at the Chaska Par 30 course.
A pair of Play Golf America Days were also held in June and July at the Galleria in nearby Edina, where Minnesota PGA Professionals provided free 10-minute lessons and allowed fans to view the traveling PGA Championship History Exhibit.
“These events are all a great way for PGA Professionals to share their expertise and show their pride in what hosting the PGA Championship means to us in Minnesota,” Tollette says. “It is also a valuable chance to show what we do for the game of golf throughout the year.”
Those year-round efforts to serve and grow the game help to position Minnesota PGA Professionals as the state’s ambassadors of the game, whether that means providing a great experience for guests at one of the state’s beautiful lakeside resorts or helping youngsters discover golf as the game of a lifetime.
For example, Minnesota PGA Section members continued their participation in the annual Minnesota Golf Show held in February at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. More than 30 PGA Professionals and apprentices gave approximately 400 free 10-minute lessons to individuals during the show, and several of the Section’s prominent teaching professionals provided clinics on the show stage throughout the three-day event – which attracted more than 20,000 attendees. Those Professionals included Chris Foley and Greg Schulze, both PGA Master Professionals in teaching.
The Minnesota PGA Section also administrated its third annual used golf club collection throughout the state this year. The clubs are collected by PGA Professional George Reynolds, who is a 46-year member of the Minnesota PGA, and distributed to athletic directors at high schools and middle schools for golf programs in their physical education classes. Last year, the Section also began to collect used golf balls as well as clubs. The used golf balls, and some of the collected clubs, are being shipped to our service men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq so they can enjoy golf as a recreation during their deployment overseas. In three years, the Section has collected more than 5,000 clubs – and Reynolds has gathered more than 12,000 over the past seven years.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota PGA Section Growth of the Game Committee conducted the third annual Play Golf
Minnesota Week on April 27–May 3 in conjunction with the Minnesota Golf Association. Each day had a specific theme and more than 50 facilities participated.
The Minnesota PGA Section also focuses on juniors, as shown by activities such as the third annual Junior Girls Clinic held on May 2 at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove. The joint effort between the Section and the Minnesota Women’s Golf Association had more than 250 girls participate this year, and more than 30 PGA Professionals and apprentices supporting the event. Throughout the year, the Minnesota PGA Section is active in junior events and also supports Special Olympics golf events.
“Golfers around the state look up to our PGA Professionals for what they do for the game, and the PGA Championship really increases the awareness of what these men and women do year-round,” Tollette says. “For golf fans who don’t know how involved our PGA Professionals are in growing the game, the PGA Championship is a real showcase.” ●
Minnesota PGA Section member Steve Fessler (left), PGA head professional at Pheasant Acres Golf Club in Rogers, Minn., participates in a Special Olympics Pro-Am at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn.
Location: Coon Rapids
PGA members and apprentices:
PGA-staffed facilities: 280
President: Jeff Drimel, PGA
Vice President: Paul Kelley, PGA Secretary: Peter Kurvers, PGA
Honorary President: Kathy Swanson, PGA Executive Director: Jon Tollette
Minnesota PGA Section
at a glance
Since the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award was first given out by The PGA of America in 1955, three members of the Minnesota PGA Section have been recipients:
• 1969: Wally Mund, Midland Hills Country Club, St. Paul, Minn.
• 2002: Jock Olson, Interlachen Country Club, Edina, Minn.
• 2006: Jim Manthis, Les Bolstad/Univ. of Minnesota Golf Course,
St. Paul, Minn.
The PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award is determined annually by The PGA of America to nationally honor the working PGA Professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional.
PGA Golf Professionals of the Year