‘Remarkable’ PGA of America Members Honoured

Tom Wildenhaus, PGA Professional of the Year.

Phoenix, Arizona, United States: In a highly inspirational ceremony, PGA Golf Professional of the Year Tom Wildenhaus, PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year Jamie Mulligan and PGA Golf Executive of the Year Joe Assell headlined the PGA National Awards celebration.

Held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, the awards kick-started the 2022 PGA Annual Meeting.

A distinguished class of 12 PGA Members was celebrated for their contributions to the game and the industry. They were honoured for their commitment to represent the nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals across the world and the game of golf at the highest level.

Hosted by Sirius XM’s ‘PGA of America Radio’ host Dave Marr III, the PGA of America National Awards programme annually acknowledges PGA Members for their outstanding performances both on and off the course.

“Tonight is a very special night, as the PGA of America recognises 12 remarkable PGA Members who represent the ultimate in character, dedication and service to our sport, our Association and our industry,” said Jim Richerson, President of the PGA of America, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“To reach this pinnacle of success, you must be extraordinary in your career, and each winner, in their own right, has accomplished just that. There are certainly thousands of PGA Members who deserve awards consideration, and narrowing down the list each year is an overwhelming task,” added Richerson.

The PGA Golf Professional of the Year is the highest annual honour given to a PGA of America Professional, awarded for leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game of golf.

“I think anything worthwhile is uphill. You really have to focus on the journey,” said Wildenhaus, Director of Golf at Olde Florida Golf Club in Naples, Florida, and a South Florida PGA Section Member.

“The journey is what makes us who we are. It’s not the destination, it’s all the things that happen in the middle. If you’re paying attention, you’re going to learn a lot and be really successful,” he said.

Mulligan’s keep-it-simple approach to coaching has won the praise of players on the PGA and LPGA Tours, such as Patrick Cantlay and Nelly Korda, who turn to him for his expertise.

“It’s a quest,” said Mulligan, “At the end of the day everybody can relate to this, whether you’re folding a shirt, vacuuming the shop, giving a golf lesson or fitting golf clubs, it’s the quest – the quest to be great.”

The PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year is presented for outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.

Assell, the President & CEO of GOLFTEC, was honoured for his innovative advances that meshed the game with technology in becoming the company’s first-ever employee and then building it to become one of the largest employers of PGA Members in the world.

“Our mission is to help people play better golf, and there is nobody in the world better at helping people play better golf than PGA Members, and we built this business on PGA Members,” said Assell. “The spine of GOLFTEC Nation is PGA Professionals.”

The PGA Golf Executive of the Year Award recognises outstanding services in an executive management position, as well as leadership, vision, courage, moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game.

Tears were evident as North Florida PGA Member Tim Beckwith, who served Sarasota National Golf Club in Venice, Florida, was honoured posthumously with the Bill Strausbaugh Award, after passing away last year following a courageous battle with cancer.

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