PGA of America Honors Jim Smith Jr., PGA, and Dean Kandle, PGA, With National Awards
In all, 13 Award recipients will be recognized at the 71st PGA Show today, Jan. 24, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, at 4 p.m. ET on the PGA of America Industry Stage presented by CapTech. All 13 recipients are scheduled to attend the ceremony.
“Our 2024 PGA of America Award recipients have dedicated their lives to helping countless individuals enjoy this game we all love, and they do it exceptionally well,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lansing in Lansing, Michigan. “I have had the opportunity to get to know several of our winners over the years and they truly are a great representation of what our more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals do on a daily basis. To stand out among their peers is an incredible achievement.”
In addition, the recently announced 2023 PGA of America Professional Players of the Year presented by Rolex award recipients will be celebrated on the Industry Stage, including: Men’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Michael Block of Mission Viejo, California.; Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth of Jacksonville, Florida; and Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio.
JIM SMITH JR., PGA – Bill Strausbaugh Award – Philadelphia Cricket Club – Flourtown, Pa.
Jim Smith, Jr., a 29-year PGA of America Member in the Philadelphia PGA Section, and Director of Golf at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, in Flourtown, Pa., is the 2024 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner, which recognizes a PGA of America Golf Professional who demonstrates exceptional character, integrity and leadership through teaching and mentoring other PGA of America Golf Professionals. A native of Jenkintown, Pa., and a resident of Rydal, Pa., Smith, Jr. graduated from Temple University in 1990 with a BS in Finance & Economics. In 1992, he became the Head Golf Professional at The Abington Club in his hometown of Jenkintown, where he worked for four years. In 1996, he became the Director of Golf/General Manager at Talamore Country Club, in Ambler, PA., where he spent 10 years before moving onto his current role at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. A decorated PGA Member, Smith, Jr. has earned numerous awards and accolades in the Philadelphia PGA Section, including PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2005, Merchandiser of the Year, Private in 2002 and the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2006, 2013 and 2022. He is also a dedicated leader of the Philadelphia PGA Section, having been elected President from 2007-2009, and serving as a member of the Section Board of Directors/Executive Committee from 2000-2011.
DEAN KANDLE, PGA – PGA of America Professional Development Award – St. Davids Golf Club – Wayne, Pa.
Dean Kandle, PGA, a Philadelphia PGA Section Member and the General Manager at St. Davids Golf Club in Wayne, Pa., has earned the 2024 PGA of America Professional Development Award. This honor recognizes a PGA of America Member who displays commendable contributions to the education of PGA of America Golf Professionals. A multi-award winner on the Section level, Kandle is a 3-time recipient of the PGA Professional Development Award (2019, ‘20, ‘21), as well as winner of the Bill Strausbaugh Award (2018) and the PGA Golf Professional of the Year (2020). Kandle twice served as a member of the Philadelphia Section Education Committee (2011-13, 2018-22) and represented the Philadelphia Section Board of Directors as the District VI Director (2019-22). He is a regular host and contributor to PGA of America Education seminars and workshops, and a strong supporter of PGA REACH programming. Kandle is passionate about delivering continuing education to help improve the lives of PGA of America Members. One of his most successful projects was the creation of Golf Professional Growth (GPG), a professional-development website that delivers a wealth of content while covering a wide range of important topics, all designed to help PGA of America Members “Work Smarter and Live Better.” Kandle demonstrates his commitment to education by hosting two successful podcasts, “Getting Better Now” and “The Golf Professional Growth Project,” both dedicated to helping PGA Professionals grow as golf professionals and leaders.