PGA of BC NAMES RECIPIENTS OF SIX 2017 AWARDS

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Connor Taiji

The PGA of BC is proud to announce the recipients of four of the Association’s 2017 awards, as well as the PGA of BC Community Leadership Bursary and the Jim Gibson Scholarship. These honours are designed to recognize leaders in the golf community exhibiting qualities such as volunteerism, selflessness, passion, and dedication to the game.

The recipients, along with the winners of 10 other PGA of BC Awards, will be recognized at the PGA of BC Awards Celebration taking place Oct. 11 at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.

DUNC SUTHERLAND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

Presented by DGL Sports Enterprises Ltd. 

2017 Recipient: Jesse Crowe, Salmon Arm Golf Club

The Dunc Sutherland Distinguished Service Award presented by DGL Sports Enterprises Ltd. is awarded to a PGA of BC member who demonstrates exceptional commitment to the Association by supporting and promoting the Association’s brand, events and initiatives. This year, the PGA of BC is pleased to present this award to Jesse Crowe, Head Professional at Salmon Arm Golf Club. A 15-year member of the Association, Crowe has always been an enthusiastic supporter of PGA of BC activities, but perhaps never more than in 2017. The 37-year-old participated in every tournament conducted by the PGA of BC for which he was eligible while also acting as Host Professional for the Assistants’ and Seniors’ Championships in June. Crowe also championed the Association’s junior programming throughout the season, including Canucks Junior Golf Week presented by Odlum Brown Limited and the Jack McLaughlin Memorial Pro-Junior Championship, helping him earn the Interior Region’s nomination for this year’s Junior Golf Leader of the Year Award.

JIM GIBSON PATRON OF THE YEAR AWARD

2017 Recipient: Dan Dodman

The Jim Gibson Patron of the Year Award is presented each year to a person, group of people or organization that demonstrates an exceptional contribution to the Association’s initiatives. This year, the PGA of BC is proud to present this award to Dan Dodman. Through a career in BC’s golf industry spanning more than 25 years, Dodman’s support and generosity has been crucial to the success of several PGA of BC programs and events, including Canucks Junior Golf Week, the Club Professional Championship and in recognizing the PGA of BC’s Candidate for Membership of the Year in the Association’s awards program. Dodman recently retired after more than 10 years as president of Cleveland Golf/Srixon Canada, which has been a Preferred Partner of the PGA of BC during the entirety of his tenure.

STAN LEONARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Presented by Impact Tournament Systems

2017 Recipient: Philip Jonas, Philip Jonas Golf Academy

The Stan Leonard Player of the Year Award presented by Impact Tournament Systems recognizes a PGA of BC Professional who realized the greatest success in competition among all Association members over the past season. This year’s recipient is Philip Jonas, Head Teaching Professional at the Philip Jonas Golf Academy. Jonas won this year’s Club Professional Championship while making his debut in the event at Victoria Golf Club last month. He also notched a T4 finish in the PGA of BC Championship at Capilano Golf & Country Club and a top-five result in the PGA Seniors’ Championship of Canada. Additionally, the 55-year-old qualified for and competed in this year’s U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club, one of only three Canadians in the field, after earning medalist honours in the USGA Sectional Qualifier held at Washington’s Bellingham Golf & Country Club. This marks the fourth time Jonas has been named Player of the Year, but the first instance since 2007.

ARV OLSON MEDIA PERSONNEL OF THE YEAR AWARD

2017 Recipient: Cam Tucker, Postmedia

The Arv Olson Media Personnel of the Year Award recognizes a media member or organization that has made a significant contribution to the PGA of BC over the past year. This year, we are happy to present this award to Cam Tucker of Postmedia. A highly respected sports reporter and journalism instructor in the Lower Mainland for many years, Tucker has quickly become one of British Columbia’s preeminent golf writers since taking over the beat for the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers last year. PGA of BC Professionals were regularly featured in his weekly golf columns throughout the 2017 season, having their competition results, their expertise as instructors and their place within the fabric of BC’s golf community highlighted on numerous occasions.

PGA of BC COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP BURSARY

2017 Recipient: Winston Michell, Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club

The PGA of BC Community Leadership Bursary recognizes an individual who demonstrates an extraordinary desire and passion to to use their abilities to make a difference in the lives of others, setting an example of “giving back” with which all PGA of BC members are proud to be associated. This year, we are pleased to award this bursary to Winston Michell, Head Professional at Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club. After arriving at the Kitimat facility this spring, Michell helped the Hirsch Creek Ladies Club administer a program making golf more accessible for local preteen girls. The program covered the costs of club membership and fees for six youth applicants, while also providing equipment, apparel, instruction and other supports to introduce them to the sport. Community Leadership Bursary funding will help expand this initiative in 2018 through a mirroring program available to junior boys.

JIM GIBSON SCHOLARSHIP

2017 Recipient: Connor Taiji, Victoria Golf Club

The Jim Gibson Scholarship is named in honour of the late Jim Gibson, a long-time supporter of the PGA of BC who valued education in his role as a Golf Professional, and was extremely well versed in the game. The recipient of this scholarship exemplifies volunteerism and demonstrates a passion for furthering their education for their community’s benefit. The PGA of BC is proud to award the 2017 scholarship to Connor Taiji, Class “A” Professional at Victoria Golf Club. Taiji has played a key role administering the Evans Scholars Program at his facility, which involves training youth caddies from the community and providing them an opportunity to access post-secondary scholarship funding. The 28-year-old has remained committed to continuing his own education, both in golf operations and instruction, through participation in events such as the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Taiji intends to take a Graduate Management Admission Test in the future as he looks to pursue an MBA that will help further his career as a Golf Professional.

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