In mid-January the Section’s Special Awards committee gathered to decide which of the many special award nominees would be honored at the Section’s Spring Meeting on Monday, April 1 at Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, PA. Leading the way for the Philadelphia Section award winners is Merion Golf Club’s Scott Nye. Nye took home the Section’s top award, Golf Professional of the Year as well as being honored as Merchandiser of the Year – Private. This is the first time, since 2007, that a Professional in the Section was a double award winner. John Pillar was awarded both Golf Professional of the Year and Merchandiser of the Year – Resort in 2007.
In addition to his duties at Merion, Nye has also served as a committee member for the Philadelphia Section as well as being a guest speaker for various organizations. Nye has also worked with the USGA to host four USGA Championships, included this June’s US Open. Nye has previously been honored as the Section’s Horton Smith award winner in both 1996-1997.
Mark Anderson, PGA Teaching Professional at The Philadelphia Cricket Club, was named 2012 Teacher of the Year. Anderson has served the Cricket Club in this role for the past 5 ½ years growing a client base through innovative programs such as his “Breakfast Club” which provides early morning instruction during the week. Anderson is also the head women’s golf coach for the University of Pennsylvania, a position he has held for four years. During that time Anderson has been able to bring the program to a new level, including a conference championship in 2010. This marks Anderson’s third Section award having previously won the Bill Strausbaugh Award (2007) and the Horton Smith Award (2008).
Through a variety of specialized junior programs, John Dunigan, PGA Teaching Professional at White Manor Country Club, has been able to distinguish himself as one of the premier junior golf instructors in the Philadelphia Section and that is why he is recognized as the 2012 Junior Golf Leader. Through his programs, Dunigan has been able to usher junior golfers through various stages of instruction from beginners to collegiate players. This is Dunigan’s first Junior Golf Leader award but was honored as Teacher of the Year in 2008.
The recipient of the 2012 Horton Smith Award is Ian Dalzell, Head Professional at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Dalzell serves the Section and his fellow PGA Professionals in a variety of leadership roles. Currently Dalzell serves as Secretary on the Section’s executive committee as well as Chairman of the education committee which enabled him to create the Fall Education Submit in 2012, a first for the Philadelphia Section. Dalzell has previously been honored as Merchandiser of the Year – Private in 2008.
Mark Kelly is named the 2012 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. For the past two years, Kelly served as Co-Chair for the Philadelphia Section PAO (Philadelphia Assistant's Organization), where he encouraged his fellow members to focus on growing the game through community outreach events. Kelly previously served on the PAO Communication, Mentoring and Education Committee, was a player in the Dick Smith Cup Matches from 2010 – 2012, and captained the 2011 winning PAO Independence Cup Team. Kelly actively mentors apprentices through the Philadelphia PGA Mentor Program. This is the first section award for Kelly.
Andy Barbin, Chesapeake Bay Golf Club, is recognized as the 2012 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner. Barbin has taken on many additional duties in the hopes of leading by example and inspiring fellow PGA Professionals and assistant professionals to do the same. Barbin has served on the Section’s tournament, special awards and growth of the game committees. Barbin has also done tremendous work through his Victory Golf Foundation. Barbin has been honored on both the Section and National level taking the Philadelphia PGA President’s Plaque in 2007 & 2009, an award he won nationally in 2010. Barbin was also the Philadelphia PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2010.
Bob Hennefer, Links Golf Club, is the President’s Plaque award winner for 2012. Since becoming a PGA member in 2008 Hennefer has been involved in growing the game even serving on the PGA President’s Council on Growing the Game. Hennefer has volunteered locally at various Play Golf America events as well as implementing a variety of growth of the game and Golf 2.0 initiatives at his facility including Get Golf Ready, Family Golf Month, Free Lesson Month, Tee it Forward, among others. Hennefer is also the co-founder of the non-profit foundation “Golf for Life” which is aimed at introducing and providing golf instruction to individuals with Down syndrome. This is the first special award for Hennefer.
Rounding out the list of Professional award winners are Tom Katancik, Director of Golf Toftrees Resort and Ken Dixon Head Professional Downingtown Country Club. They join Scott Nye as the recipients of the 2012 Merchandisers of the Year. These are the first awards for both Katancik and Dixon who take home the honors in the Resort and Public categories respectively.
Cheryl Seamans, Nike Golf, is honored as the Section’s Salesperson of the Year. After six previous nominations, this is the first award for Seamans. As a member of the Nike Golf team, Seamans has supported the Section in a variety of ways including tournament sponsorship as well as a title sponsor for the Philadelphia Assistants Organization. Through unique sales initiatives with Section members, Seamans has helped her team gain national recognition with Nike Golf.