PGA Professional John Mellish has been awarded Life Membership of Beerwah Golf Club following a memorable weekend that included celebrating his daughter’s wedding at his work place of nearly 36 years.
The award, as voted by the club’s patrons, recognises outstanding loyalty, service and contribution.
Mellish said being acknowledged with one of the industries most revered gongs took him by surprise.
“I’m very honoured. I’ve been told that there are not a lot of golf pros that have actually been awarded life membership of the club that they’ve served at so I’m very honoured,” Mellish said.
“My daughter actually got married the day before here at the golf club so when I arrived back at the golf club the next day the AGM had just concluded. I was then approached by a few of the members leaving the club house and they said congratulations on being our latest Life Member.
“I was very, very happy, it was a great honour after 36 years.”
Over his years at Beerwah, Mellish simply hopes he has helped others enjoy themselves when playing golf by creating a welcoming, friendly environment that enhances the sense of community in the region.
“I’d like to think that my contribution has made this place more professional,” said Mellish, who began his tenure at Beerwah Golf Club in 1985.
“When visitors come to the club, it’s very important to make sure they enjoy their day and you want them to go away and say what a good day they had at Beerwah.”
While he admits time out on the golf course with the Beerwah members as in the early days is becoming a rare occurrence, Mellish now feels his contribution lies in ensuring that the club’s members and visitors have a fun and enjoyable experience.
“Being a golf pro has changed from the days when I first started,” he said.
“I don’t play golf much anymore. My day to day job now is running competitions like most golf pros do and basically the front door of the place.
“I’m out here to promote the golf club and make sure it succeeds and continues to move forward.”
As part of his work in this space one of Mellish’s key projects has been the Beerwah Legends Pro-Am, a PGA Legends Tour event that has gone from strength to strength.
The jovial atmosphere of the annual Pro-Am offers not only a great experience for his club members but also supports his fellow PGA Professionals that have endured a difficult 2020.
“To me the senior Pro-Am is a very important part of our calendar because it showcases our golf course for one or two days,” he said.
“I run the Pro-Am because I want my members to experience what it’s like to have pro-am at their own golf course and the seniors give my members a great day out.
“We’ve always been a one day event but next year in July, with the support of my members and the major sponsors, we’ll go to a two day event.
“Through COVID they said we’re not going to do it this year but they’d be delighted to be a part of it next year and because our major sponsor didn’t contribute this year he was only too happy to double up on this year’s amount. I thought rather than having a one day event I’d take it to the next level and make it a two day event.”
With a contract in place to stay at Beerwah until at least 2028 and 36 years already under his belt, Mellish may become one of the longest serving PGA Professionals to remain at a single club in the modern era.
“I’ve been a PGA Member since 1978 and I have two brothers that are golf Professionals. It is a great honour to be a Member of the PGA because I basically joined it the day after I left school.”
Image: Beerwah Golf Club