March 25, 2014
Contact: Carrie Bates
MICHIGAN SECTION PGA
2014 Special Awards Winners Announced
Bath, MI – Michigan Section PGA honored its 2014 Special Award Winners during the Spring Meeting on Monday March 24th at Eagle Eye Golf Club. PGA Members are nominated by their peers and finalist are determined by vote of the membership at the Annual Meeting. The finalists then go through an interview process with the Special Awards Committee who determines the winners. Sections winner will be passed on to the PGA of America National Awards Committee for consideration of a national award.
Richard Stewart of Kalamazoo Country Club, Kalamazoo, MI has been selected by the Michigan PGA Section of The PGA of America as the 2014 recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award.
Established in 1979, the Bill Strausbaugh Award is presented to a PGA Professional who by their day-to-day efforts, have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community. The award reflects the characteristics and qualities of Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who died in 1999.
Aaron Waltz of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, has been selected by the Michigan PGA Section of The PGA of America as the recipient of the 2014 Horton Smith Award.
The Horton Smith Award is awarded annually to a PGA member for his outstanding contributions to professional education. Waltz a 12-year member of The PGA, reflects this commitment through his day-to-day activities in the Michigan PGA Section.
Jason Guss has been selected by the Michigan PGA Section as the 2014 recipient of the Player Development Award (formally the President’s Plaque).
Guss was honored for his efforts at the Section and national level for extraordinary and exemplary contributions in Player Development, which support Play Golf America initiatives.
Brian O’Neill, of Boyne USA Resorts, has been selected by the Michigan PGA Section as the 2014 recipient of the Junior Development Award.
The award is presented annually to the PGA member who demonstrates their leadership within the junior golf community, reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. O’Neill’s interest, concern and ability to provide opportunities and experience for juniors to learn and play golf have significantly impacted junior golfers and junior golf programs on a local and national level.
The Merchandiser of the Year Award recognizes excellence in business and merchandising at private, public and resort golf facilities.
Doug Brody, a PGA Professional at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, has been named the 2014 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for private golf facilities by the Michigan PGA Section.
Ian Ziska, a PGA Professional at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, has been named the 2014 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for public golf facilities by the Michigan PGA Section.
Scot Cucksey, a PGA Professional at Tullymore Golf Club in Stanwood, MI has been named the 2014 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for resort golf facilities by the Michigan PGA Section.
Charles Vandenberg, a PGA Professional at Thousand Oaks Golf Course in Grand Rapids, MI, has been named the 2014 Teacher of the Year by the Michigan PGA Section.
Vandenberg, a 32-year member of The PGA, was honored for his dedication to teaching and outstanding service as a golf instructor.
Bob Bales of Sauganash Golf Club, Three Rivers, MI, has been selected by the Michigan PGA Section as the 2014 recipient of the Patriot Award.
Bales was honored for personifying patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrating unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.
Ron Beurmann, a PGA Professional at Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, MI, has captured the Michigan PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year Award for 2014.
Golf Professional of the year is awarded to members that demonstrate outstanding qualities of leadership, strong moral character, maintain a substantial record of service to the Association and the game of golf, and are well-regarded as a model PGA Golf Professional.
Jeff Rachar has captured the Michigan PGA Section Assistant Golf Professional of the Year Award for 2014.
Rachar, a former assistant at Pine Lake Country Club for 6 plus years, was recognized for his strength as a player/teacher/merchandiser/business person and overall golf professional, contributions made to the success of the his facility, contributions to the game of golf and his character of the nominee and respect from other professionals.
Harry Barrett has been selected by the Michigan PGA Section as the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. The Award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.
Harry was elected to membership of the PGA of America on December 31, 1970. He also celebrates 50 years at Flint Golf Club this year. During his 40 plus years as a PGA Member Harry has been an active member participating in section and chapter events as well as dedicating his time to a variety of positions.
Since 1916, The PGA of America’s mission has been twofold; 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 Association enables PGA 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.