The April issue of Utah PGA Monthly digital magazine is here!
In this issue we catch up with newly-retired Davis Park Head Professional Brad Stone, Timpanogos Head Professional Brett Watson, we meet some new faces in The Hideout Golf Club’s Jeff Simon & Toana Vista’s Charles Clinton and play This or That with Park Meadow’s Eric Johnson!
At the cusp of the Utah golf season the 2021 Utah Book of Golf has arrived and will appear in your home course pro shop in the coming days to guide you through a better Utah golf experience.
Whether you are a weekend warrior, an avid tournament participant or just picking up the game we all love, the Utah Book of Golf will help you navigate the Utah golf world and enjoy it even more.
“The Utah Book of Golf is the best way to know all things golf in Utah,” said Utah Section PGA Executive Director Devin Dehlin. “Facility listings and information at each course are right at your fingertips. And if you are trying to book your tournament schedule for the upcoming summer, this is your resource. Hope you all have a great season and thanks to all those who advertise and support the Book of Golf!”
As you flip through the 2021 edition, you’ll find awards presented to Utah PGA Professionals through the 2020 season and the Utah High School All-State teams.
If you play tournament golf, individually or with your favorite playing partners, you’ll love the all-encompassing tournament schedule that includes tournaments from the Utah State Amateur to your two-person scrambles.
The back half of the book includes information for every golf course in the state and contact information to book your next lesson with your local PGA Professional.
If you want to play more golf in 2021, the Utah Book of Golf will be your friend.
This article originally appeared in the March issue of Utah PGA Monthly digital magazine. To see the whole issue, click here.
Your skill as an instructor is something that is completely unique to you, something no one can duplicate. It is proven that as a golfer becomes more proficient at playing the game, they play more – golfers will always have the desire to play better. Teaching is a skill you can take with you wherever you go and will always be in high demand.
Here are three tips I have used throughout my career to build and maintain my teaching clientele:
Keep a detailed file on each student that includes student tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, drills and a baseline of where the student was when you began. Update the file following each lesson. This will enable you to accurately track a student’s progress and help you plan for future skill development. It demonstrates to the student that you are invested in helping them get better, which goes a long way to developing customer loyalty.
Communicate with your students regularly through social media, text and email. Sending bi-monthly or weekly swing tips, student achievements, new equipment, course or golf shop happenings, or feature common rules decisions are just a few ways to regularly communicate with students. Ask your students questions that require a response when formatting the posts. You are looking to engage with them in any way possible.
Sell lessons in monthly packages. Lesson packages for three, six or 12 months are successful throughout the country. Many players recognize that lasting improvement takes time. Creating the opportunity for players to meet with you weekly for an extended period allows the player to develop the critical skills necessary to truly improve
The tradition of holding the Utah Section PGA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet between rounds of the RMT/EZ-GO Winter Classic looked a little different this year. The meeting and banquet were held virtually the week prior, leaving members three days in Southern Utah to compete at Copper Rock, Sunbrook and Sand Hollow golf courses.
Sunset View Head Professional Casey Fowles stole the show with a final-round (-10) 62 at Sand Hollow Resort on February 11th to win the Winter Classic with 98 stableford points.
Not only did he start the final round five points behind first round leader Chris Stover, Wasatch Golf Course head professional, he passed the leaders and then some, winning by a total of 10 points. Riverside Teaching Pro Matt Baird and 2020 Player of the Year Joe Summerhays finished tied for second with 86 points.
“It’s funny,” Fowles said, “I started off on a par five, hole seven, barely ticked my drive, worm-burned a three wood up to the green, chipped it up and made a put. From there on I hit it really well and made some putts, it was fun. I just made a lot of those 10-12 footers you need to make to play well.”
Fowles round of 62 tied the Sand Hollow course record. His 41 points at Sunbrook and 57 at Sand Hollow were more than enough for the win to begin the new season.
“I’ve always kind of struggled in this tournament, so to come down and start the year like this is fun.”
The 2020 Utah PGA Omega Women’s Player of the Year Haley Sturgeon continued her stellar Section play with rounds of 72 – 71 at Sunbrook and Sand Hollow to win the Women’s Division with 81 points – which was also good enough to finish tied for fourth in the overall field.
“It’s always great, it’s a confidence boost especially,” Sturgeon said of her win. “I play in the winter so I think it’s a great way to lead into those events and coming back into the spring hopefully I can keep it rolling.
“Being one of my home courses, I feel like I was able to take advantage of that. I took advantage of the drivable par fours, and things like that.”
To top off the excitement of a win, Sturgeon was surprised by Copper Rock Head Professional John Horton with an exemption into the Symetra Tour Copper Rock Championship on April 19-24th. As a member of the Cactus Tour, Sturgeon will look to gain some status on the Symetra Tour with a good performance.
New Section Associate and Hubbard Assistant Pro Xena Motes finished runner up with 50 points while Utah Section Assistant Executive Director Annie Fisher finished third with 39.
Doug Roberts also took advantage of a “home turf” tournament with a win in the Senior Division with 83 points, a six-shot win over 2020 Utah PGA Senior Omega Player of the Year Scott Brandt.
“I was able to make six birdies yesterday and five today – that was the difference because I had some bogies thrown in there. But with stableford you just have to make a lot of birdies and I was fortunate enough to do that,” Roberts said.
“My friend Scott Brandt, he won player of the year and I see that as motivation for us St. George guys, to see if we can play in more events and get right up there with him and the guys up north.”
Meadow Brook Professional Stu Nelson bested the Super Senior division with steady play. He earned 41 points each day to win with 82 – racking up his first victory since the 2017 Winter Classic, also contested at Sand Hollow.
Rounding out the event in the Legends Division was Don Branca and Chip Garriss, who finished tied at the top with 69 points each. Ron Branca finished third with 67 points.
Thank you to Chad Kartchner of EMT/EZ-GO and Mike Stanger of Under Armour for sponsoring the event and supporting the Utah Section.
Thank you to John Horton at Copper Rock, Reed McArthur at Sunbrook and Adam Jasperson at Sand Hollow for hosting the Section membership and kicking off the 2021 season.
Bob Wallis’ acceptance speech features an interior design firm and a carpet company. The remodeling of the Ogden Golf and Country Club pro shop in January would become a key component of Wallis’ merchandising efforts in 2020, and he took it from there.
“Our employees and staff in the shop helped move displays, paint walls, cleaned and worked right alongside us,” said Wallis, OGCC’s head professional. “They were all-around fantastic.”
That spirit of collaboration carried the staff through a tumultuous year that included a pandemic, a windstorm that took out 200 trees on the historic course and an earthquake.
And the club members supported Wallis’ efforts. After all, there could be no merchandising award without consumers making purchases.
So it is fair to say that just about everyone involved with OGCC shares in Wallis’ recognition. It started with the membership’s approval of the pro shop project. As Wallis said, “The fresh, crisp, updated look, coupled with a reconfiguration of the space has made the new pro shop better able to service members. The shop is inviting with products easily accessible. We are proud of this renovation.”
That’s why he’s eager to thank the MacKenzie Exhibit experts in retail space design and the Buckway family of AmeriCarpets. Assistant Pro Nyomy Obcemea, Riley Hacking and the cart and maintenance staff also deserve credit for their work on the project, along with Director of Operations Craig Sarlo and Superintendent Greg Gilmore.
In the bigger picture, Wallis recognizes influences such as Sarlo, Chris Marx, Reid Goodliffe and Scott Erling. “Their mentorship has given me valuable experience in the industry, especially in retailing, merchandising, and providing members with outstanding service,” Wallis said. “Their love of the game is infectious too.”
In the last event of the year for the Utah Section PGA the membership headed south to St. George to compete in the Utah Section PGA Pro-Assistants Championship at Bloomington Country Club and Sunbrook Golf Course November 16-17.
It was Glenwild PGA Professionals Marty Bauer and Craig Hocknull (-13) that pulled ahead in the final round, thanks to Bauer’s 93-yard eagle on the 6th hole on the Woodbridge nine, to win by one-stroke over Jimmy Blair and Chip Garriss of Bloomington and David Hall and Doug Roberts of Entrada.
When asked what was working well, Bauer immediately pointed to his teammate.
“I was pretty consistent,” Hocknull added, “but Marty brought the fireworks.”
“It was about 93 yards with my 58-degree wedge,” Bauer said. “We had three good shots in there already with our group, I clanked it off the pin and right in the hole. It was fun.”
Bauer and Hocknull trailed by one stroke after the first round, sitting behind Bauer and Glenwild Assistant Pro Carson Willis and three other teams in the two-person Fourball format. With a final-round 64, they secured the win.
In the net division, it was Cedar Ridge Head Pro Jared Barnes and long-time PGA Professional John Evans who won with rounds of (-25) 59-60.
“It was all John,” Barnes said. “He was driver, three-wood, two-putt all day.”
That concludes the 2020 Utah PGA season with the next event being the Utah PGA Winter Classic, traditionally held in Southern Utah near the beginning of each year.
We owe a big thank you to Chris Nugent of TaylorMade and Kelly Jo Wikes of TravisMatthew for sponsoring the event this year and taking good care of our Utah PGA Members. Thank you to Bloomington Country Club and Sunbrook Golf Course for hosting us and providing great courses to play.
Even as the 2020 season winds down, Utah PGA Omega Player of the year Joe Summerhays’ game continues to shine.
With rounds of (-9) 64-69 in the Southern Utah Open played at SunRiver Golf Club November 14-15, Summerhays picked up yet another victory to his 2020 season, making this a total of six wins on the year.
“I definitely won this with the putter,” Summerhays said. “I played pretty solid otherwise, not as good tee-to-green as I wanted, but my putting made up for a lot of those mistakes.”
Summerhays’ first round card was a little more exciting than the final round with an eagle, seven birdies, two bogies and a back-nine 30.
His final round was a little more contained, finishing with three birdies and a bogey to edge Sunset View Head Professional Casey Fowles who finished (-7) 65-70.
Mountain View Head Pro Mark Owen (-5) won the pro senior division with rounds of 70-67. Kim Thompson (-4) won the pro super senior division with rounds of 70-68 and Tom Storey won the pro dinosaur division with a pair of 73s.
The season-long Utah Section PGA Senior Match Play Championship has ended with Mountain View Golf Course Head Professional Mark Owen defeating Bloomington Country Club Director of Golf Scott Brandt 1 up on the 18th hole of the championship match November 13th at Sky Mountain Golf Course.
“Well it was the first time for me, so it feels great,” Owen said about competing in his first Utah PGA Senior Match Play Championship. “The match was incredible. Scott never does anything wrong, we both played well. it just came down to one putt on the last hole, really. I won 1 up after a grudge match all day.
“I was 1 up on 18 and he had a chance to tie it, he had a birdie putt that lipped out and my par ended up being good enough for the win.”
Owen started as the four seed and defeated Jeff Green 4 & 3, Tom Costello in 19 holes, Todd Meyer 1 up and then Troy Watkins in the semifinals 5 & 4.
Brandt reached the finals as the third seed and won matches against Doug Roberts, Charlie Taylor, Henry White and then Ryan Rhees in the semifinals.
Owen went onto win the Southern Utah Open senior division that same weekend in St. George and finished third in the 2020 Utah Section PGA Senior Omega Player of the Year race.
Riverside Country Club Head Professional Chris Moody and Mountain View Golf Course Head Professional Mark Owen teamed up to win the season-long Utah Section PGA Four-Ball Championship at Glenwild Golf Club October 21st with a 2 & 1 victory over Sunset View Head Professional Casey Fowles and Palisade Head Professional Jordan Van Orman.
“The match was exciting from start to finish,” Moody said. “We tied holes one and two. Mark made a birdie on three and I made a birdie on five to give us a 2-up lead. Casey hit a great 4 iron into the 7th hole to 20 feet for eagle. Casey just missed and had a tap-in for birdie. Mark proceeded to make his 19-footer to tie the hole.
“We tied the 8th and Casey made a great putt from 20 feet on 9 and Mark makes another 18-footer to tie the hole. On 10 Jordan made a nice 15-footer for birdie and Mark drains another putt from about 15 feet to tie the hole and keep us 2-up. We tied 11 and Jordan made a nice birdie on 12 to win the hole. On 13 I made about a 20-footer and Jordan made a 15-footer to tie. We tied holes 13-16 and then I made a 20-footer on 17 to end the match. Mark’s putter was on fire!”
After teaming up off-and-on for the last decade, Moody and Owen had never found great success in the championship until now. “It was really nice to finally break through and win,” Moody continued. “With Mark being such a good friend, it made the win that much better.”
With an exciting match to finish the championship, it’s only fitting that their first match was just as close. Moody and Owen shot (-8) 64 in the Spring Pro-Pro seeding round at Ogden Country Club to tie Dustin Volk and Pete Stone and draw the second seed, putting them against Wasatch Golf Course Professionals Chris Stover and Joe Barton.
“Stover and Barton were really up to the challenge that match,” Owen said. “They came out firing on all cylinders and it was a battle. When it was all said and done I believe they were 9 or 10 under and we just happened to make a putt or two more to finish 2-up. It was back and forth all round, though, and neither team was up more than one throughout the match.”
Moody and Owen had another close match in the semi-final match against Bloomington’s Scott Brandt and Jimmy Blair, where they escaped with a 1-up victory to advance to the final.
“It’s better than you can imagine,” Owen said of teaming up with Moody. “Chris is a competitor, just like the rest of us; he really doesn’t like being behind or losing. Chris has a way of getting himself pumped up and performing when it really counts. Chris has game as you can obviously tell from his record of winning over the years. This was our first championship together after quite a number of years of competing. It’s pretty sweet!”
The 2020 Utah Section PGA Women’s Match Play Championship put on a display of the Section’s new associates and a couple of past champions, but it was Carly Dehlin-Hirsch, of Glenmoor and TopGolf, who outlasted them all to win this year’s championship on October 20-21 at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
“My first win as a pro, it’s awesome,” Dehlin-Hirsch said. “I haven’t been playing much so I was nervous to come out because my game isn’t sharp, but I played quite well so I’m really happy to come out here and win.”
After a nine-hole seeding round on the first day, Dehlin-Hirsch claimed the third seed to face Xena Motes, a new associate in the Section as of this month and long-time Utah golf competitor.
Dehlin-Hirsch won her first match on the 16th hole at Riverside and would advance to the semi-finals to face Sadie Palmer, who outlasted former match play champion Emily Jones, also on the 16th hole.
The match between Dehlin-Hirsch and Palmer was a back and forth match where Palmer was 2 up on the front nine until Dehlin-Hirsch found some rhythm and created a comfortable 3-up lead until the 16th hole, when Palmer capitalized on some unwarranted mistakes.
“I was steady all day, then got a little nervous on the way in,” Dehlin-Hirsch noted.
Palmer chipped away the lead and was one down on the 18th tee. Her birdie attempt just barely slipped by the hole, leaving Dehlin-Hirsch a slippery 10-foot putt to finish the match, which she made and determined the shot of her tournament performance.
“In my semi-final match I was three up with three to go and I was just having a collapse, but I made a 10-foot slider to stay alive. That par putt on 18 was pretty big.”
She would go on to face former Utah Women’s State Amateur champion and new section associate Sirene Blair in the final match.
Blair drew Sue Nyhus in the first round then defending champion Haley Sturgeon in the final four where she extended the match to 19 holes and won by sticking her approach a foot from the hole for a conceded birdie.
With her father and Utah Section Executive Director Devin Dehlin on the bag, Dehlin-Hirsch got off to a fast start in the final match with Blair and never looked back.
She won the first four holes and then the 8th hole to get to 5-up on the front nine. Blair won her only hole of the match on the par-three ninth to make the turn.
Dehlin-Hirsch would win three of the next four holes to win the championship on the 13th hole 7 & 5.
“It’s always fun, he’s awesome. My dad is the best,” she said of her caddy. “I was hitting the ball really well; my ball striking was good. I was putting the ball pretty well, too, all those short putts, but really hitting the ball well.”
A thank you to our growing membership of women PGA Professionals who came out to compete and thank you to Riverside Country Club for hosting.