Author: By Scott Whittaker, Utah Section Executive Director
On the surface the 2013-2014 Utah Section PGA Awards Banquet appeared to be like many similar evenings in previous years. A great Master of Ceremonies, ABC Channel 4’s Sports Anchor Wes Ruff up in front of the PGA members and guests doing his thing. There was the great component of PGA videos and good food and of course there was a great group of honorees and their families. Yet there was something not quite as traditional as in previous UTPGA Awards Banquets, and that was a good thing!
First of all visiting PGA Past President Jim Remy was able to set a mood of contemplation with his comments regarding the golf industry and what the new trends will require of us “golf disciples”. Thanks to Nike for bringing PGA Past President Jim Remy to town for a little lesson of “Just Do It”.
Several of the Award Winners were so exceptional because of their traditional selfless service in somewhat non-traditional roles. Assistant Golf Professional of the Year Award Winner Stu Nelson has been in the business of golf for 35 years. That includes ten years in his current position Wasatch State Park GC. Yet the spotlight focused on his exemplary service as he guided the people at Wasatch State Park through a new management change.
Dean Johansen from Logan Golf and Country Club was honored as the Utah Section PGA Teacher of the Year. His work as both a teacher at Logan Country Club serving junior players, new members, and touching up the game of older members was only part of his award service. Johansen has also coached the Utah State Golf Team for thirteen straight seasons.
The Utah Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year is the Sections highest honor. This year’s recipient went to Henry White of Performance Golf and Wellness. White as sole owner of PG&W is also a certified physical therapist. He has an excellent record of combining golf instruction and current health fitness trends into a total teaching package. It isn’t often that a person with Whites teaching and playing background can also selflessly serve his fellow professionals and the golf community.
Also for the first time The Bill Howard Golf Citizen of the Year Award went to a country club general manager. Mark Jensen of Oakridge CC in Farmington, Utah is the 2013-14 PGA Golf Citizen of the Year. This award is given to an amateur golfer that has proven his service to the golf community at large through his service to the game. Jensen was the focal point in Oakridge’s long history of supporting Utah golf especially the Utah Open. He was instrumental in the support of Special Olympics as a golf charity and has numerous golf community ties and activities.
These are just a few of the 2013-2014 Utah Section PGA Award Winners and Champions. For a full list of award winners please click here.