[Broomall, PA] — The International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA) is delighted to announce that Jamie Conkling will receive the esteemed IAGA Distinguished Service Award. The award presentation will be a highlight of the IAGA Annual Conference, sponsored by Golf Genius, taking place on Tuesday, November 7, at The Westin Dallas Stonebriar Golf Resort and Spa in Frisco, Texas.
Jamie Conkling, who served as the Executive Director of the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA) from 2006 until his retirement in January 2019, is being recognized for his remarkable contributions to the golf industry, the organizations he served, and the broader IAGA community.
Troy Andrew, Immediate Past President of the IAGA and CEO/Executive Director of Washington Golf, who led the Nominating Committee, expressed the association’s excitement, stating, “The IAGA is thrilled to acknowledge Jamie for his outstanding contributions and impact on the golf industry, the organizations he has served, and the IAGA community. Each year, our committee faces the rewarding challenge of recommending the recipient of this award from among numerous deserving candidates within the IAGA community.”
During his tenure with the VSGA, Jamie Conkling achieved significant milestones, including expanding membership options, launching programs such as eClubs and the Junior Golf Circuit, and increasing the number of competitions for men, women, and juniors. He also made outreach efforts to golf clubs and enthusiasts across the state, worked with then-VSGA President Gib Palmer to establish the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame, and contributed to the growth of the VSGA VIP Golf card, benefiting the VSGA-VIP Scholarship Foundation. The VSGA also integrated the former VSGA Women’s Division into its governance structure and added several female members to its Board of Directors. Additionally, Conkling was instrumental in finding a home for the VSGA and worked with his staff and executive committee to locate a lot and build a 6,000-square-foot headquarters, which it has proudly owned since 2015.
Gib Palmer, past VSGA President and Joe Dey Award Recipient, emphasized Conkling’s impact on the VSGA: “Perhaps Jamie’s most important and lasting legacy is the staff he built during his tenure. He did a fantastic job of recruiting and hiring the right people and then creating and fostering a culture to support all the stakeholders in Virginia Golf.”
Matt Smiley, VSGA Executive Director, added a personal touch to the accolades: “Personally, Jamie is a mentor and friend, and anyone who worked with him would likely say the same. He instilled a culture of professionalism and a mentality to not be afraid to try new things—even if you failed. He plays a part in our success as an association even to this day—five years after his retirement.”
Kevin Heaney, retired Executive Director of the Southern California Golf Association and Past President of the IAGA, praised Conkling’s influence: “I valued his insight and found myself constantly bouncing thoughts and ideas off of him to gain insightful feedback. I was not alone in that regard, as many others in the IAGA membership looked to Jamie for his input.”
Jamie Conkling’s journey in golf administration began in 1991 as an intern with the Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) after approximately five years working on Wall Street. He later served in various roles, including Assistant Director of Rules and Competitions and Director of Rules and Competitions at the Southern California Golf Association. In 1999, Conkling joined the PGA TOUR as a Tournament Official before assuming the position of Executive Director of the VSGA in 2006.
About the IAGA Distinguished Service Award
The IAGA Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant positive impact on their golf community, locally, regionally, and nationally. Awardees exemplify professionalism, demonstrating leadership, innovation, mentorship, and dedicated service to the industry. They also excel in communication and collaborative efforts for the betterment of the game.
To view past recipients of the IAGA Distinguished Service Award, click HERE.
The International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA), established in 1968, is the industry trade organization committed to advancing the game of golf and serving those who play it by representing and developing golf’s leaders. With a membership of over 80 golf associations, representing nearly 800 industry professionals and serving nearly 3 million golfers across North America, the IAGA provides educational, networking, and business resources to further its member organizations.