The Section held its Spring Meeting on Monday, March 14 at Eagle Eye Golf Club with over 130 members and associates in attendance.

President Dean Kolstad welcomed special guests John Lindert, PGA of America Vice President, John Lindert, PGA of America Vice President, Brian Jones, District 5 Director, Kim Shafer, Player Engagement Consultant, Erin Scanlon, PGA HOPE Program Coordinator, US Army Retired, Todd Smith, Career Services Consultant, and any Past Presidents in attendance.

THANKS to Wholesale GRIPS for sponsoring the luncheon.

Jeff O’Malley delivered the invocation remembering deceased Michigan PGA Member Rod Sowders.

President Dean Kolstad talked about the upcoming Teaching & Coaching Summit, the At-Large Director elections in the fall. He also welcomed Madison Maurier as the replacement for Chelsea Guoynes. He and Diane Lazaros met with the Chapter leaders to discuss consistency amongst the Chapters, guidelines, and processes.

The Section is celebrating 100 years this year. He and George Bowman are in the midst of planning a fundraiser for Folds of Honor and Michigan PGA Foundation with Detroit Red Wings alumni against Michigan PGA members. The game will be played some time in December.

Vice President Stephanie Jennings, along with Executive Director Kevin Helm, reviewed the Section’s investments as well as year-end financials.

Secretary Dan Urban acknowledged and welcomed newly elected/transferred members. He also recognized quarter century member Bill Durham, and half century member Henry Young.

Executive Director Kevin Helm thanked Anna Epkey for her years of service as she has resigned at the end of March. He also thanked the staff for their hard work and dedication to the membership.

Tournament Chair Jeff Rachar reviewed items for the 2022 season.

Special Awards Chair Pat Markley announced the 2022 Special Awards winners:

Assistant Professional of the Year – Lauren Strong, PGA
Bill Strausbaugh – Doug Kreis, PGA
Distinguished Service Award – Doug Dingwall
Merchandiser of the Year–Private – Kyle Horton, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Public – Ian Ziska, PGA
Merchandiser of the Year–Resort – Gary Lewandowski, PGA
Patriot Award – Doug Bell, PGA
Player Development – Kelly Kuhlman, PGA
Professional Development Award – John Lindert, PGA
Youth Player Development – Rolla Frisinger, PGA
Teacher & Coach of the Year – Brian Cairns, PGA
Golf Executive of the Year – Kevin McKinley, PGA
Golf Professional of the Year – Jeff O’Malley, PGA

They will be honored at the President’s Dinner on October 23.

The second portion of the meeting then went into a town hall format with Executive Director Kevin Helm talking with Dean Kolstad, John Lindert and Bryan Jones. A video was shown on the new PGA headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

Business discussions included information from Career Services Consultant Todd Smith, and Player Engagement Consultant Kim Shafer.

Growth of the Game Chair Scott Wilson then recognized the Youth Grant Program of the Year Award to Raquel Bryant and Kelly Plaisier, and Adult Grant Program of the Year Award to Joe Simpson.

Thanks to Wholesale GRIPS for sponsoring the luncheon.

The Michigan PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit presented by SwingU, LagShot, Ace Indoor Golf, and Foresight Sports took place on Monday afternoon and all day on Tuesday, which provided a great mix of interesting speakers and topics.

2020 PGA of America Teacher of the Year Mark Blackburn presented on Monday. Mark is a top nationally recognized instructor whose client list includes a number of current and former PGA Tour Professionals.  Mark focused mainly on how to work with a lot of common swing faults that we see from our amateur and club golfers.

Scott Wilson, Michigan PGA Professional at Bay Meadows Family Golf Center, kicked things off on Tuesday talking about how he trains junior golfers at his facility. Scott was the PGA of America 2019 Youth Player Development Award winner.

Tuesday morning featured a great panel discussion with Michigan PGA Professionals Jason Guss, Brandon Roby, Scott Wilson and Mike Fay as well as Kirk Oguri, PGA Professional from the Met Section, and Iain Highfield, a mental game coach and Academy Director at the KOHR Golf Academy.

Kirk Oguri presented Tuesday afternoon and provided a lot of great info specific to club fitting and incorporating that into your instruction. Iain wrapped things up presenting on how he instructs the junior golfers at this academy relating to the mental game and going from the range and practice to competitions.

We would like to thank Brandon Roby and his committee for putting together all the presenters and for organizing this Teaching & Coaching Summit. We would also like to thank SwingU, LagShot, Ace Indoor Golf and Foresight Sports for their support and sponsorship of this event.