Category - Member Events
Michigan's Shaun Bezilla Sharpens His Game for Second Senior PGA Professional Championship Appearance
Shaun Bezilla, PGA.
The 2023 Senior PGA Professional Championship takes place this week on the Ryder and Wanamaker Courses at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and PGA of America Golf Professionals from facilities across the country are preparing to tee it up.
One of those competitors is Shaun Bezilla, the PGA Head Professional at Harbor Point Golf Club in Harbor Springs, Michigan. This week’s event is Bezilla’s second go-around in the national championship, after qualifying for the 2022 event that took place at Santa Ana and Twin Warriors Golf Clubs in New Mexico.
Bezilla has an interesting story, which mainly stems from the fact that he's from a a family of professionals, executives, directors and managers that all work in golf. His wife, Shauna, is the Vice President of Chapter Relations at First Tee. His sister, Stephanie, the Director of Titleist Metalwood Development at Acushnet Golf, and his brother-in-law, Aaron, is a Product Manager at Vokey Wedges.
Bezilla’s daughter Zoey will receive her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy in December and is already TPI-certified, while his younger daughter, Madi, will graduate next spring with a degree in Sports Management. She too will soon be TPI-certified. Both had successful high school golf careers and now attend Wayne State University.
Shaun, himself, was introduced to the game of golf as a child by his parents, Ed and Karen, both avid golfers who planted the golf seed in their kids that would grow to impact generations to come.
Bezilla started swinging a club at age 5, first played nine holes of golf at 9 or 10, and competed in junior golf events as a teen. He played golf in high school, but it wasn’t until he was already a student at Ferris State University that he considered the path to PGA membership through the school's PGA Golf Management program.
He learned the golf swing with guidance from Mike Boogaard, a Quarter Century PGA Member at The Pines Golf Course in Western Michigan and Lynn Janson, a Michigan PGA Hall of Fame member who was an All-American at Michigan State University and competed in seven U.S. Open Championships.
Bezilla got acclimated to the business of golf through internships at Cascade Hills Country Club in Grand Rapids, La Paloma Country Club in Tucson, Arizona, and Amelia Island Plantation in Florida.
Now, as he prepares for the 2023 Senior PGA Professional Championship, he celebrates almost two decades as PGA Head Professional and golf shop owner at Harbor Point Golf Club, where he was the 2013 Michigan PGA Golf Professional of the Year and is also a Quarter Century PGA Member. He juggles his head pro duties, golf shop ownership responsibilities, and family obligations and practices as time allows, spending more time on his game now that his daughters are grown and on their own.
Bezilla has a relatively short season in Michigan, generally from May to October, and spends his winters in Florida, where Shauna works for First Tee in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Bezilla says he caddied for a good friend in the PGA Professional Championship several years ago, but last year was his first opportunity to compete in a national competition, and he made the most of it, shooting 80 in an admittedly nervous opening round, but came back with a stellar 69 on day two.
He’s been hitting the range and spending a lot of time on the course, getting used to that Bermuda grass. He’s honing his short game and putting skills, knowing full well that his goals will be more attainable if he can get up and down more proficiently than his fellow competitors.
Those goals for the 2023 Senior PGA Professional Championship are first and foremost, to make the 36-hole cut, and secondly to be playing golf on Sunday.
“Keeping your game up as a PGA Professional can be a major challenge," says Bezilla. "You have to make practice a priority among the many other things on your plate.”
It’s evident that Bezilla’s philosophy is paying off, as he pursues his playing goals on a national level. We’ll all be watching as he tees off Thursday, as will his family of golfers, his members at Harbor Point, and his wife and daughters, all proud of the great accomplishments of a superb PGA of America Golf Professional.