2019 Sun Country PGA Awards Announced 0

Sun Country PGA Awards Honor Best Players, Teachers, Merchandisers

Have any of your favorite Sun Country PGA Section golf professionals been recognized by their peers with Sun Country PGA Awards for their outstanding work in golf during 2019?

The section announced its annual slate of award winners, who will be recognized at a luncheon on Nov. 4 at Paradise Hills Golf Course.

Here are the 2019 winners, as announced by Section Executive Director Dana Lehner on Wednesday:

Golf Professional of the Year

Brad Lardon
Brad Lardon of Las Campanas

The highest honor awarded to a Sun Country PGA golf professional. Criteria include overall performance as a golf professional at his or 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: Brad Lardon, The Club at Las Campanas, Santa Fe.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Grant Dalpes
Grant Dalpes of Desert Lakes Golf Course

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors those section professionals who, over the course of their careers, have made significant contributions to enhance & promote the game of golf in the Section. Winner: Grant Dalpes, Desert Lakes Golf Course, Alamogordo.

Assistant Professional of the Year

Steve Manning tees off at the Sun Country PGA Mazek Matches Championship Final.

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:  Steve Manning, Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Ana Pueblo.

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 PGA Section office: contributions and dedication to the game of golf. Winner:  Kim & Cindy Smith, El Paso.

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. There are three categories for this award:

Public Winner

Ken Meador, Underwood Golf Complex, El Paso.

Private Winner

Marty Ivie, Lovington Country Club, Lovington, N.M.

Resort Winner

Ramon Valdez, Isleta Golf Club, Albuquerque.

Jack Hardwick Teacher of the Year

Thomas T.J. McMullan, golf instructor, stresses the importance of the pre-shot routine.
Las Cruces golf instructor T.J. McMullan

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

Jason Montoya after shedding 65 pounds
Jason Montoya of Santa Ana Golf club

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: Jason Montoya, Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Ana Pueblo.

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: Henry Stetina, New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management, Las Cruces.

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:  Paul Kruger, The Canyon Club at Four Hills, Albuquerque.

Bill Strausbaugh Award

Derek Gutierrez, Santa Ana Golf club

This award is presented to the Sun Country PGA member who by his orher 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: Derek Gutierrez, Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Ana Pueblo.

 Player of the Year

Honoring the top performance in playing ability by a Sun Country PGA member. There are three categories for this award:

Overall Player of the Year

David Muttitt
David Muttitt

David Muttitt, Los Altos Golf Course, Albuquerque.

Senior Player of the Year

Brad Lardon, The Club at Las Campanas, Santa Fe.

Apprentice Player of the Year

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:  Perry Kauppinen, TaylorMade Golf, Amarillo.

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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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