA Teacher of the Year:
Mike Adams, Hamilton Farm G.C.—Gladstone, New Jersey
PGA Youth Player Development Award:
Dennis Johnsen, Pine Meadow G.C.—Mundelein, Illinois
Bill Strausbaugh Award:
Joe Tesori, The Pompey Club—Pompey, New York
Horton Smith Award:
Bryan Jones, Black Oak G.C.—Long Valley, New Jersey
PGA Player Development Award:
Mary Hafeman, Deercreek C.C.—Jacksonville, Florida
and Missing Links G.C.–Mequon, Wisconsin
Steve Greiner, Links to Freedom—Springfield, Virginia
Deacon Palmer Award:
William “Bill” Flynn*, Windham C.C.—Windham, New Hampshire
PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Category:
Mark Thush, Desert Mountain Club—Scottsdale, Arizona
PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category:
Matt Brown, Highlands G.C.—Gearhart, Oregon
PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Category:
Kelly O’Donnell, Wolfdancer G.C.—Lost Pines, Texas
Herb Graffis Award:
Northern Texas PGA Section**
**The Herb Graffis Award was presented today during the PGA Annual Meeting morning session.