FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14th, 2016
Southern California PGA Contact: Breanne Mitchell | 951.845.4653 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Shelton of SeaCliff Country Club named 2016 Southern California PGA Golf Professional of the Year
ONTARIO, CALIF. – Robin Shelton of SeaCliff Country Club is your 2016 Southern California PGA Golf Professional of the Year. The Annual President’s Dinner was held December 4th at Rancho Bernardo Inn, a night dedicated to honoring the outstanding achievements of SCPGA members in 2016.
Other 2016 Special Award winners include:
- Honorary Life Member – Kevin Heaney – SCGA
- Teacher of the Year – Alison Curdt, PGA – Wood Ranch Golf Club
- Bill Strausbaugh Award – Joe Grohman, PGA – Navy Golf Course
- Horton Smith Award – Shawn Cox, PGA – The Grand Golf Club
- Assistant Professional of the Year – Sheldon Callahan, PGA – Lomas Santa Fe Country Club
- Player Development Award – Geoff Dean, PGA – PGA West
- Youth Player Development Award – Heidi Richardson, PGA – Encinitas Ranch Golf Course
- Clubfitter of the Year – Erik Horve, PGA – Tustin Ranch Golf Club
- Merchandiser of the Year, Private – Terry Beardsley, PGA – El Dorado Country Club
- Merchandiser of the Year, Public – Jerry Dremel, PGA – Admiral Baker Golf Course
- Merchandiser of the Year, Resort – Bill Crist, PGA – The Journey at Pechanga
- Player of the Year – Michael Block, PGA – Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club
- AAA Player of the Year – Kenny Pigman, PGA – Goose Creek Golf Club
- Women’s Player of the Year – Alison Curdt, PGA – Wood Ranch Golf Club
- Women’s Apprentice Player of the Year – Reina Rogers – River Ridge Golf Club
- Senior Player of the Year – Gary Sowinski, PGA – The Hodges Golf Learning Center
- Super Senior Player of the Year – Bob E. Smith, PGA – Life Member
- Hall of Fame – Bob Husband, PGA, Terry Wilcox, PGA, Max Bayha, PGA
- President’s Award – Suan Roll, PGA – Carlsbad Golf Center
Below you will find brief biographies of your 2016 Special Award honorees.
Golf Professional of the Year – Robin Shelton, PGA – SeaCliff Country Club
Robin Shelton is one of the most accomplished and decorated golf professionals in the industry. Some of his qualifications include: a double major from UC San Diego, MBA from Pepperdine University, PGA Master Professional, and one of only two Professionals in the PGA of America who are certified in all seven disciplines through the PGA Certified Program. He also holds certifications through the Golfing Machine and the Titleist Performance Institute. Shelton currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern California PGA and works as a General Manager for American Golf Corporation at SeaCliff Country Club. Professional, he is most proud of his accomplishments in helping others discover and achieve their potential. He and his wife, Joyce, live in Mission Viejo.
Honorary Life Member – Kevin Heaney – SCGA
As Executive Director of the Southern California Golf Association, Heaney leads one of the nation’s largest and oldest state and regional amateur golf associations, with approximately 145,000 members in 1,200 clubs throughout Southern California. Kevin has served as the SCGA’s Executive Director since 2006 after serving as Assistant Executive Director since 2003. In his position, he works closely with the SCGA Junior and continues to actively participate in the SCGA’s involvement in green and water issues. During the past several years, Heaney was instrumental in the formation of the California Alliance for Golf and currently serves as vice president. He has also worked closely with the University of California, Riverside, serving as a member of the Chancellor’s Agricultural Advisory Council as well as the UCR Turf Research Advisory Committee. Heaney joined the SCGA in 1984 as Director of Rules and Competitions. In 1993, he was named SCGA Director of Course Rating and worked extensively with the USGA in that area. In addition, he is a member of the USGA Regional Associations Committee and the USGA GHIN Task Force and previously served on the USGA Course Rating and Green Committees. He is a member of the GCSAA and is the immediate past president of the International Association of Golf Administrators. He also serves on the Advisory Committee for the SCPGA and is on the advisory board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission. Prior to joining the SCGA, Heaney worked in marketing, sales and broadcasting. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis in Agricultural Economics and Managerial Science, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree. Kevin and his wife, Yvonne, an elementary school educator, live in San Antonio Heights.
Teacher of the Year & Women’s Player of the Year – Alison Curdt, PGA – Wood Ranch Golf Club
Alison is a PGA Master Professional in Instruction and a LPGA Class A Member. Being 1 of 11 women to achieve the highest PGA credential earned by an instructor, Alison has over 27 years of golf competition background and has recently played in three LPGA Tour majors. Alison spent nearly seven years at Sherwood Country Club as the Head Teaching Professional/First Assistant. In 2014, she opened her own teaching business “Alison Curdt Golf,” helping golfers improve their game. She earned the 2015 LPGA T&CP National Teacher of the Year, 2015 Northern Chapter SCPGA Teacher of the Year, as well as the LPGA T&CP Western Section Teacher of the year award in 2012 and 2015. Alison currently is the Director of Instruction at Wood Ranch Golf Club and is the Assistant Women’s Golf Coach at California State University, Northridge. She currently practices as a licensed clinical psychotherapist while completing her doctorate degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in sports psychology. Alison is a member of the SCPGA Teaching Committee, Vice-President of the LPGA Western Section, an LPGA Global Evaluator, and serves on the SCPGA Northern Chapter Board of Directors.
Bill Strausbaugh Award – Joe Grohman, PGA – Navy Golf Course
Joe Grohman is currently the Head Professional at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, a position he has held since 2005. Grohman currently serves in many capacities including: SCPGA Disabled Golf Committee Chairman, At-Large Director on the SCPGA Board of Directors, SCPGA Metro Chapter Board of Directors, SCPGA Player Development, Special Awards, and Patriot Pro-Am Committees. Throughout his career, Grohman has personally mentored dozens of aspiring PGA Apprentices to PGA Membership. Grohman displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership in his commitment towards mentoring others in the PGA.
Horton Smith Award – Shawn Cox, PGA – Grand Del Mar
As Director of Golf at The Grand Golf Club for ten years, Shawn Cox oversees all of the resort’s golf operations. The Grand Golf Club is the centerpiece of Fairmont Grand Del Mar and has been recognized as a “Gold Medal Resort” by Golf Magazine. Cox completed the PGA’s specialty certification in instruction in 2005. He currently serves as Education Chairman on the SCPGA San Diego Chapter Board of Directors, a membership he has held over the past nine years, including a term as President in 2012-2013. Shawn was awarded the San Diego PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award in 2013. He currently serves on the Education and Teaching Committee for the Southern California PGA Section. Shawn is a Titleist Performance Institute Level 3 Certified Golf, Junior and Biomechanics Instructor. Prior to joining The Grand Golf Club, he served as Assistant Head Golf Professional at La Jolla Country Club and as Assistant Professional at Torrey Pines Golf Course, where he founded the Junior Golf Club. A native of Seattle, Cox holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington, where he was on the National and Rose Bowl Championship Football Team in 1991 and was inducted into the “Husky” Hall of Fame.
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year – Sheldon Callahan, PGA – Lomas Santa Fe Country Club
Callahan has been playing golf since the age of ten when his father started working at Aspen Meadows Golf Course, Beale AFB, CA. Callahan worked at Peach Tree Country Club at 18, which sparked the dream of having golf be an important part of his life. Callahan worked at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club until he graduated from the San Diego Golf Academy in 1995 and the began working at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club. He attained PGA membership in 2005 and became Tournament Director at Lomas Santa Fe. Employee of the Year in 2012, Callahan also spearheaded website development and newsletter projects. Callahan was awarded the 2015 Assistant Professional of the Year for the San Diego Chapter and elected to the San Diego Chapter Board of Directors as the Marketing and Communications Chairman and recently was awarded the 2016 “Cass Colborne” Media Person of the Year Award for the San Diego Chapter. Callahan stated, “being selected as the 2016 SCPGA Assistant Professional of the Year is a great honor that I am extremely proud of.”
Player Development Award – Geoff Dean, PGA – PGA West
Geoff Dean is a 30-year veteran in the golf industry. He’s been a professional golfer, assistant professional, director of instruction, business owner, twice a director of sales, tournament coordinator, guest services manager, corporate trainer, TV Correspondent, and now is the Player Development Coordinator for PGA WEST. Geoff began his professional career as a touring player. He competed in golf events all over North America including The Nike Tour, The Canadian PGA Tour, and the PGA TOUR. In 1994, he began teaching at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort and in 1999, earned his PGA Membership. In 2000, Geoff successfully established the Arnold Palmer Player Development Program. In 2003, he won the SCPGA Section Championship and competed in the 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, the Buick Open and the Nissan Open. In 2013, Geoff refocused his career on coaching and joined the PGA West Golf Academy. Geoff is currently serving on the SCPGA Desert Chapter Board of Directors. As a player, he has competed against Tiger, Ernie, Sergio…and the list goes on. As a teacher, he has been blessed to know thousands of students of all levels. He is married to his beloved Donna and is a proud father of Jackson Dean.
Youth Player Development Award – Heidi Richardson, PGA – Encinitas Ranch Golf Course
A PGA member and UCLA graduate, Heidi has played golf since childhood. She has been a golf instructor for over 23 years, playing and working in the golf industry for over 40 years. In 1995, she became a PGA Member and Instructor under Tom Addis III at Singing Hills Golf Course (now Sycuan Resort) and then became a full-time Instructor at Torrey Pines Golf Course from 1995-1998. She then moved to Encinitas Ranch Golf Course upon it’s opening in 1998 where she currently works! She has vast experience teaching all ages and skill levels, ranging from ages 3 to 93. Heidi offers friendly and encouraging techniques to inform, teaching and guiding her students to help them improve their skills. She uses valuable technology, training aids and a personalized teaching method. In addition to one-on-one private instruction, other successful programs include the JC Golf Intro to Golf, Golf on the Go, and Couples and Senior Golf Groups. Other specialties are her Junior Golf ‘Prep School’, the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program, Summer and Holiday Vacation Junior Camps, YMCA Camps, the PGA Junior League, Independent PE program and more. Heidi’s passion and love for golf guarantees that she gives 100% of her experience and enthusiasm to each of her clients. She shares this expertise with every client, encouraging them to become lifelong golfers, with the ultimate goal of growing the game of golf!
Clubfitter of the Year – Erik Horve, PGA – Tustin Ranch Golf Club
Erik Horve is a PGA Tour Instructor and the Director of Instruction at The Golf School at Tustin Ranch. He has a passion for helping to develop competitive golfers and uses club fitting as a tool to enhance a player’s performance. Erik has been married to his wife Candace for 22 years and has two sons Patrick (19) and Connor (17).
Merchandiser of the Year, Resort – Bill Crist, PGA – The Journey at Pechanga
Crist has been a PGA Member since 1987 and is now a Quarter Century Club Member. He is currently the Head Golf Professional Journey at Pechanga. In 1996 and 1998, Crist was the recipient of this same award while working as the Head Golf Professional at the Four Seasons Resort, Aviara. He has also been the recipient of this award numerous times in the San Diego Chapter and most recently, in the Inland Empire Chapter in 2015. Bill has three children, Billy (25), and twin daughters Brittany and Casey (23). Some of Crist’s hobbies include hiking, biking and all types of racing.
Merchandiser of the Year, Private – Terry Beardsley, PGA – El Dorado Country Club
Eldorado’s Director of Golf is a native of California. Terry Beardsley was born in San Jose and moved to Palm Springs in 1965 at the age of 10. Beardsley attended San Jose State where he played in four NCAA championships. After graduation, he began his golf career at the North Shore Country Club in Chicago, Illinois. He was then appointed Head Professional at Tuckaway Country Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he served for seven years. He was then recruited to work at Des Moines’ Wakonda Country Club. Terry has served on three PGA of America Section’s Board of Directors: Wisconsin, Iowa and Southern California. Over the past 37 years as a Club Professional, Beardsley, along with his wife Karen, who has served for many years as Head Merchandiser, have received “Merchandiser of the Year” awards 13 times along with Best Pro Shop. Two times the Beardsley’s have ranked among the Top 25 Pro Shops in the United States. Terry believes his greatest accomplishment in golf over the last three decades are not his numerous awards and recognitions or the fact that he played on the PGA TOUR or the Australian Tour, but rather the fact that 16 of his assistants have become head golf professionals following his mentorship.
Merchandiser of the Year, Public – Jerry Dremel, PGA – Admiral Baker Golf Course
Jerry received a degree in Golf Management in 1998. Since that time, he has accumulated over 20 years of golf professional expertise in private, public, resort, and military golf facilities. Jerry has been a PGA member since 2006. He joined Admiral Baker in October of 2011, and after a short period in 2012, was promoted to the Head Golf Professional and Golf Operations Manager position at Admiral Baker Golf Course and Naval Base Golf Performance Center. As Head Golf Professional and Golf Operations Manager, Jerry not only teaches the game, but he is also in command of the entire golf operations, including supervising 50 staff, the pro shop merchandise, budgeting, marketing, instructional programs, and group outings. Admiral Baker serves active and retired duty military personnel in addition to being open for civilians to play. As one of the busiest golf courses in San Diego, Admiral Baker has 2, 18 hole championship courses, and averages 125,000 rounds of golf per year. As a former member of the United States Navy, Jerry served our country in Desert Storm, and received the Navy Achievement Medal for his service in 1990, so he is particularly passionate about being able to give back to the military community through providing top notch golf recreation. At Admiral Baker, Jerry is actively involved in Wounded Warrior Golf, which is a program to encourage veterans to heal and experience joy through golf. Jerry received the Bill Strausbaugh award in 2015 for mentorship of PGA apprentices.
Player of the Year – Michael Block, PGA – Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club
Michael Block is the head golf professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club and has been for the past 13 years. He is married to his wife, Val and they have two sons. Michael has made the cut in four of eight PGA TOUR events in the past three years and has played in three major championships, the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla & the PGA Championship this year at Baltusrol. He has also won 15 SCPGA section tournaments in the past four years. Michael earned three points while representing the United States in the 2015 PGA Cup, won the 2001 California State Open and 2014 PGA Club Professional National Championship and received the SCPGA Player of the Year Award for the past four years.
Senior Player of the Year – Gary Sowinski, PGA – The Hodges Golf Learning Center
Sowinski was raised in the Golf Business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin under Manuel de la Torre, Since January of 2014, Gary is the Teaching Professional at The Hodges Golf Learning Center in Escondido. He has played in multiple Senior PGA’s and Senior US Opens. I have been a member of the San Diego Chapter PGA in the matches between Chapters. His 2016 highlights include: San Diego Chapter PGA Senior Champion with rounds of 69-66, Southern California PGA Senior Section Champion with Rounds of 69-70, qualified and played in the US Senior Open at Scioto in Columbus, Ohio, played in the Senior PNC in Port St. Lucie, Florida finishing 33 and qualifying for the 2017 Senior PGA Championship to be played at Trump National in Washington DC with rounds of 73-70-69-75.
AAA Player of the Year – Kenny Pigman, PGA – Goose Creek Golf Club
Kenny Pigman grew up in Southern California near Goose Creek Golf Club. He attended the California State University of San Bernardino and received a BA in Marketing. In early 2012, he started the PGA program and June of this year received his PGA membership. “What an honor it is to receive player of the year for the fourth straight year. I want to thank everyone in the PGA AAA for the participation and the life-long friends I have been involved with.” – Kenny Pigman
Women’s Apprentice Player of the Year – Reina Rogers – River Ridge Golf Club
Reina is currently in the PGA Apprentice program working towards becoming a full member of the PGA of America. She developed her love for the game as a junior at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard. She played four years of varsity golf for Oxnard High School and continued her competitive golf for four years at Long Beach State University. While there she participated in over 30 tournaments and helped her team capture the Big West Conference Championship in 2009. In 2014, Reina posted a 3rd place finish in the SCPGA Ladies Individual Stroke Play Championship and in 2015 took first in the Ladies SCPGA Match Play Championship. In the 2016 season, Reina finished 1st in the Women’s Stroke Play Series at Heritage Palms Golf Club, 2nd in the Women’s Stroke Play Series at Canyon Crest and 2nd in the Women’s Match Play Championship.
Super Senior Player of the Year – Bob E. Smith, PGA – Life Member
After a very successful amateur record were Golf Digest selected him #2 in the USA, Smith turned professional as he continued his fine play in a long and successful career. Bob is a former SCPGA Senior Player of Year and Super Senior Player of Year.
Hall of Fame – Max Bayha, PGA (posthumous)
Max served as Head Golf Professional at Mesa Verde Country Club until 1979 and served on the Southern California PGA Board of Directors for 14 years and was instrumental in the establishment of the SCPGA Sr. Association. He also served as President of the U.S. National Senior’s Golf Association as well as served on the original Board of the Senior PGA Tour. He also played the PGA Tour in 1960 and the Asian Tour in 1961. Max served in the Military until 1946 and was the golf professional for the Love Boat and the golf professional for the People-to-People Tour in seven countries. He also built the first par three course and driving range complex in Orange County in 1950. Mr. Bayha passed away in June 2002 and was 80 years of age.
Hall of Fame – Bob Husband, PGA – Bellagio Road, LLC
Bob Husband has been a PGA member since 1976 after serving his apprenticeship at Bel Air Country Club under the guidance of Eddie Merrins. He is an SCPGA Honorary Life Member, a former PGA TOUR member and has served as an Assistant Golf Coach for UCLA. To date, Husband has been responsible for over 50 PGA professionals being promoted to the roles of General Manager, regional managers and vice presidents. Beginning in 1978 to date, Bob has been the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of a company that ultimately became CCA/GolfCorp, founder, president and CEO of Cobblestone Golf Group, LLC, founder, President and CEO of Heritage Golf Group, LLC., and currently, the founder of Bellagio Road, LLC. In 1998, Ernst and Young and Inc. Magazine recognized Bob as San Diego’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.” Husband has been named one of the “Top 25 Most Powerful People in Golf” by Crittenden Golf, Inc. magazine for 13 consecutive years from 2000 through 2012 and again in 2014, and received an Honorary Doctorate from the Board of Regents of the California State University system.
Hall of Fame – Terry Wilcox, PGA – Life Member
Wilcox spent his entire career in the golf industry beginning immediately after graduating Oklahoma State University in 1962. His career started as a cart attendant for Ernie Vossler at Quail Creek Country Club. Wilcox became a PGA Member in 1967 and is now a Life Member. He competed on the PGA TOUR from 1962 to 1973 while holding positions at clubs in New York and North Carolina. Some of his tournament highlights include: 1968 New York Metropolitan PGA Section Champion, 1966 and 1968 Westchester Open Champion, 1980 Carolina PGA Section Champion, numerous top ten finishes on the PGA TOUR, and participated in four PGA Championships, five USGA Open Championships, and two Master’s Tournaments. Wilcox has also had an extensive career at the following clubs: Apawamis Club, Siwanoy Country Club, Cardinal Golf Club, Mission Hills Country Club, and most recently at VP Landmark Land Co of California, and Tournament Director of Kraft Nabisco Championship. Wilcox has received the following awards: 1974 and 1980 Carolina PGA Section for Player of the Year and 1979 Merchandiser of the Year. Wilcox and his wife, Shirley, have been married 53 years and have lived in Rancho Mirage for the past 35 years. They have two sons, Tony and Tim, six granddaughters and one grandson.
President’s Award – Susan Roll, PGA – Carlsbad Golf Center
Susan Roll’s involvement with the Section’s Foundation has allowed the section to grow in player development, community outreach, and programming for PGA Professionals and their facilities. Starting from 2012, Roll has served as a member of the SCPGA Board of Directors (2010 as well), member of the SCPGA Junior Tour Foundation Advisory Board 2011- current, Chapter President of the SCPGA San Diego Chapter in 2013, Honorary President of San Diego Chapter in 2014, Vice President of the SCPGA San Diego Chapter in 2012, Secretary of San Diego Chapter in 2010-2011, and member of Board of Directors of the SCPGA San Diego Chapter in 2010-2013.
Roll has received numerous awards. In 2011, she was the PGA Merchandiser of the Year, Public Facilities. She has won the SCPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2011, the SCPGA Merchandiser of the Year in 2004, 2008, and 2010, the SCPGA 2009 Horton Smith Award, the SCPGA 2007 Club fitter of the Year. Within the San Diego Chapter, she has won 2010 Golf Professional of the Year, 2003 and 2009 Merchandiser of the Year, Public Facilities, and 2006 Club fitter of the Year.
ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PGA
The PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, comprised of 28,000 men and women golf Professionals who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf, while serving millions of people throughout its 41 PGA Sections nationwide. Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has enhanced its leadership position by growing the game of golf through its premier spectator events, world-class education and training programs, significant philanthropic outreach initiatives, and award-winning golf promotions.
The Southern California Section was established in 1924, and today is comprised of over 1,700 golf Professionals working at over 500 facilities within the Section. The mission of the Southern California Section (SCPGA) is that Purpose of the PGA of America, to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals and the golf industry. The SCPGA provides competitive playing opportunities, educational seminars, and growth of the game initiatives, within a geographic area that stretches from San Luis Obispo to the Tijuana Border, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Nevada and Arizona borders.
The SCPGA created the Southern California PGA Foundation to develop and administer junior golf programs as well as an increasingly wide array of other community services throughout the Section. The Southern California PGA Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and operates as a public foundation. The SCPGA Foundation is involved in and supports the growth of the game of golf through initiatives such as Play Golf America, Neighborhood Golf, California Alliance for Golf and the University of California at Riverside Turfgrass Research Program, to name a few. For more information, visit scpga.com or follow us on Twitter @scpga.