Devin Dehlin has always viewed the Utah Section PGA’s Professional of the Year award as a “bucket list” achievement. That’s not to say the Section’s executive director plans to bask in the honor.
If anything, Dehlin is motivated by the award that comes in his mid-50s, providing the kind of rejuvenation that could carry him another 10 or 15 years in his position. To the extent that it is possible, this plaque will drive that level of commitment even higher.
“It kind of energizes me to want to do even more, and finish off my career strong,” Dehlin said. “I still feel like I’m making a difference.”
That’s evident in the way Dehlin and his staff have steered the Section membership and Utah golf in general through the COVID-19 period. The continuing strength of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open and the growth of the PGA Jr. Series and other programs are also good gauges.
The Professional of the Year award provides a lifetime reflection point, and Dehlin marvels about how his career has evolved. Taking stock makes him realize “how much I thoroughly enjoy what I do now,” he said, “even though (administration) was not necessarily the goal.”
Dehlin’s trophy case lines his career path as a former club professional in Salt Lake County, with awards spanning the entire 36-year history of the Utah Section PGA. As a University of Utah golfer in 1986, he received the first Golf Citizen of the Year award. Then came three Bill Strasbaugh Awards for club relations (1996, 2000, 2002), a Merchandiser of the Year award in 1998, a share of the Section staff’s Governor’s Golf Industry Service Award in 2020 and the Jeff Beaudry Golf Ambassador award in 2021.
The 10-year-old kid who started working for Ken Clark by picking up range balls at Glenmoor Golf Course has come a long way in the profession. Clark and assistant Chip Garriss nicknamed him “Future Pro,” and they clearly had a knack for identifying talent.
Written by Fairways Media senior writer, Kurt Kragthorpe