Wisconsin Section PGA Professionals George Puchinsky (left in blue) and Gary Brooks (in red shirt) volunteer their time during a Play Golf America Day at Oakwood Park Golf Course in Franklin, Wis.
Wisconsin PGA Professionals are also expanding the reach of the PGA Championship to surrounding areas through the PGA Championship Community Relations Youth Clinic on Monday of Championship Week. More than 250 invited youngsters, including several groups from Special Olympics, will converge on Whistling Straits’ Irish course, where they will enjoy an inspirational trick shot demonstration from Dennis Walters, recipient of the 2009 PGA Distinguished Service Award, and receive free instruction from the approximately 30 Wisconsin PGA Professionals on hand.
In 2004, the last time the PGA Championship was at Whistling Straits, the Youth Clinic was held off-site at Oakwood Park Golf Course near Milwaukee. Many of the youth groups had trouble finding transportation from Milwaukee to Whistling Straits, where they were scheduled to view practice rounds, and had to forfeit the trip to the Championship venue. That won’t be the case in 2010. “One of the best things about this year’s Youth Clinic is that it’s on-site,” adds Stadler. “The kids are there for the day where they can enjoy the festivities, grab some lunch and head over to course to see some of the players.
“It’s a critical element of what we’re doing
during Championship Week,” says Stadler, in
his 14th year as executive director of the
Wisconsin Section. “The PGA Professionals
on hand will have the chance to interact with
the kids, some of whom have played golf
before and others who’ve never held a club.
It’s not just a great opportunity to grow the
game, but it’s also the perfect introductory
setting for the attending kids. They’ll be
learning alongside their peers, getting
wonderful demonstrations, and most of all,
they’ll be having fun.”
David Donatucci, The PGA of
142 THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE 2010 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
America’s director of fitness, will be also be at the Youth Clinic to explain the fitness benefits of playing golf and staying active in cooperation with the national “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity.
The community involvement of Wisconsin Section PGA Professionals also includes Play Golf America Days that were scheduled to be hosted on July 17 at Brown Deer Park Golf Course in Milwaukee and Oakwood Park Golf Course in Franklin. More than 20 PGA Professionals were expected to be on hand at each location offering free 10-minute lessons to the public, creating buzz around the PGA Championship and better educating golfers on who the PGA Professional is.
COURTESY OF OAK WOOD PARK GOLF COURSE
“It’s very important that we find the
time during the PGA Championship to get
out and interact with the golfers in our
community and with the people attending,”
says Terasa, PGA head professional at
North Hills Country Club in Menomonee
Falls. “It’s our major. It’s the biggest
nugget along with the Ryder Cup. We need
to be there answering questions, giving
lessons, or doing whatever we can to create
a grander stage for the PGA Championship
and the members of The PGA.”
“PGA Professionals from our Section
will be a valuable part of the volunteer core
this week,” adds Stadler. “The PGA
Championship is a huge component of The
PGA of America, and also a great
opportunity to shed some light on how the
PGA Professional contributes to the game
of golf throughout the year.” ●
Tony L. Starks is PGA Magazine’s editorial assistant.
Manuel de la Torre, a PGA Life Member and renowned golf instructor from the
Milwaukee area, was the inaugural recipient of
the PGA Teacher of the Year Award in 1986. He is
joined by three other Wisconsin Section PGA
Professionals who have received national
awards from The PGA of America:
• 1980: Al Starr, PGA Merchandiser of the
Year (public facilities), Yahara Hills GC,
• 1988: James Thompson, PGA Merchandiser of the Year (private facilities), Oneida Golf & Riding Club, Green Bay, Wis.
• 2007: Dirk Willis, PGA Merchandiser of the Year (resort facilities), Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wis.
National award winners from
the Wisconsin PGA Section