EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan Section PGA honored its 2018 Special Award Winners at the President’s Dinner held Sunday, October 28th at the Country Club of Lansing. The President’s Dinner celebrates PGA Members who have excelled in their profession as well as those who have volunteered and given of themselves to serve the Section.
Greg Babinec, Head Golf Professional at Crystal Mountain Resort, has captured the 2018 Michigan Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year award. This prestigious honor is awarded to the professional that has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership and strong moral character. The individual must also maintain a substantial record of service to the Association and game of golf and be well-regarded as a model PGA Golf Professional. Babinec was chosen by his peers for the award based on his overall performance as a Golf Professional, service to the Section and the Association, leadership ability, image and ability to inspire others and his promotion and growth of the game.
William “Monty” Elam, a 23-year PGA Member of the Michigan PGA Section, and the PGA Director of Golf at Whiteford Valley Golf Club in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, is the recipient of the 2018 Deacon Palmer Award. The Deacon Palmer Award honors a PGA Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life. Elam was also selected as the PGA of America’s National Deacon Palmer Award winner.
Adam Schriber, Director of Instruction at LochenHeath Golf Club, was awarded the 2018 Michigan Section PGA Teacher of the Year. Schriber was honored for his overall impact on teaching and coaching at his facility along with his innovative and special teaching programs he implemented.
AJ Partenio, Head Golf Professional at Walnut Creek Country Club, was named the 2018 Michigan Section PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. Partenio’s strengths as a player, teacher, merchandiser, tournament administrator and overall golf professional all contributed to his success at his facility and the game of golf.
Kevin McKinley, Director of Golf at Treetops Resort, and Michigan PGA President, has been selected as the Michigan Section PGA’s 2018 recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award. McKinley was honored for his outstanding integrity, character, and leadership through a commitment to mentoring and making significant impacts on the careers of PGA Professionals. Established in 1979, the Bill Strausbaugh Award is presented to a PGA Professional who by their day-to-day efforts, have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community. The award reflects the characteristics and qualities of Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who died in 1999.
Ian Ziska, Head Golf Professional at Katke Colf Course at Ferris State University, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the recipient of the 2018 Horton Smith Award. The Horton Smith Award is awarded annually to a PGA Member for his outstanding contributions to professional education. Ziska reflects this commitment through his day-to-day activities in the Michigan Section PGA and at Katke.
Ziska, for the third year-in-a-row, was also awarded the 2018 Merchandiser of the Year for Public Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA. This award recognizes excellence in business and merchandising at public golf facilities as well as innovation in displays, merchandising techniques, staff training and overall success and growth.
Mike McGonigal, Head Golf Professional at Egypt Calley Country Club, has been named the 2018 Merchandiser of the Year for Private Golf Facilities, and Elliott Oscar, Head Golf Professional at Forest Dunes Golf Club, has been named the 2018 Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA.
Paul Hawkins, Director of Instruction at Binder Park Golf Course, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2018 recipient of the Patriot Award. Hawkins was honored for personifying patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrating unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America. The Patriot Award originated in 2008 following the inspiration of Patriot Day founder Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Scott Wilson, a PGA Teaching Professional at Bay Meadows Family Golf Course, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2018 recipient of the Player Development Award. This award recognizes a PGA Golf Professional, who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of player development. It also considers the PGA Professional’s growth of the game leadership, commitment at the Section and National levels in the player development arena, and the meaningful impact made at the facility.
Kelly Sivier, a PGA Teaching Professional at Meadowbrook Country Club, has been selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the 2018 recipient of the Youth Player Development Award. This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional, who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contribution and achievement in the area of youth player development. The award considers the PGA Professional’s focus on youth through their growth of the game leadership, commitment at the Section and National levels in the youth player development arena, and the meaningful impact made upon youth through the introduction and participation in the game.