Ontario PGA Unveils 2008 Award Winners


(Mississauga, Ont., October 29, 2008) – The Ontario PGA announced its 2008 award winners earlier tonight at the Ontario PGA Merchandise Show.  Guests of the awards dinner sponsored by Club Car and Golf Trends were treated to a wonderful evening which celebrated the award winners for Club Professional of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Teacher of the Year for Juniors, Merchandiser of the Year and Assistant Professional of the Year.

“We are extremely proud of this year’s recipients’,” stated Ontario PGA President, Chris Miranda. “We had a number of deserving nominees and they should all be proud of their accomplishments.”

Highlighting the group of winners was this year’s Club Professional of the Year recipient Bill Wogden. Wogden is the Head Professional at the Barrie Country Club and has been in the top job at Barrie for the last 17 seasons. Prior to Barrie, Wogden served as the first Head Professional at Royal Woodbine and before that he apprenticed under Ben Kern at The National Golf Club of Canada for 10 years.

Club Professional of the Year nominees are judged on a wide array of criteria including Canadian PGA involvement, business operations, teaching and coaching, playing ability and playing accomplishments, merchandising and entrepreneurship and philanthropy. 

“It’s a great honour and wonderful feeling to be chosen for this award by my peers,” stated Wogden who lists the legendary Ben Kern as his main guiding influence in the golf industry. “I really learned a lot from Ben from my time at The National and I’ve tried to take those experiences and apply them to Barrie Country Club.”

Tim Moore, Head Professional at Thornhill Golf & Country Club, is this year’s recipient of the Ontario PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award. Part of Moore’s merchandising philosophy consists of providing each member and guest with and individualized and personal golfing experience, carrying a wide assortment of products to meet the individual needs of the diverse membership.

Merchandiser of the Year nominees are judged on criteria such as merchandising philosophy to pro Shop layout, display techniques, support staff and overall promotion of the shop. This is the first win for Moore who was also nominated in 2007.

“To win this award after coming up short in 2007 feels fantastic,” said Moore. “I am very lucky to have great people working for me and I couldn’t have won without them.

Dan Poort, Assistant Professional at Hamilton Golf & Country Club is this year's recipient of the Ontario PGA Assistant of the Year Award.

Assistant of the Year nominees are judged on criteria such as staff management, teaching, member interaction and playing ability. Poort has spent the last seven seasons at Hamilton, this past season was his first at the number one associate and one that brought upon new and interest challenges

“I am truly honoured to win this award,” said Poort. “I owe a lot to my family and close mentors who have guided me throughout my career.”

Sean Foley, Apprentice Professional at Piper’s Heath, is this year's recipient of the Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year. Foley has made a name for himself in 2008 adding a number of high profile PGA TOUR players to growing roster of students.

Teacher of the Year nominees are judged on a wide array of criteria ranging from innovative teaching techniques to instructional articles, videos or promotions.

This is the first nomination and first win for Sean who has become world renowned teacher over the last several years. His teaching methods have afforded him the opportunity to teach and coach a number PGA TOUR, Nationwide Tour and LPGA Tour players. Foley currently works out of Piper’s Heath in Milton during the summer and runs the Core Junior Golf Academy in Orlando during the winter.

“It’s an honour to win this award,” said Foley. “I love doing what I’m doing and everyday I get to see people smile and play the game they love whether they shoot 68 or 110,” 

Mike Kelly, Director of Player Development for the Golf Association of Ontario is this year’s recipient of the Teacher of the Year for Juniors. Kelly has been a Canadian PGA Class ‘A’ Member since 2006 and has worked in various capacities within the Clublink organization before joining the GAO.

Nominees in the Teacher of the Year for Juniors category are judged on contributions to the development of junior golf to leadership, inspiration and promotion of the game.

Kelly is responsible for growing the game in Ontario and specifically has spear headed the Callaway Golf in Schools Program. This past year the Golf in Schools program touched 15,000 which is a steady improvement from 2006.  

“We’ve worked extremely hard to bring golf to the children over the last few years,” said Kelly. “This award feels fantastic to win knowing that my peers in the industry nominated me.”

All Ontario PGA award winners will now but put forward as national nominees. In 2007 Patty Howard was the Club Professional nominee from Ontario and went on to win the Canadian PGA National award. She was only the second female in the history of that award to win. Howard will now be recognized in front of their peers next month at the Canadian PGA National Awards ceremony which coincides with the Canadian PGA Club Professional Championship in Port St. Lucie Florida.

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