Final MGCA Award Winners Named; Sweetgrass National Course of the Year
LANSING – Tom Schacher, a former high school soccer coach in Otsego who works for the Lynx Golf Course, was the winner of the 2021 John Dodge CARPE DIEM Award, and Bill Mory, the PGA professional and owner of Meridian Sun Golf Club in Haslett received the Dul Family-Fox Hills Player Development Award at the recent Michigan Golf Course Association’s Golf Business Conference Award Winners Banquet.
They were the final award winners announced by the MGCA for 2021 and they received their awards in the same program as the MGCA Golf Course of the Year, Sweetgrass Golf Club at Island Resort & Casino in Harris, 2021 Bruce Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award winner Joseph M. Vargas Jr., PhD, of Michigan State University, 2021 Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award winner Brenda Velandra of Raisin Valley Golf Club in Tecumseh, and Award of Merit recipient, The Midnight Golf Program of Detroit.
As the CARPE DIEM Award winner, Schacher was honored for being a team member of a MGCA member course who demonstrates creativity and success as defined by the legacy of the late John Dodge. Schacher received a grant award from the MGCA Scott Family Educational Support Foundation. He was nominated by Jim Szilagi, owner of the Lynx.
As the Player Development Award winner, Mory was honored as the owner of a MGCA member course that demonstrates creativity and success in growing the game by developing new golfers and new rounds and overcoming perceived barriers. Meridian Sun also received a grant award from the Scott Family Educational Support Foundation to support junior, women’s and kid’s and beginner golf programming at the course.
The 2020 Course of the Year, Stoatin Brae Golf Club at Gull Lake View in Augusta, which also became the 2021 Jemsick National Golf Course Owners Association Course of the Year, was honored because a 2020 Awards program was not presented due to pandemic concerns.
Just this week it was announced by the NGCOA that Sweetgrass Golf Club, the MGCA’s 2021 Course of the Year, has also been awarded the 2022 Jemsick National Golf Course of the Year honor. Jada Paisley, executive director of the MGCA, said this marks the first time that Michigan winners have repeated as both Region and National Course of the Year. Sweetgrass will be honored at the NGCOA Golf Business Conference, Jan. 24-26, in Orlando, Fla.
“Michigan golf is blessed with fantastic golf courses and so many wonderful owners and their team members who together make a tremendous impact socially and economically in their communities and our award winners reflect that,” Paisley said. “The MGCA’s mission in simple terms is to promote and preserve the best interests of the Michigan golf industry. These are some of the best people and courses who give the industry its great impact in Michigan.”