17 PGA Professionals and Industry Executives Recognized For Excellence in the Game and Business of Golf
Mike Galli, PGA Head Golf Professional at North Ridge Country Club In Fair Oaks, Leads Award Recipients as 2020 Golf Professional of the Year
VACAVILLE, CA., — The Northern California Section of the PGA of America (NCPGA), has announced its 2020 Section Awards, honoring PGA Professionals and golf industry executives who have excelled in the game and business of golf. The 2020 award recipients include:
- Golf Professional of the Year
- Mike Galli, PGA, Head Golf Professional, North Ridge Country Club, Fair Oaks, CA
- Teacher of the Year
Matt Flenniken, PGA, Director of Instruction, Los Lagos Golf Course, San Jose, CA
- Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
- Owen Miller, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional, Montreux Golf and Country Club, Reno, NV
- Player Development Award and Youth Player Development Award
- Jill Womble, PGA, Program Director, First Tee Tri-Valley at Pleasanton Golf Center, Pleasanton, CA
- PGA Professional Development Award
- Jeremy Gray, PGA, Golf Administrator, Northern California Golf Association, Pebble Beach, CA
- Bill Strausbaugh Award
- Eric Jones, PGA, Founder, Eric Jones Golf Academy, Castro Valley, CA
- Merchandiser of the Year – Resort
- Ronnie Theobald, PGA, Head Golf Professional, Bailey Creek Golf Course, Westwood, CA
- Merchandiser of the Year – Private
- David Pfisterer PGA, Head Golf Professional, Clear Creek Tahoe, Carson City, NV
- Merchandiser of the Year – Public
- Tom Morton, PGA Master Professional, Director of Coaching & Instruction, Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, Sacramento, CA
- Club Fitter of the Year
- Lionel Rodgers, PGA, Fitting Specialist, PGA Tour Superstore, East Palo Alto, CA
- Golf Course Superintendent of the Year Award
- Jim Ferrin, CGCS, Superintendent, Timber Creek Golf Course, Roseville, CA
- Player of the Year
- Kenny Pigman, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional, Goose Creek Golf Club, Mira Loma, CA
- Senior Player of the Year
- Dave Carr, PGA, Director of Instruction, Teal Bend Golf Club, Sacramento, CA
- Super Senior Player of the Year
- Jim Hosley, PGA, Green Valley Country Club, Vacaville, CA
- Assistant-Associate Player of the Year
- Kyle Hansen, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional, Bidwell Park Golf Course, Chico, CA
- Sales Representative of the Year Award
- Lee McCormick, Sales Representative, PING Golf, Gold River, CA
- Sports Media Person of the Year
- Michael Jacobi, Radio Personality, KSCO Radio, Santa Cruz, CA
“The NCPGA is extremely proud to recognize our 2020 Award Recipients,” said Len Dumas, Executive Director, Northern California PGA. “In a challenging year where golf became an escape for so many people, including avid players and newcomers to the game, this group of PGA Professionals and industry executives delivered an experience that helped both the game and business of golf in so many ways.”
Golf Professional of the Year
Mike Galli, PGA, Head Golf Professional at North Ridge Country Club, in Fair Oaks, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Golf Professional of the Year. The award honors a PGA Member whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional. Mike began his journey at North Ridge in June of 1997, attaining PGA Membership in March of 2007. Whether managing all facets of the golf operation, working with membership or dedicating time to supporting community organizations, Mike is acknowledged as a strong leader and thorough communicator. The North Ridge Country Club staff and fellow PGA Professionals have an appreciation for his hard work, generosity and kindness. Mike is true to a service philosophy he learned years ago: focus your time equally on the people, the game and the business; spending too much time in any one arena will certainly lead to deficiency in the others. As a certified Plane Truth instructor Mike’s passion as a teacher is evident, emphasizing the study of the mental-physical connection. Mike’s continuing education includes his work with Shane Lebron and the Plane Truth team, along with Jim Hardy and Chris O’Connell. Mike has also worked with outstanding high school and Division 1 college players and coached by PGA Tour champion Cameron Champ as a junior, which is a testimony to his ability. Mike served four years as President of the NCPGA North State Chapter, as well as four years on the Section Special Awards Committee. As a leader, Mike sets direction, inspires vision and provides resources for his staff to excel. He asks nothing ofothers that he has or would not do himself. With a focus on communication and an emphasis on goal setting, Mike tasks himself and team onhow to continually enhance the member/guest and staff experience at North Ridge Country Club.
Teacher of the Year
Matt Flenniken, PGA, Director of Instruction at Los Lagos Golf Course, in San Jose, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Teacher of the Year, which honors a PGA Member for outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach. For 35 years, Matt has taught the game at arate of 2,000 lessons per year or an astonishing 66,000 lessons to date. As one of the game’s most prolific stewards, Matt’s balance of skillsand his dedication to the advancement of all that is good with golf delivers long term relationships. His long standing “mastery of teaching” and first-class club fitting combine for a best of breed PGA best practice. His “on course advantage” is designed to teach how to conduct business golf enabling the use of the game as a tool to improve business. During the pandemic, Matt opened an online teaching portal for remote learning and started a YouTube channel to offer free instruction. He is a huge supporter and contributor for Section events such as the Player-Teacher Forum. He has also participated on many national teaching forums. While Matt has high standards, players from tour caliber to beginners experience quality instruction. The bottom line is that Matt brings business to the golf course and produces successful golfers.
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
Owen Miller, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, NV is the 2020 NCPGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year, to recognize a PGA Assistant Professional for their overall performance in leadership, service to the Section, community and promotion of the game of golf. Owen’s PGA experience began in 2010 in Michigan, and he joined the team at Montreux in March of 2016, attaining PGA Membership in September of that year. Owen accepts his role as mentor to Associates on their journey to PGA Membership as well as leading a team of 25 on a daily basis. He works closely with the Associates on their bookwork, while also maintaining his skills as a player and instructor. His commitment is to all members at Montreux, including adultsand juniors and he regularly plays with them, setting a goal of 10-15 new members each season. Along with director of golf, Zach Jonas, and head golf professional, John Hermans, Owen spends the winter months volunteering his time in the golf in schools program and taking the game to the community. Owen is a certified US Kids coach and has a TPI junior level 2 certification, exhibiting his passion forall who play.
Player Development Award & Youth Player Development Award
Jill Womble, PGA, Program Director at the First Tee Tri-Valley at Pleasanton Golf Center, in Pleasanton, CA, is the recipient of both the 2020 NCPGA Player Development Award – which bestows special recognition to a PGA Member who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development – as well as the 2020 NCPGA Youth Player Development Award – which is given annually to a PGA Member who has made extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of youth player development. A PGA Professional for 13 years, Jill is the lead instructor for the PGA HOPE program at Pleasanton Golf Center, where she works closely with PGA peers to deliver exceptional programming to deserving veterans. As program director for the First Tee Tri-Valley, she also oversees the national school program, life skills experience classes, LPGA Girl’s Golf outreach and more. In fact, Jill sees 13,500 juniors per year in the national school program and coaches 700 students. She enjoys coaching and mentoring participants and observing their growth, while also working closely with the Special Olympics, American Heart Association, Easter Seals, Girl’s Inc., and Foster A Dream to name a few. She has impacted the young lives of many while continuing to grow her programs. Most importantly, Jill is passionate about golf, growing the game, and most of all watching others fall in love with a game she fell in love with as a child.
PGA Professional Development Award
Jeremy Gray, PGA, Golf Administrator at the Northern California Golf Association located in Pebble Beach, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Professional Development Award recipient, which is given to a PGA Member who embodies a commitment to the education and skill advancement of the Section’s members and associates. As a Northern California Golf Association administrative team member since October of 2013, Jeremy was instrumental in educating NCPGA Professionals on the World Handicap System (WHS), launched in 2020.Jeremy serves as the Assistant Director of Course Rating for the NCGA, and visits 40-50 facilities annually. He discusses WHS course rating system applications and course rating measurement requirements, while servicing NCGA handicap hardware. These tasks exhibit Jeremy’s skill in communication, contact and interaction with hundreds of industry partners and participants annually. It is no small task to explain and implement a system incorporating the nuances and technicalities of 6 world-wide organizations. Through passion and commitment for the game, industry, his colleagues, and all those who play the game of golf, Jeremy solidifies the purpose recognition ofthe award.
Bill Strausbaugh Award
Eric Jones, PGA, Founder of Eric Jones Golf Academy, in Castro Valley, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient, which recognizes a PGA Member who mentors fellow PGA Professionals by improving their employment situations through service to the community. Eric’s earliest mentor was his grandfather, Charles Seaver, one of the top amateur golfers in the 1930s. Seaver’s commitment to the game made a huge impression on Eric, as did Ernie Barbour, who taught him compassion and putting the student’s needs first. And, from Dr. Glen Albaugh, Eric gained knowledge of the human side of performance. Golf has been Eric’s “something larger than himself,” and he has done his best to give back and help others reach their full potential. He has written for Tee Shots Magazine and has been a regular presenter at Dr. Albaugh’s performance workshops, where he developed a “business of teaching”presentation for the Player Teacher Forum. He also developed Redwood Canyon’s first-ever teaching academy, serving both adults and juniors. His five keys to distance and four books on performance skills have helped more than 30,000 golfers around the world.. He continues to be a strong advocate for the game and the benefits available for those who embrace the challenge.
Merchandiser of the Year – Resort
Ronnie Theobald, PGA, Head Golf Professional at Bailey Creek Golf Course, in Westwood, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Resort Merchandiser of the Year Award recipient, which recognizes a PGA Member who has excelled in business and merchandising for the promotion of golf. This award is the next step in Ronnie’s success at Bailey Creek, beginning with his promotion to Head Golf Professional from Assistant Professional in 2013. Changing tactics in 2020, Ronnie and his team updated displays as merchandise arrived as opposed to the traditional schedule of one to two weeks. In addition to this successful approach, Ronnie focuses on merchandise that covers varied price ranges for golfers and non-golfers, while assuring the brands bring a new energy to the golf shop and create a buzz.Ronnie has found that displaying the Bailey Creek logo is paramount to sales and is proudly displayed.
Merchandiser of the Year – Private
David Pfisterer , PGA, Head Golf Professional at Clear Creek Tahoe, in Carson City, NV, is the 2020 NCPGA Private Merchandiser of the Year Award recipient, which recognizes a PGA Member who has excelled in business and merchandising for the promotion of golf.It didn’t take David long to make an impact in the NCPGA, joining Clear Creek Tahoe from La Romana Country Club in the Dominican Republic in April 2018. David’s merchandising prowess is exemplified through his accomplishments in a shortened season, with anaverage of 5,000 rounds. His daily activities include 20% of the day planning, buying, coordinating with vendors, monitoring inventory levels, measuring the financial impact, and interacting with Clear Creek Tahoe members and guests. Merchandise displays are changed weekly in order to provide members with a consistently fresh look and expose the variety of choices, appealing to the Lake Tahoelifestyle. An integral aspect of David’s success is the inclusion of staff members in the selection and coordination of merchandise and marketing. This requires continuing education on trends, brands, products and available technologies, while searching for new opportunities and unknown but appropriate and attractive brands.
Merchandiser of the Year – Public
Tom Morton, PGA Master Professional, Director of Coaching & Instruction at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, in Sacramento, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Public Merchandiser of the Year Award recipient, which recognizes PGA Professionals who have excelled in business and merchandising in the promotion of golf. Opened in 1932, the facility features 36 holes and hosts 100,000 rounds of golf per year. With more than 15,000 square feet of merchandise display, goods from more than 200 manufacturers are offered and the average inventory level tops two million dollars and merchandise displays are changed on a daily basis. The Haggin Oaks Golf Expo, America’s largest demo days event attracts more than 24,000 over a three-day weekend. Almost 200 vendors help sell $750,000 in merchandise on the weekend. Morton reports that five consistent elements highlight the Haggin Oaks super shop experience… Interactiveness in ensuring a connection with clients; Originality by being different, authentic and natural; Connectedness in making customers feel the experience has been created for them; Unexpectedness in creating unique experiences, displays and promotions and reliability by exceeding customer expectations every time.
Club Fitter of the Year
Lionel Rodgers, PGA, Fitting Specialist at PGA Tour Superstore, in East Palo Alto, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Club Fitter of the Year Award recipient. Lionel is certified with all the major manufacturers including Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Cobra, PING, and more. He has obtained master certifications and advanced master certifications from Callaway clubs and from Sean Toulon and Mike Shannon for Odyssey and Toulon putters. He is a leading team member at the PGA Tour Superstore working with professionals both inside and outside to help them improve their skills in the art and science of club fitting. His fitting van experience uses Forsight GC quad launch monitor employing high speed cameras to capture swing and ball data. He fits for irons, metals, hybrids, putters, wedges, balls, and shafts. He offers customers a one-on-one personalized experience allowing him to dial in shaft and head combinations for every golfer, nomatter age or ability. Customer input is imperative in the interactive experience. Last year Rodgers performed 881 fittings.
Golf Course Superintendent of the Year
Jim Ferrin, CGCS, Superintendent at Timber Creek Golf Course, in Roseville, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Golf Course Superintendent of the Year Award recipient. Immersed in the golf business for 44 years, Ferrin began as a greenskeeper and quickly advanced to management. A Northern California Superintendent for 34 years, he has been a certified superintendent for 27 years. He loves golf as a game- and as a profession. As a golfer he sees the course from a player’s perspective and as a superintendent he is a skilled agronomist, environmentalist, and business manager. He communicates with owners, general managers, golf professionals, and maintenance staff. He serves as president of the California Alliance for golf, a coalition of groups representing golf’s interest throughout the state. As a member of the government relations task force he helped to reclassify golf as an essential business during the pandemic leading to golf courses opening throughout the state. Ferrin has supported First Tee, the Latina Golfers Association, and the Audubon Cooperative. He also works to better the environment and the sustainability of golf courses.
Player of the Year
Kenny Pigman, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional at Jack Tone Golf in Ripon, CA is the 2020 NCPGA Player of the Year. Kenny, who has been a class a PGA member since 2016, moved from the Southern California PGA Section, where he was also Player of the Year, to the Northern California Section in 2019. He is a former winner of the PGA National Assistants Championship. This year, he competed in five tournaments and amassed a total of almost 946 points. He was a winner in NCPGA Pro Series 1 and Pro Series 3. He also finished runner-up in the Pro Series 2.
Senior Player of the Year
Dave Carr, PGA, Director of Instruction at Teal Bend Golf Club, in Sacramento, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Senior Player of the Year. Arepeat winner in this category, Dave has been a Class A PGA Member since 2011 and earned 543 and a half points. He played in eight of the twelve tournaments this season, winning three. He won the Super Senior Pro-Pro 7 and tied for first place in the NCPGA Senior Section Championship and Senior Pro-Pro 8. He also has previously played in the prestigious U.S. Open.
Super Senior Player of the Year
Jim Hosley, a PGA Life Member from Green Valley Country Club, in Fairfield, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Super Senior Player of the Year. Jim, who worked at Baywood Country Club for almost 37 years, has been a Class A PGA Member since 1978. He competed in all nine tournaments in 2020 finishing with 144 and a half points with one win, one second place and three third place finishes. He also won the Super Senior Pro-Pro 7.
Assistant Associate Player of the Year
Kyle Hansen, PGA, Assistant Golf Professional at Bidwell Park Golf Course, in Chico, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Assistant Associate Player of the Year. A Class “A” PGA Member since March of this year, Kyle is a previous recipient of the Assistant Associate Player of the Year in 2017 as a PGA Associate. He competed in five of seven tournaments this year and finished with 804 and a half points with a win in the AA Mdal Play.
Sales Representative of the Year Award
Lee McCormick, Sales Representative for PING Golf, is the 2020 NCPGA Sales Representative of the Year Award recipient. An employee of PING since 1984, Lee has been serving NCPGA Professionals for more than 27 years. He does this through more than 40 PING fittings and demo days every year. He has also been involved with many initiatives including sponsoring NCPGA match play qualifiers and championships, club fitting seminars, and arranging for PGA Professionals to visit PING headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona for club fitting and manufacturer information. He has also arranged for PGA HOPE participants to receive PING equipment in conjunctionwith the Morton Golf Foundation and the annual Golf and Guitars fundraiser. His territory extends from Redding, CA to Turlock in the south and from Napa, CA to Winnemucca, NV west to east. He serves almost 100 golf facilities and accounts for $2.4 million in annual sales. His key to success is to develop relationships that earns trust and extends beyond the business and always have their best interest at heart.
Sports Media Person of the Year
Michael Jacobi, Radio Personality at KSCO Radio, in Santa Cruz, CA, is the 2020 NCPGA Sports Media Person of the Year Award recipient. Listening to Michael’s radio program “raising the standards” is like taking a golf lesson to music. For the past 20 years, he has highlighted junior and amateur golf and his list of guests include Ken Venturi, R.J. Harper, author James Dodson, and Roger Maltbie, among others. From weekly updates on local golf news and events to annual TV interviews at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he has provided an outlet to those who love the game. NCPGA Members are always welcome on the air and young professionals have an outlet to reach the public. He has paid special attention to the effect of the current pandemic on the state of the game keeping the public informed on open facilities and virus updates relative to the game. For 40 years he has hosted his own charity golf tournament “the Jacobi” benefitting junior golf. He says in his 50-year career, he has gone from stiff to senior shafts on a journey in which he endeavored to makea difference and help promote things that matter – jazz and golf.
For more information on the Northern California PGA, please visit www.ncpgalinks.com, or call (707) 449-4742.
About the Northern California Section of the PGA of America (NCPGA)
Organized in 1920 to promote interest in the game of golf, the birth of this association was heralded as an important step to the advancement of the game in this district. The Northern California Section is one of the forty-one designated Sections of the PGA of America, the world’s largest working sports organization. With over 1,100 dedicated PGA Professionals and apprentices at over 500 golf facilities in Northern California and Northwestern Nevada, the association continues to have a positive impact on the game of golf and communities both regionally and nationally.
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