EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan Section PGA honored its 2019 Special Award Winners at the President’s Dinner held Sunday, October 27th at the Country Club of Lansing. The President’s Dinner celebrated PGA Members who have excelled in their profession as well as those who have volunteered and given of themselves to serve the Section.
Doug Kreis, Head Golf Professional at Battle Creek Country Club for the past 19 seasons, captured the 2019 Michigan Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year award. This prestigious honor is awarded to the professional that has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership and strong moral character. The individual must also maintain a substantial record of service to the Association and game of golf and be well-regarded as a model PGA Golf Professional.
Kreis was chosen by his peers for the award based on his overall performance as a Golf Professional, service to the Section and the Association, leadership ability, image and ability to inspire others and his promotion and growth of the game. Kreis makes education a priority for him and his staff as well as ensuring his club members receive exceptional service, a well-appointed golf shop and tour quality events and instruction.
David VanLoozen, a PGA Teaching Professional at Oakland Hills Country Club, was awarded the 2019 Michigan Section PGA Teacher of the Year. VanLoozen was honored for his overall impact on teaching and coaching at his facility along with his innovative and special teaching programs he implemented.
VanLoozen has made a lasting impression on his fellow teachers through his passion for the game and his unwavering commitment to improving the games of golfers at every level. He helps his fellow professionals by sharing his knowledge and experience acquired over twenty years teaching golf and over forty years of competitive golf.
Emily Rohdy, Head Golf Professional at Bucks Run Golf Club, was named the 2019 Michigan Section PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. Rohdy’s strengths as a player, teacher, merchandiser, tournament administrator and overall golf professional while employed as an Assistant Golf Professional at Railside Golf Club all contributed to her success at her facility and the game of golf.
Bernie Friedrich, Senior Vice President, Golf Operations and Resort Sales at Boyne Resorts, was selected as the 2019 recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award. Friedrich was honored for his outstanding integrity, character, and leadership through a commitment to mentoring and making significant impacts on the careers of PGA Professionals.
Established in 1979, the Bill Strausbaugh Award is presented to a PGA Professional who by their day-to-day efforts, have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community. The award reflects the characteristics and qualities of Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who died in 1999.
Kevin McKinley, Director of Golf at Treetops Resort, and outgoing Michigan PGA President, was selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the recipient of the 2019 Horton Smith Award. The Horton Smith Award is awarded annually to a PGA Member for his outstanding contributions to professional education.
McKinley reflects this commitment through his day-to-day activities in the Michigan Section PGA and at Treetops Resort. He served two years on the PGA of America’s Inclusion Committee and currently serves on the PGA of America’s Special Awards Committee. He also provides education on PGA of America’s partner charity Folds of Honor Foundation to PGA Professionals all over the country.
John Paul Westbrook, Head Golf Professional at Indian River Golf Club, was named the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Public Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA. This award recognizes excellence in business and merchandising at public golf facilities as well as innovation in displays, merchandising techniques, staff training and overall success and growth.
Doug Brody, Head Golf Professional at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, was awarded the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Private Golf Facilities, and Elliott Oscar, Head Golf Professional at Forest Dunes Golf Club, has been named the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA.
Dean Kolstad, Director of Golf at Gull Lake View Golf Course, was selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2019 recipient of the Patriot Award. Kolstad was honored for personifying patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrating unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America. The Patriot Award originated in 2008 following the inspiration of Patriot Day founder Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional from Owasso, OK.
Kolstad has been involved in military programming since its inception at the Michigan Section PGA, nearly 15 years ago. Since 2012, he’s held five PGA HOPE spring sessions and five fall sessions for inpatient and outpatient veterans at the VA Medical Center in Battle Creek, MI.
Michael Fay, Director of Instruction at BOYNE Golf Academy, was awarded the 2019 recipient of the Player Development Award. This award recognizes a PGA Golf Professional, who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of player development. It also considers the PGA Professional’s growth of the game leadership, commitment at the Section and National levels in the player development arena, and the meaningful impact made at the facility.
Fay has 25 years of teaching experience and has become a leader in the world of golf instruction. Everything from cutting edge social networking techniques to hosting his own podcast, Fay has helped to change the face of teaching golf. His videos have included mentoring PGA Professionals, implementing new products and techniques, growing the game of golf through player development, and a documentary on his life as a 21st Century Golf Coach.
Scott Wilson, a PGA Teaching Professional at Bay Meadows Family Golf Course, is the 2019 recipient of the Michigan PGA’s and the PGA of America’s Youth Player Development Award. This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional, who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of youth player development. The award considers the PGA Professional’s focus on youth through their growth of the game leadership, commitment at the Section and National levels in the youth player development arena, and the meaningful impact made upon youth through the introduction and participation in the game.
Wilson serves on the Michigan PGA’s Growth of Game Committee, has built an impressive Golf in Schools program at more than a dozen elementary schools in the Traverse City area, and has just under 100 kids participating in PGA Jr. League. As one of the state’s best junior instructors, he’s had 40 students that have gone on to play college golf, nine Michigan High School individual State Championship medalists, helped win three state team championships, 30+ individual All-State and All-State Academic members, 12 Michigan Super Team members, and three-time “Miss Golf” for the State of Michigan. Scott has twice brought a student to the National Finals of Drive, Chip and Putt Championship at Augusta National as well as eight times to the Regional Finals. His PGA Jr. League All-Star teams have finished runner-up in the State Championship the last two years.
For photos of individual award winners, click below:
Doug Kreis, Golf Professional of the Year
David VanLoozen, Teacher of the Year
Emily Rohdy, Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
Bernie Friedrich, Bill Strausbaugh Award
Kevin McKinley, Horton Smith Award
John Paul Westbrook, Merchandiser of the Year-Public
Doug Brody, Merchandiser of the Year-Private
Elliott Oscar,Merchandiser of the Year-Resort
Dean Kolstad, Patriot Award
Mike Fay, Player Development Award
Scott Wilson,Youth Player Development Award