Nike Winter Classic and Utah PGA 26th Annual Meeting

Author: Scott Whittaker

While hundreds of thousands are still visiting Utah’s plentifully snow-laden ski slopes or rubbing shoulders with the “rich & famous” at the Sundance Film Festival, the Utah Section officers and staff are busily planning and presenting their schedule of activities for the new golf season. The Nike Winter Classic and Utah Section PGA Winter Meetings have become the traditional starters for the new golf season each year in the Utah Section.

Section Members are able to squeeze an amazing number of activities into one short week. Blessed with good weather in Utah’s St. George area the 2011 season tee-off was a great success. The traditional gathering included three days of Pro-Pro events running concurrent with the individual Nike Winter Championship, the Utah Section PGA Awards Banquet, The Utah Section 2011 Open Forum Meeting, and the 2010 Utah Section Annual Meeting. Add in a Section Board Meeting and an Apprentice Orientation and you have a pretty lively week of activities.

Zack Johnson won the championship title for Nike Winter Classic. Johnson represents a group of quality young players working in the Davis County Area of the Section. His two day “Modified Stableford” score of 65 “points” represented scores of 69 at Sand Hollow Resort and a score of 63 at Sun River Golf Club. Not a bad way to start a new season! Long-time sponsor Nike Golf and Nike Apparel not only supported the Championship portion of the event but also hosted three days of pro-pro golf events; also providing a great tee gift for all participants. No wonder this event has become such a traditional fixture on the Utah Section calendar.

The Section’s line-up of “Winter Meetings” also offered something for everyone. The Utah Section Awards Meeting and Banquet featured popular local sportscaster Wesley Ruff as “Master of Ceremonies”. Jared Barnes from Glen Eagle Golf Club in Syracuse, Utah was honored as “Professional of the Year” for Utah. Doug Roberts of the Nicklaus Teaching Academy at the Ledges won his second “Teacher of the Year Award”. Prescott Arizona Golf Professional Mack McCarley was honored as the “Utah Section Horton Smith Award” recipient. McCarley a Southwest Section “Hall of Fame Member” served diligently on our Education Committee and instituted an updated Apprentice Orientation program prior to moving back to Arizona. Honorary President Henry White was presented the “Bill Strausbaugh Award”. The Utah Section also honored Fairways Media owner and Editor, Randy Dodson as the 2010/2011 “Bill Howard Golf Citizen of the Year” award winner. This is the highest “amateur award” that the Utah Section bestows each year.

The Annual Meetings also provided the opportunity to update Utah Section Members on the Section’s new website which is scheduled to come online March 1. Using social media as a way to promote both section and facility activities was presented and discussed during the Open Forum Meeting. During the Annual Meeting the new Utah Section Officers were formally installed. Jared Barnes is now Section President; Colby Cowan is Vice President; Chris Stover is Secretary. New Board Members are Section Champion Director, Matt Baird and Director Jeff John.

Scott Whittaker,
Executive Director

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