SCAGA, Section Awards Announced 0

Rockwind Community Links

Tom Yost Recognized by Special Olympics of New Mexico

Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs has been named the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association club of the year for 2018, one of several SCAGA awards recently announced.

The 18-hole course and its 9-hole course “L'il Rock” opened in 2015 and since then one of its core missions has been to develop young golfers in partnership with the First Tee of Southeast New Mexico. On any given day year-round, 20-40 kids can be found at the golf course.

“The facility is not only one of our best but is really how a golf operation should be run in the 21st century with their immediate community in the forefront of their mission,” said Dana Lehner, executive director of SCAGA. “For their management and the City of Hobbs to be gracious enough to encourage them to stay active in our association is truly an honor and a privilege for us.”

In a related development, SCAGA's newly elected president is Cindy Smith of El Paso and Vista Hills Country Club. She has been involved with the association's leadership for years. SCAGA is the USGA affiliate for amateur golfers in New Mexico and El Paso County, Texas.

Other SCAGA Awards

Here are the other annual awards for 2018 made by SCAGA:

SCAGA Woman Player of the Year: Samantha Surette, Albuquerque.

SCAGA Player of the Year: Sean Carlon, Albuquerque.

SCAGA Senior Player of the Year: Anton Salome, Socorro.

SCAGA Volunteer of the Year: Rick Jensen, Las Cruces.

In a related story, Tom Yost of Riverview Golf Club in Kirtland, N.M., was awarded the 2018 Conrad Rehling Award by Special Olympics of New Mexico.

Yost, who has been involved with Special Olympics New Mexico since 2007, was recognized  for his continued efforts to grow and support Special Olympics Golf in San Juan County, NM and beyond. Yost has served as executive director of The First Tee of San Juan County since 2005. With over 30 years of golf experience, Yost has a passion for junior golf and what it teaches and brings to youth in the community. Yost’s involvement with Special Olympics New Mexico began in 2007

Sun Country PGA Section Awards

Here are the awards for 2018 made by the Sun Country PGA Section:

Golf Professional of the Year – The highest honor awarded to a Sun Country PGA golf professional. Criteria include overall performance as a golf professional at his/her facility, level of service to the Section and Association, leadership ability, image, the ability to inspire fellow professionals, and the promotion of golf. Winner: Pat Gavin, New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management, Las Cruces.

Lifetime Achievement Award – The Lifetime Achievement Award honors those SCSPGA Professionals who, over the course of their careers, have made significant contributions to enhance & promote the game of golf in the Section. Winner: Mark Pelletier, El Paso Country Club, El Paso.

Assistant Professional of the Year – The highest honor awarded to a Sun Country PGA assistant golf professional. Criteria include overall performance as an assistant professional at his/her facility, level of service to the Section and Association, leadership ability, image and the ability to inspire fellow professionals, and the promotion of golf. Winner: Elias Eilers, Sonoma Ranch Golf Course, Las Cruces.

Marilea Bush Amateur of the Year – This award is named in honor of longtime Sun Country PGA staff member Marilea Bush who passed away in 2007 after a long battle with cancer. Winners are chosen on the following criteria that Marilea exhibited daily throughout her 17 years at the Section office, contributions and dedication to the game of golf. Winner: Bruce Buchman, Las Cruces, N.M.

Merchandiser of the Year Award – This award is designed to recognize a Sun Country golf professional who has demonstrated superior skills as a merchandiser in the promotion of golf. Candidates are judged in the areas of merchandise performance, details and innovation, displays and merchandising techniques. Public Winner – Vern Bane, Sonoma Ranch Golf Course, Las Cruces; Private Winner – Jim Davison, Albuquerque Country Club, Albuquerque.

Jack Hardwick Teacher of the Year – This award gives recognition to the Sun Country PGA Professional who has performed outstanding services in teaching the game of golf. Winner: T.J. McMullan, Cruces, Total Golf, Las Cruces.

Youth Player Development Award – This award pays recognition to the Sun Country PGA professional who is a leader in junior golf, reflects the qualities and ideals of those who work with our section’s youth, and provides opportunities and experiences for juniors to learn to play golf. Winner: Henry Stetina, New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management, Las Cruces.

Player Development Award – This award pays recognition to the Sun Country PGA professional who is a leader in developing new golfers and bringing new people to the game to enhance the pipeline of future golfers. Winner: Sig Dalen, Tanoan Country Club, Albuquerque.

Horton Smith Award – This award is designed to recognize individual golf professionals for their outstanding and continuing contributions to developing and improving education opportunities for Sun Country PGA golf professionals. Winner: Josh Salmon, NMSU PGA Golf Management, Las Cruces.

Bill Strausbaugh Award – This award is presented to the Sun Country PGA member who by his/her day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves in the field of club relations, causing dramatic improvements in employment conditions in the Section and/or the PGA of America. Winner: Brad Lardon, The Club at Las Campanas, Santa Fe.

Player of the Year – Honoring the top performance in playing ability by a Sun Country PGA member: Winner: David Muttitt, Los Altos Golf Course, Albuquerque; Senior Winner: Brad Lardon, The Club at Las Campanas, Santa Fe; Apprentice Winner: Devin Miertschin, Lone Star Golf Course, El Paso.

Salesperson of the Year – The Salesperson of the Year Award shows appreciation for the sales representative who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide quality customer service to the PGA Professionals in the Sun Country Section. Winner: Jason Masek, Masek Rocky Mountain Golf Cars, Albuquerque.

Dan Vukelich, editor of New Mexico Golf News, is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at [email protected]

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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at [email protected]

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