Year: 2020

Section PGA Members Ashley Grier and Vincent Kabaso Selected for PGA LEAD

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – Jan. 23, 2020 – The PGA of America has selected 15 PGA Members who will comprise its fifth PGA LEAD class (2020-’21), which is the Association’s leadership development program. PGA LEAD was created in 2016 to identify, mentor and progress PGA Members from diverse backgrounds into volunteer leadership positions in the Association.

“The PGA of America has made meaningful advancements in embracing and leveraging inclusion, and this impressive new class of PGA LEAD members represents a diverse group of individuals who are on a pathway to serve as future golf industry leaders,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley, PGA.

PGA LEAD was created to establish a deep bench of diverse PGA Members who are prepared to ascend through the volunteer leadership ranks of the Association at the Chapter, Section and National levels. PGA LEAD also aids in developing PGA Members who have a desire to serve and make an impact on nonprofit boards within the communities where they work and live.

Since the inception of PGA LEAD four years ago, six PGA Professionals in the program have already ascended into Board leadership positions within their PGA Sections, including three currently serving as Section Vice Presidents. In addition, another 15 PGA LEAD alumni serve on PGA of America National Committees.

“Embracing an inclusive development program that intentionally identifies PGA Professionals with strong leadership qualities is helping position our Association’s governance and Membership for future success,” said PGA of America Chief People Officer Sandy Cross. “It’s inspiring to see several PGA LEAD alumni assume vital leadership roles within our Association, and we’re excited to watch this positive trend continue.”

PGA LEAD is a complement to PGA WORKS, a strategic initiative, designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce. Funded by PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry.

The 2020-2021 PGA LEAD Class Members include:

  • Allison Mitzel, PGA, Laconia (N.H.) Country Club (New England PGA Section)
  • Ashley Grier, PGA, Overbrook Golf Club, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (Philadelphia PGA Section)
  • Vincent Kabaso, PGA, Laurel Creek Country Club, Mount Laurel, N.J. (Philadelphia PGA Section)
  • Michael Powell, PGA, Firekeeper Golf Course, Mayetta, Kan. (Midwest PGA Section)
  • Maggie Hartman, PGA, ExperienceGolf at CommonGround Golf Course, Aurora, Colo. (Colorado PGA Section)
  • Jon Seward, PGA, Springfield (Va.) Golf & Country Club (Middle Atlantic PGA Section)
  • Richard Sheppard, Jr., PGA, Carroll Park Golf Course, Baltimore (Middle Atlantic PGA Section)
  • Briana Sweeny, PGA, Cassique at Kiawah Island (S.C.) Club (Carolinas PGA Section)
  • Elias Eilers, PGA, Sonoma Ranch Golf Club, Las Cruces, N.M. (Sun Country PGA Section)
  • Thomas Fernandes, PGA, Northwood Club, Dallas (Northern Texas PGA Section)
  • Heather Angell, PGA, Heritage Palms Golf & Country Club, Fort Myers, Fla. (South Florida PGA Section)
  • Rashad Wilson, PGA, Ansley Golf Club at Settindown, Roswell, Ga. (Georgia PGA Section)
  • Carissa Simmons, PGA, Griffin Golf, Sumner, Wash. (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)
  • Landyn Lewis, PGA, The First Tee of Tucson (Ariz.) (Southwest PGA Section)
  • Carrie DeGree, PGA, Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Ore. (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)

About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, composed of PGA Professionals who work daily to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit, follow @PGA on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.

Jared Minski, Mastro Communications, 732-469-5700
Michael Abramowitz, PGA of America, 561-624-8458,

VIDEO: Sara Muldoon Honored with PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – The PGA of America honored its three 2019 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award recipients—Sara Muldoon, PGA; Duncan Simms, PGA; and Scott Kirkwood, PGA—during the PGA Magazine PGA Merchandiser of the Year Conference Saturday night at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

Hosted by David Marr III, the event celebrated the achievements of PGA Members who have made extraordinary strides to further the game and industry. The awards ceremony served as a kickoff to the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show Week.

“These award winners are the most ultimate in character and dedication,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley, PGA. “Their journeys in golf are something that we all aspire to. They’re the best of the best. These are our very highest honors.”

“Each of our award-winning recipients does something extra special that sets them apart with their merchandising and business acumen,” added PGA Secretary John Lindert, PGA, as he addressed the crowd of over 200. “They are trendsetters and innovators who set the bar for excellence in the golf retail space extremely high. And they’re also the ones who give back to their profession because of their commitment to the PGA Member and the game of golf.”

2019 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Awards Celebration Clip Reel (Jan. 18, 2020) from PGA of America on Vimeo.

Sara Muldoon, PGA, a Philadelphia PGA Section Member and Director of Golf at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club, is the recipient of the 2019 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award – Resort Category. The award is designed to recognize those PGA Professionals who have excelled in business and merchandising for the promotion of golf. A three-time winner of the Philadelphia PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year Award – Resort Category (2015, ’16, ‘18), Muldoon has worked at Hershey Country Club since 1995. Her commitment and passion has helped the Club record an 11.4 percent increase in total sales over the last four years. Her implementation of creative promotions, combined with her belief in the importance of training her staff in customer service, have been key to the shop’s success.

Duncan Simms, PGA, a Southern California PGA Section Member and Director of Golf at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, Calif., is the recipient of the 2019 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award – Public Category. Since Simms assumed responsibilities for the Oak Creek golf shop in 2015, it has experienced an increase of 46 percent in total merchandise sales. This was achieved by consistently adapting the product mix in the shop, empowering staff to make decisions and implementing creative sales promotions. The operation also has a Cool Clubs fitting station, and its revenue-sharing agreement brings additional merchandising revenue to the facility. As a result, Simms and his staff work closely with Cool Clubs to promote the service to customers and students in their golf program. Simms is extremely proud to have a strong sales team supporting him and has found a way to generate a sales environment where his team members are entrusted to make decisions, while equipped with a number of creative tools to close a sale.

Scott Kirkwood, a 12-year PGA Member in the South Florida PGA Section and Golf Director at the Ocean Reef Club, in Key Largo, is the recipient of the 2019 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award – Private Category. The award recognizes PGA Professionals who have excelled in business and merchandising in the promotion of golf. A native of Gullane, Scotland, Kirkwood’s golf shop at Ocean Reef Club has consistently grown its sales, making an impressive $2.2 million in 2018 alone. Kirkwood has created new programs and offers for Ocean Reef’s Membership, increasing merchandise dollars per round from $29 in 2010 to $69 in 2018. In addition, he has increased hard-goods sales by $295,000 over the past three years, actively competing with online retailers. He is recognized for his intense commitment to Member satisfaction, building loyalty with both customers and staff.

The award winners were part of a class of 12 recipients of the 2019 PGA of America National Awards. The other nine honorees were presented their awards at the 2019 PGA Annual Meeting last November.

2019 PGA of America National Awards Recipients:

  • PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Eric Eshleman, PGA, Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.)
  • PGA Teacher of the Year: Kevin Kirk, PGA, The Woodlands (Texas) Golf Performance Center
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award: David Reasoner, PGA, Ridgewood Country Club – Paramus, N.J.
  • Horton Smith Award: Todd Sones, PGA, Todd Sones Impact Golf – Vernon Hills, Ill.
  • Deacon Palmer Award: Randy Jones, PGA, Club Car – Richmond, Texas
  • Patriot Award: Judy Alvarez, PGA/LPGA, Monarch Country Club – Palm City, Fla.
  • PGA Player Development Award: Liz Cooper, PGA/LPGA, Springfield (Va.) G. & C.C.
  • PGA Youth Player Development Award: Scott Wilson, PGA, Bay Meadows Family G C. – Traverse City, Mich.
  • Herb Graffis Award: South Florida PGA Section
  • PGA Merchandiser of the YearResort Category: Sara Muldoon, PGA, Hershey (Pa.) C.C.
  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Category: Duncan Simms, PGA, Oak Creek G.C. – Irvine, Calif.
  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Category: Scott Kirkwood, PGA, Ocean Reef Club – Key Largo, Fla.

About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

Media Contact
Michael Abramowitz, PGA of America 561/624-8458
Jared Minski, Mastro Communications, Inc. 732/469-5700

Philadelphia PGA Newsletter – January 18, 2020

Carpineta Leads Section’s 2019 Awards Class

Earlier this month, the Philadelphia PGA Section announced its 2019 award winners, highlighted by Golf Professional of the Year, John Carpineta, Bensalem Township Country Club. Rounding out the 2019 awards class: Steve Frederick, Assistant Golf Professional of the Year; Dean Kandle, Horton Smith Award; Charlie Schuyler, Bill Strausbaugh Award; Steve Wager, Player Development Award; Andy Miller, Youth Player Development Award; John Pillar, Patriot Award; Alex McGann, Resort Merchandiser of the Year; Brent Wallace, Private Merchandiser of the Year; Jason Howard, Public Merchandiser of the Year; and Laura Manchester, Golf Salesperson of the Year.

Read More

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

The Philadelphia PGA Section is looking for volunteers from its PGA Members and Associates for two upcoming events:

Philadelphia Golf and Travel Show – February 7-9

PGA Professionals can give back by volunteering to give free golf lessons at the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Golf and Travel Show, held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks’ Halls A & D in Oaks, Pa., during the following times:

  • Friday, February 7: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 8: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 9: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

To volunteer, please contact the Section’s Instruction Committee Chair, Andy Miller, PGA, at or by clicking the below button.

 Volunteer for Show

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – June 23-28

With the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship coming to Aronimink Golf Club in June, we are working with the championship staff to find volunteers for tournament week. We are truly excited to have another major championship in the Philadelphia PGA Section and want to do everything we can to help make it a successful event!

To volunteer registration instructions, please click the below button.

 Volunteer for KPMG

Philadelphia PGA to Battle New Jersey PGA on Ice to Benefit PGA REACH Philadelphia

Help support PGA REACH Philadelphia by attending the Flyers vs. Devils game on February 6 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available in the lower level ($80 per ticket). Five dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to PGA REACH Philadelphia. Every ticketholder will receive a voucher for a Gritty driver head cover.

Prior to the NHL game, the Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA will hold their annual charity hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center, beginning at 12:45 p.m.

For every ticket purchased, that person will get a voucher to pick their Gritty Driver head cover up at the game that night and $5 on every ticket sold will go back to PGA REACH Philadelphia.

Purchase Tickets

Play Major Championship Golf Courses in the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Kohler Pro-Am

The Section will be visiting the Midwest for the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Kohler Pro-Am on October 4-7! For more details, please click here.

The only way to secure a team in this event is to submit a deposit as registration for this pro-am is on a first-come, first-served basis. Deposits are due by August 15.

To reserve your spot in the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Kohler Pro-Am, please click the below button.


Meet Morgan Stanley SVS Wealth Management’s Charles Fahy

Charles Fahy is a Financial Advisor in Morgan Stanley’s Northfield, N.J., office. He works with a select group of businesses and individual investors that aspire to a work-optional lifestyle by employing a prudent investment strategy that emphasizes long-term growth, current income and capital preservation. Tax-efficient investing is also a key part of the investment approach.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Charles served as General Manager of the Atlantic City Country Club, one of the most historic clubs in the world. Another one of his passions is golf. In fact, he is a PGA (Professional Golfers Association) member and has been a teaching professional with the PGA for many years.

More Information

About Morgan Stanley SVS Wealth Management

The SVS Wealth Management Team, founded in 2007, has multiple financial advisors and sup­port staff members. The benefit to you is that we offer an incredible range of advisors to handle your unique needs. Whether it is portfolio management, financial planning, business succession planning, lending, or multi-generational wealth planning – we collaborate as a team to help you achieve your goals.

Meet SVS Team

Join Us in the Dominican Republic for the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Casa de Campo Pro-Am

The Section is headed to the Dominican Republic for the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Casa de Campo Pro-Am on December 7-11! For more details, please click here.

The only way to secure a team in this event is to submit a deposit as registration for this pro-am is on a first-come, first-served basis. Deposits are due by August 1. Deposits received after October 1 and entry fees received after November 1 are non-refundable.

To reserve your spot in the 2020 Philadelphia PGA Casa de Campo Pro-Am, please click the below button.


Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Membership Enrollment Now Open

Providing fun and invaluable opportunities to get out and play, the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour leads the region in competitive youth golf. The tour’s membership consists of youth golfers 18 years of age and younger. All events are enjoyable and family-friendly. Youth golfers may be registered by clicking the below button.


 Don’t Wait…PGA Jr. League Captain Registration Deadline is February 1

Captain registration for the 2020 Summer Season of PGA Jr. League is open! As a reminder, Captains must be PGA Members, PGA Associates or LPGA Members in good standing to register. The deadline to register is fast approaching…register by February 1!


Enroll for Section Tournament Organizations

Registrations for the Section’s various tournament organizations / clubs are open online. Memberships available include:

  • Tournament Players Division (TPD)
  • Hole-in-One Club
  • Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO)
  • Central Counties Chapter (CCC) – Member and Associate
  • Central Counties Chapter Hole-in-One Club

For more information on these memberships or to register, please click the below “Register” button.


 Upcoming Events

Please see below for upcoming Section events. PGA Members and Associates may find more information or  may register by clicking on the date / event names below.

District Roundtables

Education Events

Frey Joins Section Staff

We would like to welcome the newest addition to the Section staff, PGA Member Matt Frey. For the past seven years, Matt was the General Manager of Digital Operations for PGA Magazine in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Prior to moving to the Delaware Valley, Matt spent time as a PGA Assistant Professional at Malone (N.Y.) Golf Club and the Camargo Club in Cincinnati. Matt also graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Business Adminsitration degree in Marketing with a PGA Golf Management option.

As Communications Director, Matt will be heading up all Section, Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour and PGA REACH Philadelphia communications. With his experience and background, we know he is a perfect fit to lead our efforts in growing awareness and recognition of our membership and our brand.

Please join us in welcoming Matt to the staff. You may reach him at, please remember to send him any member interest stories or best practices that we may promote.

Membership Update

Please see below for the Section’s membership updates as of January 10. New facility or Section affiliations are listed immediately following the PGA Professional’s name, while prior affiliations are listed in parentheses. * denotes new PGA Members the Section; † denotes new PGA Associates to the Section; ‡ denotes changes within the same facility.


  • David Coates, Williamsport C.C.; (Essex County C.C.)*
  • Chris Hutchinson, Medford Village C.C.‡
  • Anthony McNamara, Toftrees Resort G.C.; (The Club at Pelican Preserve)*
  • Joe Missimer, West Chester G & C.C.‡
  • Dan Mrozinski, Commonwealth National G.C.‡
  • Jared Murosky, Llanerch C.C.‡
  • Darin Peart, Penn National G.C.‡


  • Michael Caldwell, The DuPont C.C.; (Bidermann G.C.)
  • John “Jake” Manley, Saucon Valley C.C.; (Congressional C.C.)*

A-11: Matt Frey, Philadelphia Section; (PGA Magazine)

A-13: Bill Smith, Berkleigh G.C.; (Royal Manchester G.L.)

A-19: Michael Frye, Golf Genius; (Southwest Section)

B-6: Gregory Rhoads, GOLFTEC Malvern; (River Club)*


  • Megan Leinweber, Stonewall Links†
  • Victoria Petrosky, Fox Hill C.C.; (Irem C.C.)
  • Aaron Wilkinson, Kings Creek C.C.; (C.C. of Maryland)*

B-12Shawn Davis, Cairn Univ.†


  • Nathalie Filler, The Philadelphia Cricket Club
  • Brian Fruehan, Elmhurst C.C.

RetiredMike Versuk (Willow Valley G.C.)


  • Billy Ditchey, Carolinas Section; (Indian Hills G.C.)
  • Zachary Duclos, Southern Texas Section; (The Philadelphia Cricket Club)
  • Aaron Hartman, Metropolitan Section; (The Philadelphia Cricket Club)
  • Matthew Hillier, New England Section; (Pine Valley G.C.)
  • Bryant Shuford, Carolinas Section‡
  • Bradley Sniper, New Jersey Section; (The Philadelphia Cricket Club)
  • Michael Tritapoe, Middle Atlantic Section; (Baywood Greens)

Register Your Facility as a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Affiliate Member

The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Affiliate Program is a collaboration between the Philadelphia PGA Section and area facilities to market the tour. There is no cost to become an affiliate member and your involvement will be recognized on Participating facilities will promote the junior tour and in return, each facility will receive one complimentary membership to the tour to give to a youth golfer at their facility.* To register, email

*Complimentary membership must be given to a new Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour member.

Volunteer for the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

With the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship coming to Aronimink Golf Club in June, we are working with the championship staff to find volunteers for tournament week. We are truly excited to have another major championship in the Philadelphia PGA Section and want to do everything we can to help make it a successful event!

Please follow the instructions below on how to register to become a Philadelphia PGA Section volunteer for the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Registration Instructions

1. Click here to Register Now 

2. Select “Philadelphia PGA Section Member”

3. When prompted, enter the code: 20PHILLY

4. Click “Check,” then click the “Continue” button

5. Create a username and password

6. Enter your contact information

7. Enter security code: 20PHILLY

8. Complete registration

*Location preferences will be collected in January 2020


If you have any questions or need more information, please contact the Philadelphia PGA Section office or the Section Committee Chair, Bob Hennefer, PGA, at

Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Bill Sautter, PGA, Leads PGA Quarter Century Championship

By Craig Dolch, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Former professional soccer player Bill Sautter had plenty chances to celebrate Wednesday.

He opened with an eagle and added eight birdies – meaning he played half his holes under par – to shoot a 5-under 67 and take a two-shot lead in the 50-64 division of the PGA Quarter Century Championship at PGA Golf Club.

Sautter played in the North American Soccer League and the American Soccer League for eight years (1978-85). He started playing golf when he was 30 and is a PGA Teaching Professional at Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Sautter eagled the first hole on the Wanamaker Course and added three birdies on the front nine. He added four birdies on the back nine – offset by two bogeys and a double bogey – for the 67. Only seven of 91 players broke par.

Sautter leads by two over Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga., JC Anderson of Bonita Springs, Fl., and Jeff Whitfield of Weldon Spring, Mo. Skinner and Anderson took a similar path – they rode in the same cart and posted identical 3-under 69s, each making five birdies and two bogeys.

“We were trying to keep up with each other,” said Skinner, a six-time PGA Professional Player of the Year. “JC and I have known each other since the late-1980s, if not longer. It was a very comfortable pairing.”

Skinner, a PGA Teaching Professional at Spring Hill Country Club in Tifton, Ga., had three consecutive birdies on the front nine and played even par the rest of the round. Anderson, the Director of Instruction at The Club at the Strand in Naples, had an early and a late bogey and five birdies in between.

“I didn’t know we both shot 69s until we got to the scoring tent,” said Anderson, who has won a pair of Winter Championship events. “I just said, ‘Let’s do it again tomorrow.’”

Whitfield added a 69, thanks to three birdies on the last seven holes. Bill Breen of Nashville is fifth at 70, a shot ahead of Mark Mielke of Jupiter and Kirk Hanefeld of South Hamilton, Mass.

Bob Sowards, recently named Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year, and former PGA Tour member Omar Uresti are part of a group tied for eighth at 72.

In the 65-and-older division, Gary Robison of North Canton, Ohio shot a 6-under 66 on the Ryder Course to take a one-shot lead over Pat Delaney of Springfield, Ohio and Jay Horton of Port St. Lucie. Robison outdueled Skinner to win last year’s 50-64 division, but after turning 65 is trying to win consecutive Quarter Century title in different divisions.

“I wasn’t really thinking about that,” said Robison, the PGA Director of Golf at Brookside Country Club in Canton. “I’m just trying to find my game and have some fun doing it.”

Robison was all smiles after playing the first seven holes in 5-under, thanks to an eagle at the par-5 sixth where he hit a hybrid to 12 feet. He saved par at No. 9 after taking a penalty shot and added a birdie at the 13th.

“I played really well on the front side and tried to stay aggressive,” Robison said. “The greens are in great shape, so you have to stay aggressive to keep moving forward.”

Delaney, who was inducted into the Southern Ohio PGA Section Hall of Fame two years ago, said he was looking forward to turning 65 last October because he became one of the youngest players in his division.

“I knew I was moving to a different age group and it motivated me to come down and play,” said Delaney, a PGA Professional at Reid Park Golf Course in Springfield. “It would be a hoot to win.”

Horton also got off to a hot start – he was 4-under after seven holes – and made six birdies and a bogey. Tied for fourth at 68 are Jerry Tucker of Stuart, Bobby Heins of White Springs, N.Y. and Paul Gooden of Savannah.

A player has to be a member of the PGA of America for 25 years to be eligible for the Quarter Century Championship.

In the Half Century Championship, brothers Tom Joyce of Huntington, N.Y. and Bob Joyce of Southampton, N.Y. are tied for the lead with 2-under 70s. Tom Joyce won the title last year.

Paul Kelly of Dorset, Vt., at 88 the oldest player in the field, shot a 73, as did 85-year-old Bill Moser of Vero Beach.

The PGA Winter Championships are presented by GolfPass and PrimeSport.

Message from Philadelphia PGA President Jeff Kiddie

Happy New Year to you!  It has been a few months since our Section’s Fall Meeting. During this time, our board has been busy wrapping up 2019 and finishing our planning process for 2020. In December the board met to finalize the 2020 budget. There are many things that go under consideration in this process and you should be proud of how thorough and thoughtful our staff and board is to make sure we are in the best financial position possible.  

In this year’s budgetary process, we came to the realization that we are not in the position to maintain the dues structure that we have been operating under for over 10 years. Over these past 10 years we were able to operate without a dues increase despite adding new staff members, retaining long standing staff members, buying a home office and absorbing the rising costs of health insurance and other expenses related to operating a business. With those costs continuing to rise, as well as the federal government raising the “standard salary level,” we need to raise our dues to cover these costs. The board unanimously approved to raise the dues five percent for the 2020 calendar year. We applaud Geoff Surrette and his entire team for running the Section for the past 10 years without a dues increase to the membership, but much like our own clubs, if we aren’t raising the dues with the rising costs we won’t be able to continue the existing staff and service levels.

This leads me to a related subject. The Section’s Junior Tour is a major component to our operating income. Over the past two years we have seen a decline in the number of members of our tour. Brian Schulte and his team have come up with an action plan for 2020 to try and gain back some of these lost members, but the reality may be that there is just more competition than we used to have with the growth of tours like the AJGA, IJGT, U.S. Kids and Hurricane Tour. Our tour offers a valuable offering to a cross section of youth golfers with the sweet spot being emerging competitive golfers that are 11 to 14 years old. We will continue to invest and promote the Junior Tour but we need your help in doing this. Whenever possible, please display the marketing materials that the Section provides you. Each of us are given one free membership to give to a youth golfer. Be sure to give this to one of your juniors. We can make an impact on this tour and the financial benefit it has for our Section. If each of us were able to get one new tour member, we would grow the tour by leaps and bounds. The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour is a great product at a very reasonable price. Please help us succeed by promoting the Tour to your members/customers.

The 2020 season will be an exciting season of championship golf. The Philadelphia PGA Section will host its sixth PGA Championship (1938, 1942, 1958 and 1962 PGA Championship, 2003 Senior PGA Championship) when the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship comes to Aronimink Golf Club.  Part of the responsibility in hosting these championships is for Section members to serve as volunteers for the event. Bob Hennefer, Director of Section Affairs, is our Volunteer Chairman. He will be sending out communications to complete his roster of volunteers. Please try to make yourself and/or your staff members available to volunteer. With another championship coming in 2026, we want to show the PGA of America that we are energetic and engaged PGA Professionals that want our Section to shine.  

The plan is to write a monthly message to keep you informed of what is new in our Section. Feel free to reach out directly to me or Geoff Surrette with any comments or questions. All the best for the start of your New Year and hopefully you are enjoying some downtime.


Jeff Kiddie, PGA
Philadelphia PGA Section

Philadelphia PGA Announces 2019 Award Winners

Lower Gwynedd Township, PA: The Philadelphia PGA Section today announced its 2019 award winners, highlighted by Golf Professional of the Year, John Carpineta, the PGA Professional at Bensalem Township Country Club, in Bensalem, PA. In total, the Philadelphia PGA, through its Award Committee, chose 12 winners for 2019 out of over 100 PGA Professionals who were nominated for awards this past season, including:

  • Golf Professional of the Year: John Carpineta, PGA – Bensalem Township C.C., Bensalem, PA
  • Teacher of the Year: John Dunigan, PGA – Applebrook G.C., Malvern, PA
  • Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Steve Frederick, PGA – Overbrook G.C., Villanova, PA
  • Professional Development Award: Dean Kandle, PGA – St. Davids G.C., Wayne, PA
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award: Charlie Schuyler, PGA – Saucon Valley C.C., Bethlehem, PA
  • Player Development Award: Steve Wager, PGA – Penn State University G.C., State College, PA
  • Youth Player Development: Andy Miller, PGA – LedgeRock G.C., Mohnton, PA
  • Patriot Award: John Pillar, PGA – C.C. at Woodloch Springs, Hawley, PA
  • Merchandiser of the Year – Resort: Alex McGann, PGA – Seaview G.C., Galloway, NJ
  • Merchandiser of the Year – Private: Brent Wallace, PGA – Northampton C.C., Easton, PA
  • Merchandiser of the Year – Public: Jason Howard, PGA – Woodcrest C.C., Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Golf Salesperson of the Year: Laura Manchester – Callaway Golf

“The Philadelphia PGA is extremely proud to recognize our 2019 award winners, which include an accomplished list of PGA Professionals whose dedication to the game is unmatched, and who have been catalysts in the business of golf throughout the region,” said Geoff Surette, Executive Director, Philadelphia PGA Section. “These individuals represent the best of their profession. We thank them for their service and commitment to golfers and golf facilities across the region.”                                                 

Golf Professional of the Year

A two-time Patriot Award winner (2017 and 2018), and the 2015 Philadelphia PGA Player Development Award winner, John Carpineta, PGA Professional at Bensalem Township Country Club, in Bensalem, PA, has been named the 2019 Golf Professional of the Year.  The highest recognition the Section bestows annually on a distinguished member, Carpineta was honored for qualities of leadership, strong moral character, and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf.

Along with serving on the Section’s Player Development Committee, Carpineta co-chairs the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program, along with the Wounded Warriors Project and Philly VA Amputee Swing endeavor. Having served in the military himself and having attended many seminars dealing with veterans and military personnel, Carpineta has acquired a sense and feel for the needs of his students beyond the lesson tee. By combining his service experience with the requirements of military golf programs he feels prepared to help his students in ways unrelated to golf. He has now added some different items to his standard “training aids” that make students feel relaxed with him, as coach, comrade and confidant.

In concert with his desire to help veterans, and as a basis for winning the Patriot Award two years running, Carpineta was largely responsible for securing Bensalem Township Country Club as the new home location for the Section’s PGA HOPE program. Under the direction of Carpineta, PGA HOPE is positioned for continued growth and success, as golf has become a therapeutic part of the rehabilitation process for veterans with disabilities. 

Teacher of the Year 

The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes a PGA Professional for their “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.” The 2019 recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award is John Dunigan, PGA Professional at Applebrook Golf Club in in Malvern, PA, 

An accomplished PGA Professional, Dunigan was also the recipient of the Philadelphia PGA Teacher of the Year in 2008, 2015 and 2017 and the 2018 Section Professional Development Award, which recognizes a PGA Member who displays commendable contributions to the education of PGA Professionals. A PGA Master Professional and PGA Tour coach, Dunigan’s reputation and award-winning accomplishments are unrivaled. He’s a book author, published writer on teaching and instruction, and an in-demand speaker at conferences and seminars nationwide. Among his many honors include: Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher in 2017; Golf Magazine Top Teachers in 2016; Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019; and U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Jr. Golf Leader in 2012. 

In his new book, “Hole It!” Dunigan provides a guide for golfers developing expert level skills and shooting lower scores by making more putts when it counts. Dunigan delivers his unique approach to coaching and learning through no-nonsense skill-building exercises, key concepts, technical improvement, and practical mental game coaching that have worked for golfers of all ability levels. Dunigan is also regarded for taking high level instructional information, such as in biomechanics, ground forces and motor learning, and simplifying it for professionals, as well as everyday golfers. 

Assistant Golf Professional of the Year Award 

The Assistant Golf Professional of the Year is designed to recognize an individual who has displayed the qualities and attributes for what it takes to become an outstanding PGA Professional. The 2019 recipient is Stephen Frederick, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Overbrook Golf Club in Villanova, PA.  With over 19 years of coaching experience, Frederick has been instrumental in advancing golf instruction by using cutting-edge technology and techniques in his students’ lessons, including Trackman, high speed video analysis, launch monitors, biomechanics, personalized conditioning, fitness, and balance technique, among others. Once he considers an individual student’s goals, expectations, physical strengths, and weaknesses, he will develop an individualized plan to help each student reach their maximum potential. Frederick is able to take what is extremely complex and translate it for each student into something they can understand, feel, and repeat. Among his accomplishments, Frederick has earned certifications from Nike’s NG360, the Titleist Performance Institute for adults and youth golfers, and the U.S. Kids and the Positive Coaching Alliance. These certifications have trained him to most effectively enhance the athleticism and performance of golfers regardless of skill level. He has also held the office of Co-Chair for the Philadelphia Assistant’s Organization (PAO) for the last three years.

Professional Development Award

The Section’sProfessional Development Award recognizes a PGA Professional who displays commendable contributions to the education of PGA Professionals. The 2019 recipient is Dean Kandle, PGA Head Professional at St. Davids Golf Club, in Wayne, PA. Kandle epitomizes the term mentor and has dedicated his career to giving back to the game and his fellow PGA Members. In his position at St. Davids, Kandle has been instrumental in furthering the careers of his fellow staff members, many who have gone on to assume leadership positions throughout the industry.

Among his mentorship techniques, and to help guide the current staff at St. Davids Golf Club, Kandle meets in private for 30 minutes each week during the season. After catching up on what’s happening at home and at the club, they spend the last 10 minutes talking about the PGA Professional’s future, and setting goals to reach the next career level. In order to create a more substantial impact on his fellow PGA Professionals, in April 2017 Kandle created a website known as Golf Professional Growth ( With the tagline of “Work Smarter, Live Better,” the content is focused on generating awareness on how the modern PGA Professional can better manage their time, lead their people and improve their personal lives. 

Bill Strausbaugh Award 

The Bill Strausbaugh Award recognizes a PGA Professional who demonstrates exceptional character, integrity and leadership by way of teaching and mentoring other PGA Professionals. The 2019 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient is Charlie Schuyler, PGA Director of Golf at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, PA. 

Schuyler’s passion and deeply rooted commitment to mentoring PGA Professionals (and others) comes from a very strong desire to help each teammate reach their maximum potential, both personally and professionally. At a very young age and from a reflective perspective, he possessed a strong desire to help others. Years later, little did he know that this innate quality and yearning to help others would unveil itself in the form of personal and professional mentorship. 

Throughout his successful career in the golf business, which most recently brought him from the storied Augusta National Golf Club (May 2018) to his current position at Saucon Valley, Schuyler has personally managed a professional development program for well over 50 PGA Golf Management University Students and 20 PGA Assistant Professionals. Additionally, he speaks regularly to hundreds of aspiring youths on the topic of personal and professional development. One of his greatest personal accomplishments is founding the “Pros Fore Clothes Foundation,” a 501(c)3 non-profit that collects clothes from PGA Professionals, facilities and manufacturers across the country and delivers it to those in need. To date, “Pros Fore Clothes” has delivered over 135,000 pounds of clothing to those in need within the U.S. and around the world. 

Player Development Award 

The Player Development Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional for extraordinary, exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development. The 2019 recipient is Steve Wager, PGA Director of Player Development at Penn State University Golf Courses in State College, PA. Also, the 2016 Philadelphia PGA Section Player Development Award winner, and a U.S. Kids Top 50 Honorable Mention recipient in 2017 and 2018, Wager’s achievements at Penn State University Golf Courses are well known. His success is highlighted by his commitment to the national Get Golf Ready program, which has become one of his most significant initiatives. Wager brings 12-18 students, of varying golf experience and sports backgrounds, together each week to learn the game, in a welcoming environment. This program has been a great feeder for his men’s and women’s leagues, local golf tournaments, and memberships. 

He teaches eight-week classes that meet four times a week, where students learn golf etiquette, history, and Rules as well as proper techniques for the short game, full swing, and putting.  Additionally, he’s been instrumental in developing a Women’s League Program, Family Golf Program and many youth golf initiatives, as Wager is committed to bringing the community together through learning the game of golf. In addition to his player development programs, wager teaches a Golf 1 Kinesiology class at Penn State, a great program that introduces college students to the game. 

Youth Player Development Award 

The Youth Player Development Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who has displayed extraordinary, exemplary contributions and achievement in the area of youth player development. The 2019 Youth Player Development Award recipient – for the second consecutive year – is Andy Miller, PGA Director of Instruction at LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, PA. An accomplished, award-winning PGA Professional, Miller has received numerous honors and accolades throughout his career for his work with kids, including: Philadelphia PGA Youth Player Development Award in 2013; U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Instructor in 2013 and 2014; U.S. Kids Golf Master Teacher in 2016; Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Growth of Game Teaching Professional in 2016, 2017 and 2018; and Golf Digest Best Teacher in State 2017-2018. He is also a frequent guest speaker on the topic of building successful youth programs at conferences and seminars around the country.

Miller has served on the Philadelphia Section’s Player Development Committee and currently serves as the Chairperson for the Philadelphia Section Instruction Committee. Further, he’s been part of the local Berks County Junior Golf Association Championship for the past three years and has helped to grow youth golf tremendously in the area. Since moving to LedgeRock Golf Club in 2015, Miller has driven tremendous growth in youth golf programming at the facility. 

Patriot Award 

The PGA Patriot Award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional, who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America. John Pillar, PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club at Woodloch Springs, Hawley, PA is the recipient of the 2019 Patriot Award.

Past President of the Philadelphia PGA Section (2013-2014), Pillar manages the entire golf operation for the 450-acre residential community. Passionate about honoring the lives of local military servicemen and servicewomen, he has embraced the Folds of Honor Foundation, whose mission is to provide educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. Backed by Pillar’s leadership, the Folds of Honor Golf Classic at Woodloch Springs has raised more than $160,000 since inception and continues to grow each year. Additionally, Woodloch Springs has added a new element, by providing complimentary vacations for six Folds of Honor families each year, at no cost. A selfless leader, Pillar and his team at Woodloch Springs continue to support Folds of Honor, while honoring military from the local 109th National Guard. 

Merchandiser of the Year (Resort)

The Merchandiser of the Year Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who has excelled as business person/merchandiser in the promotion of golf. The Philadelphia PGA Section honors PGA Professionals in three categories: Private, Public and Resort facilities. The 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities is Alex McGann, PGA Director of Golf at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway, NJ. McGann’s merchandising philosophy centers on offering fresh and constantly evolving merchandise. Seaview’s fixtures, tables and displays are constantly rotated to keep all guests aware of their many different offerings. One of his best practices was the creation of a mobile experience store for high profile events. At Seaview, they now have four outings per year that include a mobile golf shop experience for their guests. Through relationships with vendors, they place orders at tournament pricing and set up an entire golf shop experience exclusively for that event’s guests. These experience shops have set Seaview apart from several area club events and offer a good margin and solid profitability.    

Merchandiser of the Year (Private)

The 2019 Merchandiser of the Year – Private is Brent Wallace, PGA Director of Golf at Northampton Country Club in Easton, PA. The owner of the Golf Merchandise Concession at Northampton since 2018, Wallace is responsible for all aspects of the golf shop operation including, product selection, viewing lines, merchandising displays and business operations. On top of this, Wallace was tasked with overseeing the renovation of the golf shop when he was first hired at Northampton. With the shop at Northampton being a smaller space, Wallace has maximized the square footage while adding distinctive décor to create a rustic boutique, reflective of the membership and the area of the country. Wallace provides his customers with an assortment of products that are priced competitively and beautifully displayed, and combines that with friendly, knowledgeable service. His attention to detail is unmatched, and he recognizes the importance of taking extra steps to ensure customer satisfaction, especially with his regular customers. He’s established strong communications with the membership, sending handwritten thank you notes with a special order, and always alerting them on new brands and styles he believes they may be interested in.

Merchandiser of the Year (Public)

The 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities is Jason Howard, PGA Director of Golf at Woodcrest Country Club, Cherry Hill, NJ. The building blocks of Howard’s merchandising philosophy are to listen and understand what his members want and consistently work to elevate the level of customer service that every member and guest receives. Most customers know what they like in terms of colors and fabrics in apparel, and it’s the professional golf staff’s job to share with them different ideas and options that are on the shelves for them. Another fresh, new idea that supported their approach this year was the Trackman 4 technology, which they launched at Woodcrest in late March 2019. Many customers who were in the market for hard goods took them up on the offer to check out their driver or club against the latest and greatest technology. Howard’s team also hosted several demo days and offered a more popular option of individual fittings, as their customers have gravitated more to the one-on-one experience.

Golf Salesperson of the Year 

The Golf Salesperson of the Year 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. The 2019 Golf Salesperson of the Year is Laura Manchester, Outside Sales Representative for Callaway Golf, from Lederach, PA. When it comes to golf sales, Manchester checks all the boxes, as she is known for being trustworthy, accountable, committed, and dedicated to club members at all levels. A consummate professional with an unwavering devotion to the Philadelphia PGA Section, she has spent many years supporting PGA Professionals and going the extra mile in every facet of her job as a Callaway sales representative. Manchester was also the recipient of the Philadelphia PGA’s Golf Salesperson of the Year in 2011.

About the Philadelphia PGA Section 

The Philadelphia PGA Section (PPGA) is one of 41 geographical sections of The PGA of America. Composed of PGA Professionals who serve as the “Experts in the Game & Business of Golf,” the PPGA encompasses Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey (Trenton – south), Delaware and parts of Northern Maryland. Since the 1920s, the PPGA has been the voice and face of golf throughout the region backed by over 850 PGA Professionals and Apprentices who promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf, and who are at the forefront of programming/events at more than 300 public and private golf facilities, including some of the country’s most acclaimed golf courses. PPGA members collectively impact over 2 million rounds of golf annually, encompassing over 100,000 club members, hundreds of thousands of public course golfers, business leaders and one of the country’s strongest stable of junior golfers. The PPGA is further complemented by its charitable arm, PGA REACH Philadelphia, which was created to positively impact lives and communities through the game of golf.  For more information, visit or follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.