PGA Professionals honoured at PGA Awards Night - PGA of Australia

PGA Professionals honoured at PGA Awards Night

PGA Professionals have been celebrated for their extensive contribution to Australian golf throughout 2022 at a gala dinner held at Brisbane City Hall on Tuesday Night.

The national award-winners each having excelled in their own categories, they stood out in exceptionally strong fields of nominees.

General Manager of the PGA Membership and Education Department, Geoff Stewart praised all winners and thanked them for their ongoing service to the game.

“PGA Professionals are the heartbeat of golf in Australia,” he said. “Every day they help golfers to love the game and form an enduring connection to the sport.

“Our award winners have done a fantastic job right throughout the industry and it is great to have the chance to honour them and their contribution tonight.”

For his outstanding service as Director of Golf at the thriving Brisbane Golf Club, Joe Janison was named PGA National Club Professional of the Year.

Janison’s wide-ranging role sees him responsible for the management of all aspects of the club’s golf operations, as he delivers exceptional customer service and member experience. Having overcome extensive challenges, including course closures due to floods, Janison helped Brisbane Golf Club to achieve profound financial and non-financial success throughout 2022.

Driving increased junior and female participation, increased corporate days and even a member-travel experience service, Janison’s willingness to innovate ensures an outstanding offering for everyone at the Brisbane Golf Club.

By putting a premium on the relationship he has with the club’s thriving membership, Janison actively seeks feedback through regular surveys and member-engagement sessions. Ultimately, he credits this people-focussed approach for his success in the role.

“Our customer service standards are all about doing the small things exceptionally well,” Janison said. “This includes how we welcome members, our product knowledge and how we can help to resolve any problems that may arise.

“Together we can achieve excellence in everything we do.”

For the second year running, Grant Field of Pelican Waters Golf Club was named PGA National Coach of the Year – High Performance. Long-term coach of Cameron Smith, Field has helped Smith to remarkable success in 2022.

Headlined by a maiden Major championship victory at the 150th Open Championship, Smith climbed as high as No. 2 in the world rankings throughout the year.

Under Field’s guidance, Smith also broke new ground in golf, as he shot a PGA Tour record of 34-under par to start the year with a win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Making the most of his good form, the Queenslander followed it up with victory at THE PLAYERS Championship in March.

Additionally, Field is playing a driving role in helping to shape the next generation of Australia’s best players. Coach of Jed Morgan, who broke through to claim victory at the 2021 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship, Field helped Morgan to enjoy a consistent season; the twenty-two-year-old winning the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.

“I am very honoured to have the chance to coach some of Australia’s best golfers,” said Field. “Their outstanding performances allows me to promote the game further to a wider range of audiences.

“I am fortunate enough to spend a lot of time around a number of high-level coaches, so it is great to be immersed in that high-performance environment.”

Meanwhile, Des Shearer’s receipt of PGA National Management Professional of the Year comes three years in to his second five-year plan at Bunbury Golf Club.

Having already overseen the completion of key projects including an irrigation system upgrade, the introduction of an online golf retail store and the development of a membership retention program, Shearer continues to ensure Bunbury can offer a premium experience for all members and guests.

To that end, Shearer has driven profound growth in the number of rounds and competitions played, as well as total membership numbers, as golfers are attracted by the range of offerings and incentives he has instituted. Determined to offer a great service to non-golfers as well, Shearer has expanded the food and beverage offering at the club, to benefit the entire community.

“Innovation and strategic development have positively impacted on member and guest services at the club,” explained Shearer. “Everything we have done that has been successful will continue to grow in the future for the benefit of our members and the community.”

For John Collins of Brookwater Golf and Country Club, a tireless dedication to grow the game has been duly recognised with his receipt of PGA National Coach of the Year – Game Development.

Particularly prominent in junior golf, Collins runs a range of programs, both at Brookwater and with local partner schools. Together, these have seen him work with more than 5,000 juniors in a twelve-month period.

An outstanding contribution, he has also brought more than 400 women into the game through his Ladies Get Into Golf clinics. Conducted on Sundays to maximise exposure, Collins tailors his offering to ensure players of varying abilities leave with a sense of achievement and enjoy their time on the golf course.

“I strive to create a pathway where those who have never played before can move through all facets of the game and form an enduring relationship to golf,” Collins explained.

“Success for me is seeing many of my students continue playing the game and knowing that I was able to play a part in starting them on their journey.”

Tuesday also saw the celebration of Australia’s PGA Professionals working overseas; Duc Pham named the inaugural PGA of Australia International Member of the Year for his work growing the game in Vietnam.

Duc works in partnership with the Vietnam Golf Association to ensure that national training programs are developed and delivered so that the country has enough competent coaches to meet rising demand. An outstanding initiative, the program has certified more than 80 coaches since November 2021.

Additionally, Duc’s own success as a coach has seen him run free junior clinics designed to promote engagement and passion in Vietnam’s next generation. To that end, he also held a role as coach of the Vietnam National Golf team at the South East Asia Games.

Conscious of the role he can play as a PGA Professional, Duc is pleased to see golf becoming more and more popular in Vietnam.

“Vietnam is still developing a passion for golf, but it is certainly a fast-growing industry,” he said. “I believe that with the right programs we can develop better players and better coaching.

“It is one step at a time and golf in Vietnam has an exciting journey ahead.”

Tuesday night also provided the chance to honour the best of our PGA Associates, as Mitchell Smith from Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club, was named PGA Associate of the Year.

Smith, a third year Associate, was the standout recipient of the award this year, as he blends outstanding playing ability with particularly impressive academic results.

Smith is currently placed tenth nationally on the Titleist Footjoy Performance Rankings with an adjusted average of -0.36 and ranked ninth nationally in academics.

Due reward, Training Manager for the PGA of Australia, Stephanie Jamieson was pleased to see him recognised on Tuesday.

“Mitchell is a true role model for all Associates and a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and perseverance.”

PGA Professional Tybin Lawson was also recognised for his outstanding contribution to junior golf, named MyGolf Deliverer of the Year.

Lawson’s tireless dedication to junior golf over a number of years continues to help golf flourish on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.

“For me, it’s all about getting numbers into the game,” he said. “I love to help get juniors into the sport and it is always heartening to see growing participation numbers through our programs

“I don’t do it alone, and I want to recognise the work of our whole team, this award is for them.”

PGA awards winners’ list:

Greg Norman Medal: Cameron Smith

ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year: Dimitrios Papadatos

SParms PGA Legends Tour Player of the Year: Andre Stolz

Margie Masters WPGA Tour Player of the Year: Hannah Green

PGA of Australia National Coach of the Year – High Performance: Grant Field

PGA of Australia National Coach of the Year – Game Development: John Collins

PGA of Australia National Club Professional of the Year: Joe Janison

PGA of Australia National Management Professional of the Year: Des Shearer

PGA of Australia International Member of the Year: Duc Pham

PGA of Australia National Associate of the Year: Mitchell Smith

MyGolf Deliverer of the Year: Tybin Lawson

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