Year: 2023

PGA of America Member Dustin McCormick Headlines 2023 Philadelphia PGA Section Award Recipients

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (December 22, 2023) — The Philadelphia PGA Section has announced its 2023 award recipients, highlighted by Philadelphia PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year Dustin McCormick, the PGA head golf professional at Glen Brook Country Club in Stroudsburg, Pa. Nearly 150 award nominations were received for the 2023 Awards Class, of which the Philadelphia PGA Awards Committee chose 12 winners, including:

  • Golf Professional of the Year: Dustin McCormick, PGA; Glen Brook Country Club, Stroudsburg, Pa.
  • Teacher & Coach of the Year: Nick Iacono, PGA; Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award: Eric Kennedy, PGA; Overbrook Golf Club, Villanova, Pa.
  • Professional Development Award: Dr. Brian Soulé, PGA; Penn State University, State College, Pa.
  • Patriot Award: Mike Wood, PGA; Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Player Development Award: Robert Munkittrick, PGA; DuPont Country Club, Wilmington, Del.
  • Youth Player Development Award: Becky Dengler, PGA; Ed Oliver Golf Club, Wilmington, Del.
  • Merchandiser of the Year – Private Category: Sam Ambrose, PGA; Chester Valley Golf Club, Malvern, Pa.
  • Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category: Brian Short, PGA; Penn State Golf Courses, State College, Pa.
  • Deacon Palmer Award: Fred Heller, PGA; Rolling Green Golf Club, Springfield, Pa.
  • Justin Riegel PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Bridget McLaughlin, PGA; Tavistock Country Club, Haddonfield, N.J.
  • Salesperson of the Year: Kevin McClellan; KM Golf Sales, Glenside, Pa.

Dustin McCormick, PGA, the PGA of America head golf professional at Glen Brook Country Club in Stroudsburg, Pa., has been named the 2023 Philadelphia PGA of America Golf Professional of the Year. This is the highest annual honor given to a Philadelphia PGA of America Golf Professional, awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the Philadelphia PGA Section and the game of golf.

A PGA of America Member since 2013, McCormick started his professional career in 2007 at Water Gap Country Club, before being hired to his current role at Glen Brook in 2014. When he took over the township-owned facility, he crafted a five-year business plan that provided him complete decision-making authority and would allow him to right the financially struggling business. Through market research, vendor changes, and prebooking, McCormick was able to generate a profit in his first year, all without having to cut one cent from payroll. In addition, he created a new membership platform to encourage local residents to not only join the club, but enlist their friends and family to become members too. These changes, along with McCormick’s revitalization project, helped increase the facility’s membership roster from 43 to 325.

Having been born and raised in Stroudsburg, McCormick has restored the pride the members and local golfers have in Glen Brook. The facility has been experiencing impressive success, now hosting nine golf leagues, 64 outings, and tens of thousands of rounds of golf annually. As part of the revitalization project, the club installed new golf car paths and tee boxes, while also felling over 400 trees as part of their tree management program. Additionally, the recent success has allowed for the installation of an indoor golf simulator / launch monitor, which transforms his golf shop into a golf haven during the winter months, keeping his members and customers engaged during the offseason.

McCormick is quick to say that his accomplishments have been helped along by many over the course of his career. He credits PGA of America Members Bill Lee, John Pillar, and Greg Wall, for guiding him and always providing valuable advice. Their mentorship ultimately encouraged him to negotiate with township supervisors to hire additional PGA of America Professionals to Glen Brook’s staff, boosting the club’s operations, as well as jumpstarting deserving PGA of America Golf Professionals’ careers. As part of this hiring process, McCormick welcomed two-time Philadelphia PGA Professional Champion Alex Knoll, who has worked to increase the reach of Glen Brook’s coaching program, which now has over 150 students, up from less than 25 in just a few years.

Another way McCormick has embraced his membership and the local community has been through his “Dinner With the Pro” initiative, in which he hosts regular dinners for about 20 people to answer any questions and discuss how to improve Glen Brook and its operation. Furthermore, he partnered with the club’s Monroe Lady Golfers League to help raise thousands of dollars for local women in need.

McCormick’s service does not end at Glen Brook; he currently serves as the Philadelphia PGA Section’s tournament director, having completed a two-year term as the director of Section affairs, and a stint as the District 4 director. He has served as chair of the PGA REACH Philadelphia Committee, helping to ensure the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation’s mission to positively impact lives through the game of golf via three core pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity & Inclusion, in addition to serving on the Awards and Teaching & Coaching committees.

This is McCormick’s second Section award; he was previously named the Section’s 2018 Merchandiser of the Year in the Public Category. McCormick lives in Stroudsburg with his bride, Cara, and three daughters, Adalyn, Maelyn, and Evelyn.

Nick Iacono, PGA, the lead golf instructor at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., has been named the 2023 Philadelphia PGA of America Teacher & Coach of the Year for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.” Since earning his PGA of America Membership in 2014, Iacono has worked to provide top-tier golf instruction at several prime facilities, including the Polo Club of Boca Raton, Elmwood Country Club, Ardsley Country Club, Chester Valley Golf Club, and now the famed Merion Golf Club. Iacono has worked with the club leadership, and their PGA of America Director of Instruction Joanna Coe, to improve the year-round Merion Performance Center, making it a one-stop instructional shop for their students. He has also helped to design and implement programming to facilitate the change of motor patterns, even during the offseason. Some of the educational offerings he offers include “Advanced Wedgeucation” to help students create more spin around the greens, Aimpoint green reading clinics, elite junior golf camps, as well as a staff education series and intern education (co-presented with John Dunigan, PGA) to help shape the next generation of PGA of America Golf Professionals.

While Iacono teaches golfers of all skill levels, several of his students have seen impressive competitive success, including 2023 PGA Professional Champion and 2023 PGA Championship competitor Braden Shattuck, PGA; 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship competitor and two-time Philadelphia PGA Women’s Player of the Year Joanna Coe, PGA; 2023 Philadelphia PGA Silvercrest Cup Champion Dave Pagett, PGA; Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization Tour Champion Anthony Sebastianelli; and 2023 Metropolitan PGA Match Play Champion and 2023 Metropolitan PGA Silvercrest Cup Champion Mike Ballo, PGA.

Iacono’s passion is not limited to the boundaries of Merion, as he has become a certified PGA HOPE national trainer to teach his fellow PGA of America Golf Professionals how to safely and effectively teach U.S. military veterans. PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH and PGA REACH Philadelphia, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America and Philadelphia PGA Section. PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans and active duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. The program introduces the game of golf through a developmental four-to-five week curriculum, led by PGA of America Golf Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency. All programs are funded by PGA REACH and supplemented by PGA Section foundations, so the cost of programming is free to all veterans. Additionally, he has presented at multiple golf instruction summits and symposiums, both within the Philadelphia PGA Section and nationally. Iacono has also been named to Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers in America and Best in State Teacher lists, as well as Golf Magazine‘s Top 100 Teachers list.

Eric Kennedy, PGA, the PGA of America head golf professional at Overbrook Golf Club in Villanova, Pa., is the recipient of the 2023 Philadelphia PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award, an honor he also received in 2014. The award recognizes a PGA of America Golf Professional who demonstrates exceptional character, integrity and leadership, by way of teaching and mentoring other PGA Professionals. Kennedy was also named the Section’s Golf Professional of the Year in 2015. A PGA of America Member for nearly 19 years, Kennedy says his goal as a mentor is to identify each person’s strength’s and weaknesses, and determine how this may affect the person’s ability to reach their goals. In the 18 years serving as a PGA of America head golf professional, he has seen four of his former assistant golf professionals earn head golf professional positions of their own. He says that if young PGA of America Golf Professionals are unsure of which career path they should take, it is his responsibility to help clarify their goals and ensure that they emphasize the required skill set. Kennedy has said that he has developed a unique skillset to recognize and recruit passionate PGA of America Golf Professionals throughout the country, and has implemented it while at Overbrook to improve the club’s overall operations. Furthermore, he believes that a person’s character and integrity can be measured by their reputation, and that his reputation is being someone who genuinely cares about others and is always available; helping others achieve their goals is the measure of a person with good character. In addition to helping his staff achieve their goals and move onto bigger positions, Kennedy has been involved with Section governance both here in the Philadelphia PGA Section and the Carolinas PGA Section. While in the Carolinas, he served the Section’s Hilton Head Chapter in all capacities, and helped create sizable charitable fundraisers for local communities. Here in the Philadelphia Section, Kennedy currently serves as Section secretary, after previously serving as District 6 director and director of tournaments. He has also volunteered his time with “Inside Golf,” a local golf television show that airs on NBC Sports Philadelphia, to promote the industry-wide player development program Get Golf Ready and is currently working on a new project to highlight local PGA of America Golf Professionals and their careers.

Brian Soulé, PhD, PGA, the Section’s 2023 Professional Development Award recipient, is an associate teaching professor, director of world campus programs for Penn State University’s Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, and assistant director for the university’s PGA Golf Management program. Soulé says that an integral part of his job is to develop, deliver, and advance education programs both at Penn State and with the PGA of America. In his 14 years of service at the university, he has mentored over 250 future PGA of America Golf Professionals. In addition to his official duties, Soulé has been organizing an annual PGA Golf Management Intern Conference since 2011. The conference is held in the northeast each summer with the goal of providing education, networking, and professional growth opportunities to PGA of America Students enrolled in any of the 17 PGA of America-accredited programs. Since its inception, the event has grown to host over 400 students and industry professionals. Furthermore, Soulé has volunteered his time to serve on several national and university-specific PGA of America committees, helping to create an international internship framework, refine program curriculum, and improve the way the PGA of America’s education is delivered.

Mike Wood, PGA, is the PGA of America director of golf at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., and the recipient of the Section’s 2023 Patriot Award. The award bestows special recognition on a PGA of America Golf Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates an unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected our country. He was named the Section’s 2022 Golf Professional of the Year, and has worked at Saucon Valley since 2003 and has served in his current role since 2021. The club has a long history of supporting Patriot Golf Day, and since 2007, has raised over $20,000 to provide scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled military. Saucon Valley also recently hosted the Folds of Honor’s Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey Chapter’s Wingman Open, which featured a field of 292 players. Over the course of the past two years, the event has raised over $500,000, making it the largest single-day Folds of Honor fundraiser on the east coast. Wood was also instrumental in opening one of PGA HOPE Philadelphia’s newest chapters in 2023. The new program hosted over 60 veterans between their spring and fall sessions, and has plans to grow in the coming years. As part of PGA HOPE, Wood led a team of veterans to victory in the Section’s inaugural HOPE Cup at Riverton Country Club in New Jersey. As a result of their victory, the team will represent the Section at the 2024 PGA of America Secretary’s Cup during PGA Championship week in Louisville, Kentucky. Wood has also worked closely to host other events that assist veterans, such as the National Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing and Learn to Golf clinics, and the Eastern Amputee Golf Association’s Adaptive Golf Championship.

Robert Munkittrick, PGA, the director of tournaments and director of women’s Operation 36 at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del., is the recipient of the Section’s 2023 Player Development Award. This honor bestows special recognition to a PGA of America Member who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development. A PGA of America Member since 1992, Munkittrick says that his player development goal is to create and implement programs that enable individuals to enjoy learning, and that build camaraderie, and foster a lifelong love of the game of golf. Over the course of his career, he has earned PGA of America Certification in Teaching & Coaching, and has been certified by TPI, SuperSpeed Golf, and Golf Genius. He has also served on the Indiana PGA Section’s Board of Directors, as chair of that Section’s Education Committee, and as a member of their Member Relations Committee. Operation 36 also named him a Top 50 Coach in 2022. As the director of tournaments at DuPont, Munkittrick is responsible for 34 club-wide member events, 39 weekly league and special league events, 42 corporate events and charity outings, and six indoor golf leagues. As the director of the facility’s women’s Operation 36, he builds, markets, administers, and instructs three semester-long programs for women. Each program consists of eight weeks of one-hour classes and four nine-hole play day challenges. In the three years since its inception, Munkittrick has shepherded more than 350 women through the program. In fact, the program has been so successful that Operation 36 now uses DuPont as a national case study to help other golf facilities replicate their success. Munkittrick was also the head golf coach at Sanford High School for seven seasons, prior to moving into his current assistant golf coach role. Before working at DuPont, Munkittrick led the youth golf camps at Hartefeld National, and implemented Get Golf Ready, PGA Junior Camps, and Operation 36 at the facility.

Becky Dengler, PGA, is a dual PGA of America and LPGA Member, a LPGA Master Professional and golf instructor at Ed Oliver Golf Club in Wilmington, Del., and the Section’s 2023 Youth Player Development Award recipient. The award is given annually to a PGA of America Golf Professional who has made extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of youth player development. Dengler has also served as the program coordinator, coach and consultant for the Urban Youth Golf Program of Delaware since its inception in 1994, then under the LPGA, now the First Tee of Delaware. As a result, she has also earned her certification as a First Tee coach, and has served as a national trainer for the First Tee’s national office. She also works with the First Tee’s mentoring program to train youth golfers to help them achieve their goals. While working with the First Tee, she helped increase the percentage of girls active in the program, and strongly increased their school-based programming to reach more inner-city schools. Through the Urban Youth Golf Program, she created the Barbara Dengler Scholarship in honor of her late mother. Over $100,000 has been awarded to deserving high school seniors to assist them with financial aid at the college level. Dengler has worked in multiple roles while hosting LPGA / USGA Girls Golf programs, and ran clinics in conjunction with what is now known as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Additionally, Dengler works with Women Golfers Give Back to offer six Players Program sites around the Philadelphia PGA Section. The program provides coaching for young female golfers beyond the introductory level.

Sam Ambrose, PGA, the PGA of America head golf professional at Chester Valley Golf Club in Malvern, Pa., has been named the Section’s 2023 Merchandiser of Year for the Private Category. The award recognizes PGA of America Golf Professionals working at a private golf facility who have excelled in business and merchandising in the promotion of golf. Ambrose, a PGA of America Member since 2011, personally spends 40 percent of his workdays in merchandising the golf shop he owns. His merchandising philosophy is centered around exceptional customer service. While he says Chester Valley’s merchandising approach is strong, they are aways improving, and willing to tweak, expand, or adjust in an effort to stay ahead of the curve. In a way to improve service and customer trust, the Chester Valley golf shop staff has started to reach out to club members in advance of their significant others’ birthdays to see if they can offer any assistance. Also in 2023, the club celebrated its centennial, and worked with renowned artist and Philadelphia native Lee Wybranski to create a centennial logo. The Pennsylvania Railroad Lantern logo that was used pays homage to the club’s inception, founded by railroad executives. The logo was included on 100 percent of the merchandise offered in the golf shop, and was well-received by the members.

Brian Short, PGA, the PGA of America head golf professional at Penn State Golf Courses in State College, Pa., has been named the Section’s 2023 Merchandiser of Year for the Public Category. The award recognizes PGA of America Golf Professionals working at a public golf facility who have excelled in business and merchandising in the promotion of golf. Short was elected to PGA of America Membership in 2010, while working as an assistant golf professional at Penn State; he took over as head golf professional in 2017. While he has many different responsibilities across the facility, he spends a minimum of three to four hours per day on the merchandising operation. In addition to the brick and mortar shop, he also runs an online golf shop so customers may stock up on gear while not at the course. He has added an extensive amount of SKUs to the online shop requiring a fair amount of backend web work. Another way his shop has remained successful is by offering multiple logo options for sale; the shop sells merchandise with the golf course logo, as well as the Penn State Athletics’s Nittany Lion logo. His professional staff strives for excellence by providing a quality product, for a fair price, within a comfortable family atmosphere. Additionally, Short changes the physical shop’s layout once per month to keep everything fresh. Outside of the shop, he has offered his expertise to fellow PGA of America Golf Professionals via PGA Magazine‘s PGA of America Golf Professionals’ Best Practices Series.

Fred Heller, PGA, is the first assistant golf professional at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa., and the Section’s 2023 Deacon Palmer Award recipient.  The award bestows special recognition to a PGA of America Golf Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership, in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life. This individual is an unsung hero/heroine at their facility and in their community, who serves to inspire, empower and assist others, both inside and outside of the game. In 2006, Heller was diagnosed with cancer and had his knee and seven and a half inches of his tibia removed. In 2018, the cancer returned and he had his right leg amputated above his knee following an infection. Heller said experiencing this challenging situation completely changed his outlook on life; every day, he simply wants to smile and make everyone around him smile and appreciate life, given it can change in an instant. Since his amputation, Heller works to teach at as many disabled golf clinics as possible each year, including the Good Shepherd Learn to Golf Clinic, Drexel University classes, the National Amputee Golf Association’s clinics, and the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s new adaptive golf programming. He recently started coaching a youth golfer who also lost his leg to amputation, and has since made his high school golf team. Heller also says that many Rolling Green members have told him that he is an inspiration when they see him play golf, which only motivates to promote the game of golf more.

Bridget McLaughlin, PGA, is the first assistant golf professional at Tavistock (New Jersey) Country Club, and the Section’s 2023 Justin Riegel Assistant Golf Professional of the Year.  The award recognizes PGA of America Golf Professionals who have excelled in business and merchandising in the promotion of golf, and is named for the late Justin Riegel, a past Section Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. McLaughlin says that growing up learning to play the game of golf from her parents and working as a PGA of America assistant golf professional has taught her how to be adaptable in an industry that is ever-changing. It is her responsibility to stay organized and flexible when changes are needed to be made to the operation. She says that working at both Tavistock and St. Davids Golf Club in Wayne, Pa., allowed her to learn all aspects of a successful golf operation, and learn to adjust her involvement based on the clubs’ needs. McLaughlin prioritizes service over profit; she says it is more important to create trusting relationships with members so that they know I will always do what is best for them. She also says that being an approachable manager is very important so that staff members feel they have opportunities to ask questions or present ideas in a safe space. Outside of Tavistock, McLaughlin volunteers for the Section’s Women’s Committee to help create networking and education opportunties for the Section’s women members. Recently, she ran a leadership summit for the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust. The session was designed for women to provide a welcoming and fun atmosphere while being introduced to the game of golf. Included in the discussions were the barriers women and minority groups frequently face during their entry into the game, and what can be done to make the sport less intimidating. McLaughlin has also served as head coach for Eastern University’s women’s golf team, and helped to run clinics for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, and Operation 36 programs.

Kevin McClellan, the founder and owner of KM Golf Sales in Glenside, Pa., is the Section’s 2023 Salesperson of the Year, an award he previously won in 1998, 2018, and 2020. This award recognizes a sales representative who contributes to the Section and is involved with sponsoring Section events. They are also respected among their fellow Section clubs and have implemented new ideas to assist growing the game of golf. McClellan, a golf industry veteran of 33 years, currently represents Cutter & Buck, Ahead, Heritage Creations, Dynamic Brands, and Temercraft. He says his philosophy has always been straightforward and simple: work hard, be honest, communicate well, and treat each customer like a business partner. McClellan says he has been fortunate to work with some of the industry’s best buyers, merchandisers, designers, logo developers, and business minds, and that sharing that knowledge helps each of his customers become more educated and successful in their own business ventures.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, Philadelphia PGA Section, mfrey@pgahq.com

PGA of America Accepting Applications for PGA LEAD Cohort IX

Do you have the desire and passion to share your diverse ideas, be involved on committees at the Chapter, Section, and National levels of the Association, run for office, or become a volunteer leader within PGA of America governance? Do you want to learn about enhancing and elevating your personal brand, how to facilitate an effective board meeting, or how to serve on a committee successfully?

If so, then PGA LEAD may be the leadership development program for you and we encourage you to apply on PGA.org on the Inclusion Hub. Applications must be submitted by December 18, 2023.

APPLY NOW

Eligibility & Application

While PGA LEAD is designed to drive a diverse demographic of participants with consideration given to gender, age, race/color, national origin/ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and Veteran status, the program is open to all Class A PGA Members.

  • PGA Members who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply for PGA LEAD. (PGA of America employees are not eligible to apply)

  • Class A PGA Member for at least one year and in good standing.

  • Aspires to serve as a national volunteer leader within Association governance.

  • Is committed to actively participating in monthly virtual meetings and completing related assignments.

  • Is committed to participating in PGA LEAD for one 1.5 year (2024-2025) including PGA LEAD activities at the two PGA events during the term.

  • Is committed to making a PGA LEAD presentation at a PGA Section Meeting upon completion of the program as an inspiration to others.

Any questions? Please contact Chris Noble, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lead at cnoble@pgahq.com.

Philadelphia PGA Members Jeff Kiddie and John Carpineta Honored by PGA of America

During the PGA of America’s Annual Meeting Week at the Association’s new home in Frisco, Texas, Aronimink Golf Club PGA Head Professional Jeff Kiddie, PGA, and Bensalem Township Country Club PGA Professional and PGA HOPE Bensalem Chapter Lead John Carpineta received their national honors, the PGA Golf Professional of the Year award, and the PGA Patriot Award, respectively. Kiddie is the Section’s first-ever national PGA Golf Professional of the Year, while Carpineta, known affectionately as “Johnny C,” is the Section’s first national PGA Patriot Award recipient.

Prior to being interviewed by David Marr III in front of the Annual Meeting delegates, PGA Membership, industry leaders, friends, and family, the PGA debuted short videos highlighting each award recipient and the hard work they have put into their careers, facilities, Section and Association. To watch the videos, click on the below video screens.

Congratulations to both Jeff and Johnny! Both PGA Members have made our Section proud, and will no doubt continue to improve the game, Association, initiatives, and facilities going forward!

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

PGA of America Honors the Late Dick Smith, PGA, With Video Tribute at Annual Meeting

During the PGA of America’s Annual Meeting Week at the Association’s new home in Frisco, Texas, the late PGA Past President Dick Smith Sr. was honored with a moving video tribute. The feature highlight’s Smith’s impressive career here in the Philadelphia PGA Section and his involvement at the national level, as well as the impact he had on his family, friends, and peers. To watch the video, click here.

Michael Loeper, PGA, and Gene Stricker Team to Win 2023 Philadelphia PGA Professional-Superintendent Championship

Bethlehem, Pa. (November 3, 2023) — The 1912 Club’s PGA Head Professional Michael Loeper and Golf Course Superintendent Gene Stricker teamed to win the 2023 Philadelphia PGA Professional-Superintendent Championship‘s Net Division on Saucon Valley Country Club’s Old Course.

This is the event’s second year; it was created to show support not just for our PGA Members and Associates, but for the superintendents who take care of our sports’ fields of play so well.

On a cool, but sunny autumn day, the winning duo finished their round at 4-under-par, bettering the team from Trenton Country Club, Eli Reid, PGA, and Peter Daly by one stroke. The victors made six net birdies and two net bogeys in the one Better Ball of two format on the course that has hosted multiple major championships.

There was a three-way tie for third place at 2-under-par: John F. Byrne Golf Course’s Anthony Hoffman and Joseph Diacovo; Pine Meadows Golf Complex’s Andy Signor, PGA, and Tom Kintzer; and Paxon Hollow Country Club’s Daniel Malley, PGA, and Steve Stephens.

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club’s Dave Pagett, PGA, and Darren Farrar tied for the Gross Division title with GOLFTEC-Malvern’s Anthony Napoletano, PGA, and Mike Caber; both teams finished with even-par 71s. The teams from Trenton C.C., Pine Meadows, and Paxon Hollow, two behind.

To view the full results of the 2023 Philadelphia PGA Professional-Superintendent Championship, click here.

The 2023 Philadelphia PGA Professional-Superintendent Championship is supported by Golf Cart Services / E-Z-GOModern Brands, and SOX Erosion Solutions. The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA Professionals thank our host, Saucon Valley Country Club, its members, management, host PGA Professionals, and staff, as well as our partners, as the event would not have been possible without their support.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Chip Richter Elected as 45th Philadelphia PGA Section President

Huntingdon Valley, Pa. (October 29, 2023) — PGA Member Chip Richter of the Country Club of Harrisburg in Harrisburg, Pa., was elected 45th Philadelphia PGA President at the Section’s 2023 Fall Membership Meeting at Philmont Country Club.

Bob Hennefer of Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel, N.J., and Eric Kennedy of Overbrook Golf Club in Villanova, Pa., will join Richter as Section officers, being elected as vice president, and secretary, respectively. Patrick Shine of Doylestown (Pa.) Country Club, moves to the role of honorary president following his two-year stint as president.

The membership also selected Dustin McCormick of Glen Brook G.C., as director of tournaments, and Anthony Malizia, Bidermann G.C., as director of Section affairs. Section Districts 1, 3 and 5 also elected new directors, with Curtis Kirkpatrick, Indian Spring C.C., Jeff Breiner, C.C. of Harrisburg, and Tom Michaels, Berkshire C.C., taking those roles. The board of directors and Executive Director Geoff Surrette also thanked outgoing directors Kevin Duffy, Commonwealth National G.C., Jason Gebhart, the Bridges G.C., and Brett Nelson, Moselem Springs G.C., for their service.

During the meeting, Richter formally announced the Section’s 2023 class of Playing Legends: Ted McKenzie and Jerry Pisano; Pisano will be inducted posthumously. Established in 1991, the Section’s Playing Legends honorary program recognizes individuals based on criteria set forth by the Philadelphia PGA’s Hall of Fame Committee. One of the main criteria is that individuals must have had success in major events locally or nationally, something that each 2023 inductee has accomplished consistently throughout their careers. To learn more about the 2023 Playing Legends class, click here.

The Section’s playing awards were also formally announced during the meeting and included:

  • Rolex Haverford Trust Player of the Year:
    Braden Shattuck, PGA, Rolling Green G.C.
  • Women’s Player of the Year:
    Joanna Coe, PGA, Merion G.C.
  • Rolex Robert “Skee” Riegel Senior Player of the Year:
    Rich Steinmetz, PGA, Spring Ford C.C.
  • Super Senior Player of the Year:
    Brian Kelly, PGA Life Member
  • F. Edward DeBaufre Trophy for Scoring Average:
    Trevor Bensel, PGA, Sandy Run C.C.
  • Comeback Player of the Year:
    Dave Quinn, PGA, Laurel Creek C.C.
  • Ike Turner Most Improved Player:
    Brad Sanders, PGA, Sunnybrook G.C.
  • Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization Player of the Year:
    Anthony Sebastianelli, Rolling Green G.C.
  • Central Counties Chapter Player of the Year:
    Brian Bergstol, PGA, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort

The Section was honored to host PGA of America Chief Operating Officer Craig Kessler as a special guest to the meeting. Kessler took part in a town hall discussion with the Philadelphia PGA Professionals in attendance, and spoke about the Association’s strategic focus and plans for the future.

The Section also acknowledged the first-ever recipients of the Bud Jennings PGA Golf Management Scholarship: PGA Associates Victoria Petrosky of Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, Pa.; and Gregory Rhoads of Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa. The scholarship was developed by the Jennings family to honor Bud Jennings, a lifelong golfer and longtime Chester Valley Golf Club member. Given Bud’s love for the game of golf, and his willingness to give back and help others, the Jennings family says that this award is the perfect way to remember his legacy. To learn more about the scholarship and the 2023 recipients, click here.

Following the meeting, 114 of the nearly 200 PGA Professionals in attendance teed it up in the Fall Meeting’s two-person scramble, with Rolling Green G.C.’s Braden Shattuck and Anthony Sebastianelli tying Joanna Coe, Merion G.C., and Tessa Teachman, Aroninink G.C.; and Gulph Mills G.C.’s Tom Gilbert and Louis Kelly; atop the leaderboard at 9-under-par. Four teams tied for fourth place.

One the the highlights of the tournament was Parks Price, C.C. of York, making a hole-in-one on No. 17. Price used a 6-iron from 184 yards. Well played, Parks!

To view the full 2023 Philadelphia PGA Fall Meeting leaderboard, click here.

The 2023 Philadelphia PGA Fall Meeting is supported by Cobra Golf, Evolve Golf, Signature Golf, StickX, and Maui Jim. The Philadelphia PGA Section and its PGA Professionals thank our partners, Philmont Country Club, its membership, management, and host PGA Professionals, and staff, as the event would not be possible without their support.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

Philadelphia PGA Section Announces Class of 2023 Playing Legends

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (October 28, 2021) — The Philadelphia PGA Section is proud to announce its Class of 2023 Playing Legends, which includes PGA Members Ted McKenzie and Jerry Pisano; Pisano will be inducted posthumously. The class will be honored at the Section’s Fall Membership Meeting at Philmont Country Club on October 30.

Established in 1991, the Section’s Playing Legends honorary program recognizes individuals based on criteria set forth by the Philadelphia PGA’s Hall of Fame Committee. One of the main criteria is that individuals must have had success in major events locally or nationally, something that each 2023 inductee has accomplished consistently throughout their careers.

Playing Legends – Class of 2023
Ted McKenzie, now retired, has a remarkable résumé for both playing professional accomplishments. He was the longtime PGA Professional at Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Pa., and later helped found the famed Stonewall Links in Elverson, Pa. During his career, he worked his way through the ranks of the Philadelphia PGA Section’s Board of Directors, ultimately serving as the Section’s president, and also served as the Section’s tournament chair. For over 20 years, McKenzie was one of the leading players in the Section. His two biggest wins within the Section included the 1971 Philadelphia Open and the 1979 Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship. He earned the Player of the Year title in 1975, and also earned the F. Edward DeBaufre Trophy for Scoring Average the same year. Throughout his career, he qualified for two U.S. Opens, seven PGA Professional Championships and a Senior PGA Professional Championship. In the first 13 years of the Challenge Cup Matches against the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, McKenzie qualified for the team 11 times and he earned a berth on the team a total of 12 times. In 1984, he was honored as the Section’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year and was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 2006.
Jerry Pisano, named a Philadelphia PGA Playing Legend posthumously, worked as the PGA Professional at several facilities, including Overbrook Golf Club in Villanova, Pa., Locust Valley in Coopersburg, Pa., Radnor Valley Country Club in Villanova, Pa., and Edgmont Country Club in Newtown Square, Pa. Pisano won the Philadelphia Open three times, in 1957, 1962, and 1965, in addition to the 1964 Pennsylvania Open. Over the course of his career, Pisano competed in five major championships, including three PGA Championships (1961, 1962, and 1963), and two U.S. Opens (1962 and 1963).

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, Philadelphia PGA Section, mfrey@pgahq.com

Dave McNabb, Rich Steinmetz Qualify for 2024 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Please join us in congratulating PGA Members Dave McNabb of Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa., and Rich Steinmetz of Spring Ford Country Club in Royersford, Pa., for qualifying for the Corebridge Financial PGA Team at the 2024 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, May 23-26, at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich.! Both qualified via their play in last week’s Senior PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the top 35 finishers earn exemptions into the major in May.

Steinmetz, the two-time Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Champion, and a past PGA Championship competitor, made his senior men’s major championship debut at this year’s Senior PGA Championship. McNabb has played several major championships, including in this year’s Senior PGA, where he made the first-ever competitive hole-in-one at PGA Frisco in Texas.

In last week’s Senior PGA Professional Championship, both McNabb and Steinmetz tied for 20th place at 2-over-par. McNabb finished with rounds of 70-75-75-69–289, while Steinmetz went 69-72-76-72–289.

To learn more about the 2024 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, click here.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com

PGA REACH Philadelphia’s Fourth Annual Pro-Am a Success

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (November 1, 2023) — In mid-October, PGA REACH Philadelphia, the Philadelphia PGA Section’s charitable foundation, raised over $67,000 from its fourth annual pro-am championship at Galloway (N.J.) National Golf Club, which featured teams comprised of one PGA Professional and three amateur golfers. The event’s proceeds will help support the foundation’s Youth, Military, and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

The foundation launched the annual event in 2020 to help support its Youth, Military, and Diversity & Inclusion programming, and to spread the word about its mission to positively impact lives through the game of golf.

“We are thrilled that our fourth pro-am championship resulted in another great success,” said PGA REACH Philadelphia Director Courtney Curcio. “The support shown by our partners and supporters helped secure the funding we need to continue our programming across the Section.”

The 2023 pro-am’s premier partner is the Union League of Philadelphia; its presenting partners are American Floors Inc.Creative Financial GroupOcean Casino ResortParx CasinoValley Forge Tourism & Convention BoardVisit DelcoWilliam E. Howe & Co., and the Zisman Family Foundation. Its supporting partners included the AGS Tour and Holman. The pro-am’s gift partners included AheadWinston CollectionBushnellCasamigos, and Pairings Cigar Bar.

PGA REACH Philadelphia offers several programs to support local youth golfers, U.S. military veterans, and inclusion initiatives, including PGA Jr. LeagueGolf in SchoolsPGA HOPEthe Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship, Diversity Scholars Mentor Program, and PGA WORKS Fellowships.

On a picture-perfect autumn day down the shore, the team representing Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, Mike Bowman, Jake Markezin, Charlie Bowman, and Todd Kiebort, took the top prize with their net score of 15-under-par 56. The event also featured participants from the foundation’s PGA HOPE Philadelphia, PGA Jr. League, and Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship programs, who were stationed around the course to speak with golfers about their experiences and how the foundation has helped improve their lives.

To watch a short “sizzle reel” recap of the event, click here.

To support PGA REACH Philadelphia directly, click here.

About PGA REACH Philadelphia 
PGA REACH Philadelphia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2018 as the charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, one of the 41 Sections within the PGA of America. PGA REACH Philadelphia is committed to serving our communities and growing the game of golf through our three pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity.

For more information on PGA REACH Philadelphia and its mission to positively impact lives through golf, visit https://www.pgareach.org/philadelphia. To donate to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please click here.

Contacts: 
Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, mfrey@pgahq.com
Courtney Curcio, Director, PGA REACH Philadelphia, ccurcio@pgahq.com

Philadelphia PGA Section Announces Bud Jennings PGA Golf Management Scholarship Recipients

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (October 20, 2023) — The Philadelphia PGA Section is excited to announce the first-ever recipients of the Bud Jennings PGA Golf Management Scholarship: PGA Associates Victoria Petrosky of Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, Pa.; and Gregory Rhoads of Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa. The scholarship was developed by the Jennings family to honor Bud Jennings, a lifelong golfer and longtime Chester Valley Golf Club member. Given Bud’s love for the game of golf, and his willingness to give back and help others, the Jennings family says that this award is the perfect way to remember his legacy.

“Kathryn and I are thrilled to announce the inaugural winners of the Bud Jennings PGM Scholarship to Victoria Petrosky and Gregory Rhoads,” said Chris Jennings. “Both are deserving candidates and we are very happy to be honoring my father’s memory while also giving back to the golf community in Philadelphia.”

The $3,000 scholarships will be awarded annually to both one male and one female Philadelphia PGA Associate aspiring to be elected to PGA Membership. Scholarship recipients will possess the skills, drive, and character it takes to become a first-class PGA Member. The recipients must show demonstration of outstanding qualities of leadership; demonstration of strong moral character; ability to maintain a substantial record of service to the Philadelphia PGA Section, PGA of America, and the game of golf; well-regarded as a model PGA Associate.

Victoria Petrosky currently serves as the director of instruction at Fox Hill Country Club in northeastern Pennsylvania, following stints working as assistant professional at the club, as well as at Irem Country Club. She says having passion for her career makes her an outstanding PGA Associate. Prior to her work in the golf industry, she earned a degree in nursing, but decided to become a PGA Professional because she has a true passion for the game of golf, as well as helping others find the same passion for the sport. Petrosky also played on the Section’s Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour as a junior. In the future, she hopes to create instructional programs for underprivileged youth golfers, helping to improve their lives.

“To be able to work in a field that you are passionate about is a privilege,” says Petrosky. “I am able to do what I love with the support of the Philadelphia PGA Section, and the generosity of those such as the Jennings family. I am very honored to receive this award, and to be able to help fulfill Mr. Jennings’ legacy of spreading the love of golf. I would like to give a special thanks to Fox Hill Country Club, and it’s members for giving me the opportunities that it has, and for supporting me in my journey to becoming a Class A PGA Member.”

Greg Rhoads has been an assistant professional at Rolling Green Golf Club near Philadelphia since the spring of 2022, following stints working as an assistant at Lebanon (Pa.) Country Club and the River Club in South Carolina, in addition to coaching at the GOLFTEC in Malvern, Pa. Rhoads says that showing others that golf is not only a fun game to play but also a tool to develop critical life skills that enhance a person’s sense of purpose, connection and fulfillment should be the overwhelming goal of every PGA Professional. While at Rolling Green, he has been active in recruiting caddies, and helping them earn scholarships through the J. Wood Platt Trust. He also administers summer-long youth golf camps, the club’s PGA Jr. League team, and assists in managing the golf staff. In the future, he hopes to serve on various Section committees and on the board of directors.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected as one of the first recipients of the Bud Jennings PGA Golf Management Scholarship,” says Rhoads. “I want to thank the Jennings family for their generous contributions and support, a continuation of Mr. Bud Jennings’ willingness to give back and his love for the game of golf. I also want to express my thanks to the Philadelphia PGA Section for developing this new opportunity, in collaboration with the Jennings family, to assist PGA Associates towards their goal of becoming PGA Members. I look forward to realizing the goal of being elected to PGA Membership early next year thanks to the Bud Jennings PGA Golf Management Scholarship.”

About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.

Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, Philadelphia PGA Section, mfrey@pgahq.com