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PGA REACH Philadelphia Announces 2021 Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship Recipients

Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (May 10, 2021) —PGA REACH Philadelphia, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the Philadelphia PGA Section, is proud to announce its 2021 Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship recipients: Sophia Blair, Williamstown, N.J.; Hannah Kopac, State College, Pa.; Gabriella Magno, Delran, N.J.; Isabella Magno, Delran, N.J.; and Kasim Narinesingh-Smith, Kennett Square, Pa.

PGA REACH Philadelphia created the scholarship program to provide opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, an elite circuit for youth golfers ages 18 and under. The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarships provide recipients annual tour membership dues and tournament event fees (up to seven tournaments per year until the recipient turns 18 years old). The foundation will also connect recipients to PGA Professional mentors for golf instruction / coaching and clubfitting. Additionally, new for 2021, thanks to a partnership with the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s 1854 Foundation, the scholarship recipients will receive new golf bags, and additional equipment, based on their PGA Professional mentor’s recommendations.

“PGA REACH Philadelphia is delighted to provide scholarships that will inspire youth in our community by providing access to programs designed to promote social skills, self-esteem, leadership, and athleticism through the game of golf,” said PGA REACH Philadelphia Director Leila Mackie. “This year’s scholarship recipients were chosen among dozens of youth golfers who applied, and were selected based on their academic success, passion for the game, and references from PGA Professionals, coaches and teachers.”

Sophia Blair is a 13-year-old hailing from Williamstown, N.J. In her scholarship application essay, Blair recognizes that while she lives in a diverse community and attends a school with kids from many backgrounds, there is much room for improvement when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also recently wrote a school paper arguing that women professional golfers should be paid the same winnings as male professionals. Blair also plans to play competitive golf in high school, and believes that her membership on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour will help her improve her game, while also providing her access to golf courses that she may not otherwise be able to play.

Hannah Kopac is 14 years old, lives in State College, Pa., and hopes to become a collegiate golfer while studying for a career in the medical field. To help prepare for competitive golf, and now the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, Kopac has been working with Penn State University G.C. PGA Professional Dan Merrell on her golf swing and course management strategies.

Gabriella Magno, 11, resides in Delran, N.J., with her sister Isabella, also a 2021 scholarship recipient. In her application essay, Magno wrote “golf is not just a game because it provides me with constant life skills that I can use in my every day life which can always can be improved.” In the future, Magno hopes qualify for the annual Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National G.C. and play competitive golf at both the high school and college levels.

Isabella Magno is 14, and like her sister Gabriella, lives in Delran, N.J. She started playing golf when she was just four years old and has worked on her game since to prove that girls can be just as good as boy golfers.

“This scholarship will allow me to experience golf in so many various settings,” said Magno. “I cannot wait to see how my golf skills respond to a variety of golf clubs.”

Kasim Narinesingh-Smith, 15, is from Kennett Square, Pa. He says that winning this scholarship means a lot to him and will allow him to establish friendships through the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour. His father introduced him to the game, having played on a Division I golf team, and he hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps.

The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship program is one of many programs and initiatives managed by PGA REACH Philadelphia and is the foundation’s flagship program under its Diversity pillar, helping to positively impact lives through the game of golf. PGA REACH Philadelphia’s goal is to grow the game by providing financial assistance, coaching, instructional materials, mentoring, equipment and scholarships to individuals and organizations throughout the region, with the help of the Philadelphia PGA Section’s 800 PGA Professionals, who work at more than 300 public and private golf facilities in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware and northeastern Maryland.

The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour leads the region in competitive youth golf with over 90 events held seasonally at many of the area’s top facilities, covering all of the Section’s geographic areas.* In addition, the tour hosts four major championships throughout the season, including nationally ranked events that provide exposure for youth golfers looking to play competitively. With opportunities to learn, grow, and compete, many tour members graduate to play at the college level and beyond.

The 1854 Foundation’s mission is to support of local, regional, national, and international amateur sports competition; preservation and maintenance of public facilities and artifacts related to amateur athletics; and enhancing the local community’s environmental health, beautification, and stabilization.

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 PGAREACHPhiladelphia.com. To donate to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please click here.

Contacts:

Leila Mackie, PGA
Director, PGA REACH Philadelphia
lmackie@pgahq.com

Courtney Curcio
Coordinator, PGA REACH Philadelphia
ccurcio@pgahq.com

Matt Frey, PGA
Communications Director, Philadelphia PGA Section
mfrey@pgahq.com
*The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour’s 2020 season has been shortened due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

PAO Update: April 24, 2021

The Philadelphia Assistants Organization (PAO) is off to a great start in 2021! The organization has hosted two terrific events to start off the year with many more to come. The PAO Spring Meeting Golf Event at Whitford C.C. and the PAO Virtual Spring Meeting with special guest speaker Michael Breed. Our main goal is to support our mission statement of engaging assistants professionals with rewarding experiences through networking, education, and tournament competition. To do this, we need your help! Get involved, participate in our scheduled events, and sign up for PAO membership today.

PAO Spring Meeting Golf Event

The PAO kicked off their tournament season on a cool, overcast day with their PAO Spring Meeting Golf Event at Whitford Country Club on April 12th. The event’s format was a two-person scramble, and the team of Ashley Grier, Overbrook G.C, and Andrew Turner, Berkshire C.C., finished on top with a team score of 65, 7-under-par. Special thanks to Whitford C.C., its membership, Mike Ladden, PGA, and his staff for hosting the event. In addition, the PAO extends a sincere thank you to Conrad Radcliffe for being the title sponsor of the PAO this season.

PAO Virtual Meeting

The PAO held their annual Spring Meeting in the all too common virtual format on April 13th. During the meeting the PAO introduced the new committee members and reviewed the goals and events for the 2021 season. The committee for this year’s organization is as follows:

Committee member names and contact information is provided because you are encouraged to reach out and engage if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions. The committee is  here to help!

Virtual Meeting Special Guest Speaker

The 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year, Michael Breed was generous to join the virtual meeting, spending an hour sharing his passion and wisdom with the intimate group of PAO members. Breed spoke about how to “build your brand”, how to be passionate about yourself and our job, and of course he shared some of his golf instruction knowledge. Michael brought tremendous energy to the meeting and was very engaging to the entire group even given the virtual format. Some tremendous advice from Michael Breed included:

  • Say yes more often
  • Never be afraid to show your face and be known
  • Check your personal ego and have awareness of other people

The PAO would like to extend a sincere thank you to Michael Breed for generously sharing his time and passion with the members of the PAO!

PGA Patron Program

As we head into the golf season, please consider sponsoring your Assistant Professional’s membership in the Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization through our PAO Patron Program.

The program allows ranking PGA Professionals to sponsor their eligible staff members for PAO membership. By simply paying the annual PAO membership fee of $75 for your Assistant Professionals, they will be able to take advantage of all the PAO has to offer, including networking, tournament competition, education offerings, volunteer opportunities, and more. The program is perfect for PGA General Managers, Directors of Golf, Head Professionals, and the like who put a premium on the self-improvement of their staff.

In the spirit of professional growth, and a “pay it forward” mentality, we hope you will consider supporting the PAO Patron Program. Click the button below to sponsor your Assistant Professional(s).

Click here for Patron Program Registration

PGM Intern Contact Information Survey

This year, it is the goal of the PAO to reach out and engage with PGM Intern’s who are working within the Philadelphia Section. We encourage you to share the contact information of your PGM intern(s) so that our committee can reach out and invite them to participate in the PAO’s offerings. Interns who are visiting the section are welcome to attend PAO educational events and even participate in PAO tournaments. Please help in our efforts by providing contact information so we can make them feel welcomed and they can make the most of their time within our section.

Click here for the PGM Contact Survey

Remembering Jessica Hendrickson

Jessica Hendrickson, of West Chester, PA and Port St. Lucie, FL — loving wife, adored mother and grandmother — passed away at the age of 74 on Saturday, January 23, 2021 after a short and unexpected illness.

Born in New York City, Jessica grew up in Wayne, Michigan with her parents, Miles and Janet, sister Elaine, and grandmother Jessie (“Granny”). She attended Wayne Memorial High School, then Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where she married her first husband, Jim Hickey, and gave birth to their son, Blair.

Jessica remarried in 1979, to Dick Hendrickson, her surviving husband of 42 years. The two met when Jess decided to take golf lessons from the “tall and handsome” pro at the local golf course, thus beginning an almost five-decade partnership of playing and competing. When Dick qualified for the Senior PGA Tour in 1988, Jess was right beside him, breaking ground as one of the very first female caddies on tour. Working together as their family’s “favorite sports team,” the two competed in 367 tournaments over 11 years, racking up 47 top-ten finishes, and four runner-up titles.

An avid player herself, Jess loved competing and playing with friends, especially at PGA Village in Florida, as well as her home course at Radley Run Country Club in Pennsylvania, where she served as President of Ladies Golf, and won multiple titles including the Ladies Club Championship, Senior Club Championship and Super Senior Championship. And although not one to talk about herself, when pressed, Jess would tell you she was proud of her two holes-in-one.

For all of her accomplishments on the course, it was her dedication and devotion to family that defined Jess the most. Nothing fulfilled her more, or gave her more joy, than tending to the people she loved, whether that meant juggling the hectic schedules of a teenage son and two step-children, moving back to Michigan to nurse her ailing mother, or studying (and remembering) every medical detail of any issue Dick faced. She’d drop everything to take your call when you needed advice, would travel hours to celebrate a birthday, or gladly rearrange her day to read, sing, or bake over FaceTime with her granddaughters in California.

Those who knew Jess will remember her genuine, wholehearted compassion; her big, bright friendly smile; her self-conscious silliness; her competitiveness (golf, mahjong, trying to beat Dick at gin rummy); her faith in the lucky socks she wore while cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles; how her holiday meals and decorations were consistently magazine-worthy; and the fact her home was always immaculate, even though she’d insist it wasn’t.

Jessica is survived by her husband Dick; her son Blair Hickey, daughter-in-law Laura, and their daughters Alex and Charlotte; her stepdaughter Kristin Hendrickson Holder and her son, Joshua; her stepson Brian Hendrickson and his daughter, Sarah; as well as loving members of her extended family in Michigan and Atlanta.

For the safety of family and friends, a memorial service will be postponed until later in the year. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a contribution in Jessica’s name to First Tee Greater Philadelphia, or First Tee Florida Gold Coast, local chapters of a non-profit dedicated to empowering children through the game of golf. (firstteephiladelphia.org or firstteefloridagoldcoast.org).

2020 Philadelphia PGA Travel Pro-Ams

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 hereThe only way to secure a team in this event is to submit a deposit (due August 15); registration is first-come, first-served. To reserve your spot, please click the below button.

Register

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 hereThe only way to secure a team in this event is to submit a deposit (due August 1); registration is first-come, first-served. Deposits received after October 1 and entry fees received after November 1 are non-refundable. To reserve your spot, please click the below button.

Register

PGA REACH Philadelphia’s Annual Charity Hockey Game

Help support PGA REACH Philadelphia by attending the Philadelphia Flyers/Devils  Game on February 6th. The tickets are in the lower level ($80 per ticket) and they are all located together in two lower level sections.

Before the game the Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA will hold their annual charity hockey game on the ice at the Wells Fargo Center. A team of PGA Professionals from the New Jersey Section will compete against our PGA peers from the Philadelphia Section. The game will begin at 12:45PM at the Wells Fargo Center on the Flyers Ice. If there are any questions please contact the Section office for more information.

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.

WHEN: February 6th, 2020
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center
TIME: 7PM Flyers Game | 12:45PM-2:15PM Charity Game

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

PGA Professionals at Lookaway Golf Club Drive Golf Marathon Fundraising

The Philadelphia Section PGA’s Golf Marathon 100 Hole Challenge was established by PGA Professionals in the Philadelphia Section to raise money for PGA REACH Philadelphia. In 2019, the Marathon coincided with October’s “Month of Giving” Campaign and participating PGA Professionals, and all other willing supporters, played 100 holes of golf in 1 day, with 1 ball, 1 hole at a time. 

Leading the way in support of the “Month of Giving” were Mike Little and Laura Schiavo, PGA Assistant Golf Professionals at Lookaway Golf Club in Buckingham, PA. Backed by tremendous pledge support from club members and friends, Mike and Laura not only generated substantial donations, but led the entire Philadelphia PGA Section, raising near $23,000 for their one-day marathon round. Little, the 2016 OMEGA Player of the Year of the Philadelphia Section PGA, previously served as the Golf101 instructor for Temple University’s Kinesiology Department from 2009 to 2014 where he introduced over 500 college students to the game of golf.  Schiavo, a graduate of West Chester University with a Bachelor’s Degree in secondary education, is currently in the process of becoming a Class A PGA Professional. Prior to Lookaway, she worked for five years at Golf Galaxy focusing on merchandising, club fitting and golf club repair.  

Complementing the efforts of Mike and Laura at Lookaway Golf Club was club member Scott Hutchinson, who donated $7,600 to the foundation on behalf of the PAO (Philadelphia Assistants Organization) Tour Championship Event. Scott pledged $100 per birdie and $300 per eagle made during the PAO Tour Championship event, which took place on Oct. 14th, 2019 at Lehigh Country Club. In total, there were 70 birdies and 2 eagles made that day, which accounted for the $7,600 donation. ”It is better to give more than you receive,”Scott stated when asked about his support. Scott has been a big supporter of the PAO, as well as the PGA REACH Philadelphia.

Among the other top fundraisers who helped generate more than $44,000 from the Golf Marathon, were Alec Brown and Eric Keeler ($6,300), PGA Professionals from Gulph Mills Golf Club in King of Prussia, PA, and Dean Kandle ($5,050), PGA Professional from St. David’s Golf Club in Wayne, PA. PGA REACH Philadelphia thanks everyone who participated in the Golf Marathon this year.

43rd National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship

(From L to R) – Best of luck to Rusty Harbold – Philadelphia Cricket Club, Michael Little – Lookaway GC, Trevor Bensel – Overbrook GC, Chris Filling – Seaview GC and Michael Furey – Saucon Valley CC at the 43rd National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship on Thursday-Sunday, November 14-17, 2019 being held at PGA Golf Club – Wanamaker course.