2017 Special Award Winners
Hall of Fame
Established in 2003, the Midwest Section PGA Hall of Fame recognizes extraordinary careers by paying tribute to those individuals who have served the Section in an exemplary manner, set standards for promoting the game, acknowledged as an outstanding player or teacher of the game, and/or have contributed in a special way to growth and heritage of the Section.
PGA Golf Professional of the Year
Presented annually since 1974, this award honors the working PGA member whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional. Special emphasis is placed on performance and achievement over the past five years in the following criteria: overall performance as a PGA Professional at his or her facility; service to the Midwest Section and the Association; leadership ability; image and ability to inspire fellow PGA Professionals and apprentices; and promotion of golf.
PGA Apprentice / Assistant of the Year
This award honors a Midwest Section PGA Apprentice or Assistant whose total contributions to the game best illustrate the proficiency necessary to be considered an imminent leader of the Section and outstanding professional. A strong emphasis is placed on performance and achievement the past twelve months in the following criteria: overall performance as an Apprentice or Assistant at his/her facility, participation in Section tournaments, involvement in Section Play Golf America initiatives, attendance at Section and District meetings, and contributions to the Midwest Section PGA Foundation – volunteer and/or monetarily
PGA Teacher of the Year Award
Presented annually since 1987, this award is based on the PGA Professional’s overall performance in teaching. It includes unusual, innovative and special teaching programs the honoree has initiated or played a key role in implementing; articles published in books and magazines; as well as outstanding golfers the PGA Professional has instructed.
PGA Youth Player Development Award
Presented annually since 1989, this award recognizes a PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. Ongoing work by this PGA Professional includes involvement in the promotion and development of junior golf at the club level, in addition to support for national junior golf programs. The interest, concern and ability to provide opportunities and experience for juniors to learn and play golf are qualities of a successful junior golf leader.
Horton Smith Award
Presented annually since 1977, this award is designed to identify a PGA Professional and give special recognition for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education. A seven-time U.S. Ryder Cup Team member and two-time masters Champion, Smith was PGA President from 1952 – 54. He devoted much of his time to improving educational programs. Smith died in 1963.
Midwest Section PGA Jon E. Jacobson Award
The Jon E. Jacobson award is presented annually to a member of the Section Board of Directors. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding service and leadership to the Section. The overall performances as a member of the Board of Directors, and image as a professional are some of the criteria considered for this award.
Bill Strausbaugh Award
The Bill Strausbaugh Award was established in 1979, and is presented to a PGA Golf Professional who, by their day-to-day efforts, has distinguished themselves in mentoring their fellow PGA Golf Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the section, association, and the community.
Strausbaugh, a PGA member since 1947 who also served on the PGA Board of directors for three years, created The PGA’s Career Services (now known as Employment Services) Department. The department counsels PGA members seeking employment, better job opportunities and improved working arrangements in their present positions. Strausbaugh died in 1999.
Player Development Award
The Player Development Award recognizes a leading PGA Professional for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development. The award considers a PGA Professional’s growth of the game leadership commitment at the Section and National levels, and the impact at the members’ own facility
PGA Merchandisers of the Year
The PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award recognizes those PGA Professionals who demonstrate excellence as businessmen or businesswomen and merchandisers in the promotion of the game at private, public, or resort facilities.
Sales Representative of the Year Award
Presented annually since 2002, this award recognizes a Sales Representative who excels in customer service, knowledge of product, and commitment to PGA Professionals and the Section. This award winner must stand out in business ethics and integrity.
Club Fitter of the Year Award
The Club Fitter of the Year Award was established in 1996, and is presented to a PGA Professional who stands out in the science of club fitting. This Professional must have a proven background in certified club fitting, knowledge of product, and committed to the teaching aspects of club fitting and the values of.
Midwest Section PGA Media Award
The Midwest Section PGA recognizes an individual or individuals for their contributions in the area of promotion and public awareness, and has helped to elevate the status of the PGA professional and Midwest Section PGA. Contributions to the Sections programs, scope of exposure and results of exposure are considered.
Midwest Junior Student-Athlete Award
The Student-athlete award is given annually to a student-athlete or athletes who have excelled in five areas of character: athletics, sportsmanship, leadership, citizenship and community outreach. Additionally, each student-athlette must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher to be considered.
The Midwest Section PGA Hall of Fame was established in 2003 to recognize extraordinary careers by paying tribute to those individuals who have served the Section and/or golfing community in a commendable manner, set standards for promoting the game, are recognized as outstanding teachers, players and/or have contributed in a special way to the growth as well as adding heritage of the Section.
2003 Stan Thirsk Kansas City Country Club 2004 Sam Reynolds Hickory Hills Country Club 2004 Harold "Jug" McSpaden PGA Tour 2005 Leland "Duke" Gibson Blue Hills Country Club 2005 Jon E. Jacobson Midwest Section PGA 2006 Brien Boggess St. Joseph Country Club 2009 Bobby Clayton Bobby Clayton's Clubfit/Repair 2011 Tom Watson PGA Tour 2011 Bud Williamson, Jr. Blue Hills Country Club 2012 Rick Grayson Rivercut Golf Course 2013 Jeff Johnson Sunflower Hills Golf Course 2014 Perry Leslie Highland Springs Country Club 2014 Brian Maloney Highland Springs Country Club 2014 Ken Leland Moila Shrine & Country Club 2014 Mike Habermehl St. Joseph Country Club 2015 Jeff Burey Twin Oaks Golf Complex 2015 Dorl Sweet Bill & Payne Stewart Golf course 2015 Robert Stone, Sr. 2016 Randy Towner Firekeeper Golf Course 2016 Tom Aikmus Lake Quivira Country Club
Golf Professional of the Year
1974-1979 1980-1989 1974 Harry A. Robb 1980 Stan Thirsk 1975 Leland (Duke) Gibson 1981 Ralph (Bud) Williamson, Jr. 1976 Frand (Dutch) Stamberger 1982 Sam J. Reynolds 1977 Harman Scharlau 1983 Harold Reed 1978 John Bonella 1984 Bill Parker 1979 Everett Vinzant 1985 Victor Sirna 1986 Allen Lucht 1987 Dale Howell 1988 Brien Boggess 1989 Perry Leslie 1990-1999 2000-2009 1990 Jim Fornier, Jr. 2000 Steve c. Specht 1991 Jeff Burey 2001 Brad C. Demo 1992 Jeff Johnson 2002 John P. Marquardt 1993 Perry Leslie 2003 Ken Leland 1994 William (Bill) Skolaut 2004 Randy Syring 1995 Pat Tubach 2005 Rick Grayson 1996 Jeff W. Walster 2006 Randy Hunt 1997 Brian Maloney 2007 Dan Schumacher 1998 Tom Aikmus 2008 Steve Harrison 1999 Paul Hooser 2009 Mike Habermehl 2010-2016 2010 Randy Towner 2011 John Richman 2012 Jay Kennedy 2013 Tom Aikmus 2014 Andy Fisher 2015 Rick Neal 2016 Rob Wilkin