he Professional Development Program (PDP) is an annual Order of Merit designed to recognize PGA of BC members who make outstanding contributions to the Association, their communities, the province’s golf industry and, mostly importantly, themselves. Through participation in continuing education, competitions, the PGA of BC Awards Program, annual Buying Show and various forms of volunteerism, the PDP provides an equal avenue to showcase strengths of the diverse membership.
“Sunice and Bobby Jones proudly support the Professional Development Program, as we feel it is important to acknowledge individuals working to elevate the overall profile of PGA of BC Professionals and who are actively involved in service to the Association,” said Stephen Graham, British Columbia sales representative for Sunice and Bobby Jones.
“The Top 100 Golf Professionals of 2018 are once again an impressive group of individuals demonstrating key qualities such as leadership, professionalism and dedication to their craft.”
Additionally, the PGA of BC is pleased to name Matthew Palsenbarg (The Tour LAB @ Northview) the winner of the 2018 PDP Order of Merit.
Palsenbarg collected a record total of 137 PDP points throughout 2018, which were 21 more than any other PGA of BC Professional over the course of the year. The 37-year-old has come close to topping the PDP Order of Merit in the past – finishing second in 2013 and third in 2016 – but a busy year for the Head Teaching Professional on a number of fronts helped him maintain a significant lead for most of the 2018 season.
Palsenbarg developed and presented the results of a membership-wide survey on the golf-instruction industry in the province, and continued his pursuit of extensive continued education beyond the Association’s own offerings. He was the Lower Mainland’s regional recipient for the PGA of BC Coach of the Year and Professional Development awards, and was also presented with the PGA of BC Dunc Sutherland Distinguished Service Award. As well, Palsenbarg earned nearly the maximum amount of points available for tournament participation at the regional, zone and national levels, earning some impressive results along the way: a win at the PGA of BC Tournament of Champions and runner-up results at the PGA Head Professional Championship of Canada and the PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship among them.
“Leading the Professional Development Program Order of Merit for 2018 is a great honour and an achievement I am proud to realize,” said Palsenbarg. “It’s my belief that Golf Professionals have a responsibility to continue learning and evolving to better serve their patrons, students and the golf community as a whole. The Professional Development Program is a great initiative that encourages my colleagues and I to remain committed to career growth.
“Hats off to all PGA of BC Professionals for their ongoing efforts to expand their knowledge and hone their skills to benefit our sport.”
Talking Rock Golf Course Head Professional Adam Blair earned 116 points on the year, edging Hi-Knoll Golf Centre Head Teaching Professional Gordon Mink for second place in the PDP standings by a single point. Blair’s finish represents his third consecutive year in the Order of Merit’s top three, while Mink improved upon his fourth-place standing from 2017. Bill Kelly (Glacier Greens Golf Club, 106 points) and Brian Schaal (Copper Point Golf Club, 105 points) rounded out the top five.
Click here to view the final standings for 2018, or find more information about the Professional Development Program by clicking here.
Thanks in large part to the support of Sunice and Bobby Jones, a total bursary purse of $6,400 will be divided among those finishing among the top 10, providing financial opportunity to pursue further professional development and education. The PGA of BC is pleased to announce that Sunice and Bobby Jones have committed to continuing as presenting sponsor of the Professional Development Program in 2019.
Congratulations to the PGA of BC’s Top 100 Professionals of 2018, listed below with facility affiliations from the past year: