National award winners announced at 70th PGA Show; Recipients will be formally honored at PGA Annual Meeting this November
FRISCO, Texas and ORLANDO, Fla. – PGA Golf Professional of the Year Jeff Kiddie, PGA; Teacher & Coach of the Year Kevin Weeks, PGA; and PGA Golf Executive of the Year Bernie Friedrich, PGA headline the Class of 2023 PGA of America National Awards honorees.
All 13 Award recipients were announced Wednesday at the 2023 PGA Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment to stand out as an honoree among nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals, as they are celebrated for furthering the business and game of golf,” said PGA President John Lindert. “Congratulations to our 13 National Award recipients for their inspirational dedication to the game. The PGA of America is proud to shed a spotlight on our Award winners and their amazing accomplishments, as they reflect the world-class expertise and talent of our Association.”
In addition, the recently announced 2022 PGA of America Professional Players of the Year presented by Rolex award recipients will be celebrated, including: Mens PGA Professional Player of the Year Michael Block of Mission Viejo, California; Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Sandra Changkija of Kissimmee, Florida; and Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio.
2023 PGA of America National Awards Recipients
- PGA Golf Professional of the Year
Jeff Kiddie, PGA – Aronimink Golf Club – Newtown Square, Pa.
- PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year
Kevin Weeks, PGA – Cog Hill Golf & Country Club – Lemont, Ill.
- PGA Golf Executive of the Year
Bernie Friedrich, PGA – Boyne Resorts – Petoskey, Mich.
- Bill Strausbaugh Award
Jack Druga, PGA – Life Member – Metropolitan PGA Section – Southampton, N.Y.
- PGA Professional Development Award
Nick Papadakes, PGA – Onwentsia Club – Lake Forest, Ill.
- Deacon Palmer Award
Jamie Nieto, PGA – The Preserve at Oak Meadows – Addison, Ill.
- PGA Patriot Award
John Carpineta, PGA – Bensalem Township Country Club – Bensalem, Pa.
- PGA Player Development Award
Josh Tremblay, PGA – Springfield Golf & Country Club – Springfield, Va.
- PGA Youth Player Development Award
Susie Redman, PGA – The Woodlands Country Club – The Woodlands, Texas
- Herb Graffis Award
Southern Texas PGA Section
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Category
Grace Hurley, PGA – Ponte Vedra Inn & Club – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Category
Katie Wiedmar, PGA – Winged Foot Golf Club – Mamaroneck, N.Y.
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category
Ian Ziska, PGA – American Dunes Golf Club – Grand Haven, Mich.
Jeff Kiddie, PGA, Head Golf Professional at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, is the recipient of the 2023 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. This is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, awarded for leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game of golf.
A PGA Member for 23 years, Kiddie has spent the past 15 years at Aronimink following a seven-year stint at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania, where he served as PGA General Manager and Head Golf Professional. Kiddie was the host PGA Professional during the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Aronimink, which will also host the 2026 PGA Championship.
A longtime, dedicated leader in the Philadelphia PGA Section, Kiddie has held numerous positions including President, Vice President, Secretary, District Director, Director of Section Affairs and Member of the PGA of America Rules Committee, among others. In 2019, he was elected the 43rd President of the Philadelphia PGA; He served a two-year stint, followed by his current Honorary President role.
A decorated PGA Professional, Kiddie has received numerous awards and accolades, including being honored as the national 2011 PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities. He also received the Philadelphia PGA Section’s 2021 Bill Strausbaugh Award; 2016 Horton Smith Award (now the PGA Professional Development Award); 2011 Philadelphia Section Golf Professional of the Year; and is a two-time recipient of the Philadelphia PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year Award – Private Facilities (2007, ‘10).
Since Kiddie became a PGA Head Professional in 2001, a total of 12 of his Assistant Professionals have advanced to become Head Professionals across the country. His passion for the Rules of Golf has led him to become an instructor for PGA and USGA Rules of Golf Workshops. Kiddie is a graduate of Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he competed on the golf team.
Kevin Weeks, PGA, an Illinois PGA Section Member and Director of Instruction at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Illinois, is the 2023 PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”
A PGA Member for 28 years, Weeks has been a mainstay on Golf Digest’s 50 Greatest Teachers and Best Teachers in Your State lists, joining the 50 Greatest list in 2012 and being recognized as the No. 1 Teacher in Illinois since 2017. Also featured regularly as one of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers, Weeks is renowned for his putting expertise. His research on the game began in 1999 at Cog Hill, where he created a state-of-the-art putting facility with his patented Dynamic Impact Indicator (using lasers to measure the putter face at impact) and a Putting Robot that has been instrumental in numerous research projects, leading to several discoveries that have earned him opportunities to speak worldwide on the subject. The newest addition to the Lab is a GEARS 3-D motion capture system, which he uses to measure what each segment of the body is doing during the putting stroke.
Weeks’ students have captured 10 PGA TOUR victories and include notable names such as Kevin Streelman, Michael Bradley, Mark Wilson and several other top players. Weeks has also served as the swing coach for students who have won more than 50 professional mini tour events, 25 collegiate events, 11 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) events and five high school state championships.
Growing the game has always been most important to Weeks, which is why when faced with the decision years ago of traveling with his students on the PGA TOUR or continuing to develop the nationally recognized PGA Jr. League program he built, the decision was easy. With its main goal of having “FUN,” the program now has 371 players. Cog Hill has qualified for the last six National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championships (the only coach in the country to do so), as his program has been listed as a Game Changer Top 25 program for the past three years and is currently the second largest program in the country.
Weeks was named the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year three times (2005, ‘07, ‘09). He earned a PGA Special Certification for Instruction in 2010, and became certified in the American Development Model (ADM) through PGA Coach in 2020. Weeks has also been honored as a Top 50 Growth of the Game Teacher Elite by the Golf Range Association of America and as a Top 50 Master Kids Coach by U.S. Kids Golf. After graduating from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Weeks worked for Grand Cypress Resort, Canton Brookside Country Club and John Jacobs Golf Schools before joining the Cog Hill staff, where he’s built his career since 1997.
Bernie Friedrich, PGA, a Michigan PGA Section Member and the Senior Vice President of Golf Operations for Boyne Resorts in Petoskey, is the 2023 PGA Golf Executive of the Year. The honor recognizes outstanding services in an Executive Management position, as well as leadership, vision, courage, moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game.
A PGA Member for nearly 40 years, Friedrich started as a Golf Professional at Boyne Resorts in 1976 and has been instrumental in leading the Company’s growing golf division. Today, Friedrich oversees Boyne Golf’s 13 courses and semi-private clubs in Michigan, Maine and Montana, including all staff, course agronomy and marketing nationwide, plus two golf membership groups—Bay Harbor Golf Club and Country Club of Boyne.
A multi-award-winning PGA Member at the Section level, Friedrich has been recognized as the Golf Professional of the Year twice (1998, 2001), Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient (2019), PGA Golf Executive of the Year (2021) and five times as Merchandiser of the Year (1990-’92, 1995-’96). In 2019, he was inducted into both the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
For full bios of all 13 PGA of America National Awards recipients for 2023, click here.
The formal National Awards ceremony is scheduled for this November during the 2023 PGA Annual Meeting in Frisco, Texas. The Herb Graffis Award will be presented during the Annual Meeting content that week as well.
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