Onalaska's Kaiser WPGA Teacher of the Year

WEST ALLIS, WI – Jeff Kaiser (pictured), former Onalaska high School and University of Wisconsin golf star, is among the Wisconsin Professional Golfers Association special award winners leading into the 2020 golf season.
Eleven golf professionals from throughout Wisconsin will be recognized for exemplary service, dedication and accomplishments in golf.
The 2020 WPGA Special Award Winners are:
* WPGA Golf Professional of the Year – Danny Rainbow, PGA of SentryWorld Golf Course (Stevens Point).
* Teacher of the Year – Jeff Kaiser, PGA of TaylorMade Player Development Center (Madison).
* Assistant Golf Professional of the Year – Will Young, PGA of North Shore Country Club (Mequon).
* Horton Smith Award – Dave Hawkins, PGA of Lake Geneva Country Club (Lake Geneva).
* Youth Player Development Award – Travis Becker, PGA of Ironworks Golf Lab and Beloit Club (Beloit).
* Player Development Award – Rob Elliott, PGA of Rob Elliott Golf (Pewaukee).
* Bill Strausbaugh Award – Vince Pulizzano, PGA of Westmoor Country Club (Brookfield).
* Patriot Award – Jack Gaudion, PGA of The Legend Clubs (Wales, Waukesha, Oregon, and Hartland locations).
* Merchandiser of the Year (Private) – Matt Taken, PGA of Tuckaway Country Club (Franklin).
* Merchandiser of the Year (Public) – Andrew Barrett, PGA of Brown Deer Park Golf Course (Milwaukee).
* Merchandiser of the Year (Resort) – Josue Reyes, PGA of Kohler Golf – Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run (Kohler).
The WPGA will recognize the award winners at the annual WPGA Spring Meeting Reception on March 2, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay.
The Wisconsin PGA Section honors several golf professionals annually for their great accomplishments on and off of the course. The reception is supported by the Wisconsin Golf Sales Association and PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Kaiser, who currently resides in Verona, WI, is manager and teaching pro at TaylorMade Player Development Center in Madison. He is being recognized as a WPGA professional who has performed outstanding services as a golf teacher and coach.

SOURCE: Wisconsin WPGA

Castle Mound offers 50th anniversary membership

HOLMEN, WI - Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a 2020 golf membership for $298.
The membership is valid for open play seven days a week.
Members may book tee times up to three days in advance. Memberships are valid anytime on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, after 4 p.m., on Wednesday,and after 11 a.m., on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call 608-526-4144.

GWAA honors Whan with William D. Richardson Award

HOUSTON, Texas - When Mike Whan (pictured) took over the LPGA Tour 10 years ago, it was struggling. Some even questioned whether or not it would survive.
Whan’s leadership over the past decade spearheaded a radical turnaround for the LPGA and because of those efforts, the Golf Writers Association of America has awarded him the 2020 William D. Richardson Award for outstanding contributions to golf.
In addition to Whan, the GWAA has named Patrick Cantlay winner of the 2020 Ben Hogan Award, given to a player who has overcome a physical handicap or serious injury to remain active in golf, while Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champ, is the recipient of the ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award, given to a player for his or her working relationship with the media.
Since Whan, 54, took over as commissioner, the LPGA has experienced more than a 50 percent increase in tournaments, more than an 80 percent increase in purses and a 100 percent increase in television coverage. He also introduced the season-long Race to the CME Globe, UL International Crown and Founders Cup.
In addition, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments with $1.7M in prize money, to a record $4M in 2019 over the course of 23 tournaments. And participation in the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf has grown from 5,000 to 90,000.
“I want to express a heartfelt thank you to the Golf Writers Association of America for honoring me with the William D. Richardson Award,” said Whan. “It’s very humbling to be included in a list of past honorees that includes names like Bob Hope, Bob Jones, Arnold Palmer, and LPGA Founders like Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg and Louise Suggs.
“The LPGA is the ultimate TEAM effort, so I hope all the players, teachers, and staff understand this award is really recognizing ALL of us! I’m honored to be a small part of this incredible LPGA family, and I’m proud of all that we are doing to leave the game even better for the next generation of golfers,” Whan added.
Scott, who is often referred to as one of the game’s true gentlemen, is the second consecutive Australian to win the ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award, named for the legendary Los Angeles Times columnist the honor cites players who reflect the most positive aspects of the working relationship between athletes and journalists. Geoff Ogilvy won the award in 2019.
"I want to thank the Golf Writers Association for honoring me with this award,’’ Scott said. “As athletes and writers, we do different jobs, but we all love the game of golf and it's values.
“To be included in a group with Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Geoff Ogilvy and so many others who makes this such a special honor. I look forward to thanking the GWAA in person at the dinner.’'
After a year-plus as the world’s top-ranked amateur, Cantlay’s pro career stalled for more than three years because of a stress fracture in his back. He reached the 2017 TOUR Championship without full status on the PGA TOUR and won the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children event. In 2019, Cantlay won The Memorial and is currently No. 7 in the world.
"It’s an honor to be associated with Mr. Hogan and join a long list of honorees who have greatly contributed to the game,” said Cantlay.” "While the injury process was certainly difficult, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of in the process. I’m excited to be in the top 10 in the world and look forward to a long career ahead.”  
All three players will be honored along with 2019 GWAA Players of the Year Brooks Koepka, Jin Young Ko and Scott McCarron at the 48th ISPS HANDA GWAA Annual Awards Dinner on April 8 in Augusta, Georgia.
Past recipients of the Richardson Award, named for The New York Times’ William D. Richardson who was instrumental in the founding of the GWAA in 1946, include Nicklaus, Crenshaw, Hogan, Palmer, Dottie Pepper, Nancy Lopez, Judy Rankin, Doc Giffin, David Fay, Jack Burke, Jr., the Harmon Family, Furman Bisher, Maj. Dan Rooney, Pete Dye, Sandy Tatum, Dan Jenkins, Judy Bell, President Dwight Eisenhower, Patty Berg, Gene Sarazen, Harvey Penick, Peggy Kirk Bell, Frank Hannigan and Lee Trevino.
Former Hogan award winners include Tiger Woods, Rankin, J.B. Holmes, Tom Watson, Sophie Gustafson, Barbara Douglas, Jarrod Lyle, Ken Green, Erik Compton, Denis Watson, Hubert Green, Bruce Edwards, Scott Verplank, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Casey Martin, Paul Azinger,  David Meador, Trevino and Ken Venturi.
Previous ASAP Sports/Jim Murray winners include Palmer, Nicklaus, Lopez, Davis Love III, Brad Faxon, Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington, Juli Inkster, Jim Furyk, Nick Price, Jay Haas and Laura Davies.


Fields receives 2020 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Bill Fields (pictured), whose versatile storytelling talent was a staple of Golf World magazine for more than two decades, has been named recipient of the 2020 PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.
Fields, a resident of Fairfield, Connecticut, will be honored on April 8 at the ISPS HANDA 48th Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) Awards Dinner at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta, Georgia.
Fields, 60, is the 31st recipient of the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, which recognizes members of the media for their steadfast promotion of golf. Fields’ work spans 109 men’s major championships, eight Ryder Cups, more than 60 women’s and PGA Tour Champions majors, and more than 800 Golf World issues.
Since Golf World ended print publication in 2014, Fields has contributed stories to the New York Times, the Met Golfer, Golf World (U.K.) Masters Journal, PineStraw magazine, PGA Magazine, golfdigest.com, USGA.org, Masters.com; MorningRead.com and PGATour.com. Fields has been a contributing researcher for NBC/Golf Channel tournament broadcasts since late 2017.
“Bill Fields is one of the few writers who gives the reader that special insight into learning more about golf’s legendary and contemporary stars,” said PGA of America President Suzy Whaley. “Bill’s passion for golf - whether it is covering a major, researching a statistic or adding his byline to an award-winning story - elevated his profession. The PGA of America is very proud to celebrate Bill among the most honored journalists in the game.”
Fields follows former Golf World writers Dick Taylor (1991), Bob Verdi (2004), Jaime Diaz (2012), Tim Rosaforte (2014) and Ron Sirak (2015) as recipients of the award. Fields’ professional career began in 1981 as public relations director for the World Golf Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Tournament, when both were located in Pinehurst. He spent two stints as a sports reporter — with the Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Georgia (1982-83); and the Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen (1983-84).
Fields was an associate editor for Golf World (1984-86), a senior editor and staff photographer for Golf Illustrated (1986-91), and a freelance photographer (1991-93), with frequent contributions to Golf World and Golf Digest. He rejoined Golf World full-time in September 1993 and remained senior editor through July 2014.
“It’s humbling and an honor to join those writers, broadcasters and editors who have previously received this award,” said Fields. “I’ve been lucky to work in this industry. Those of us who have done this for a long time, take a lot of pride in it. You try to tell the best stories you can about the events and the golfers playing in them.”
Born in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where Golf World was founded in 1947, and raised in nearby Southern Pines, later home to the publication for many years, Fields’ introduction to golf began at age 8.
His first club was a putter, and he graduated to a Sam Snead Blue Ridge model 5-iron. By age 10, his first set of clubs bore the signature of North Carolina’s Johnny Palmer, a member of the 1949 Ryder Cup Team. Fields learned the game at two Southern Pines’ layouts, the nine-hole Knollwood Fairways and Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club, where he was a golf cart attendant on weekends and during the summer.
“I got my father (Gene) into the game, which made me very happy,” said Fields. “I played with him a lot in my teen years. I turned him on to the game.”
Bill Fields, left, working the 1986 PGA Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio
Fields earned an B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina (1981), serving as sports editor for UNC’s student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel. Fields was mentored by the late Michael Dann, a Golf World staff writer and photographer in the 1970s, who later served at the U.S. Golf Association and ended his career as course rating, handicapping and magazine administrator for the Carolinas Golf Association.
Fields was hired at Golf World by Dick Taylor, the inaugural recipient of the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, and later worked alongside Al Barkow, who won the award in 2005.
“I will always be grateful to Dick Taylor for hiring me at Golf World. My career would have taken a different direction, no doubt, if he hadn't,” said Fields. “He was a proponent of covering women's golf, in a time when that wasn’t done everywhere. Working for Al Barkow for five years at Golf Illustrated was important for me. When I became a golf-history specialist at Golf World, I owed a lot to Al for helping me appreciate that part of the game.”
A board member of the Golf Writers Association of America and Metropolitan Golf Writers Association, Fields has won four GWAA first-place writing awards (1986, ’91, 2003, ’07) and more than a dozen second- and third-place honors. He authored an anthology, “Arnie, Seve and a Fleck of Golf History” (2014), and in 1993, collaborated with Dr. Richard Coop for “Mind Over Golf.” His photo of Larry Mize winning the 1987 Masters was selected as the cover image of “Best Sports Stories 1988.”
“Those Sundays and Mondays completing a Golf World issue were hectic,” said Fields. “When you finished a story, it was a very good feeling. Starting in 2001, I edited our features, too, and it was a real treat to have a small part in some wonderful articles by fine writers.
“A greater pleasure came from writing in-depth profiles of players like Bert Yancey, a complicated man; and stories about Sam Snead, Jimmy Demaret, Johnny McDermott and an appreciation of Seve Ballesteros. I was lucky to have produced a handful of stories that people may remember.”
Fields’ profile of Gene Sarazen was included in “The Best American Sports Writing 1996” and seven times his work has been cited as a notable story by the anthology. He was recipient of the 2011 LPGA Global Media Award; and a three-time winner of an International Network of Golf Outstanding Achiever Media Award.

SOURCE: PGA of America

USGA celebrates impact in the game through 2020 awards

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – Honoring golf’s greatest ambassadors, innovators and leaders, the USGA has revealed its 2020 Annual Award honorees highlighted by Se Ri Pak (pictured), the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open champion and World Golf Hall of Famer, as the Bob Jones Award recipient.
The four 2020 individual honorees also include Lon Haskew, the recipient of the Joe Dey Award for meritorious service as a volunteer; Dr. William Meyer, the USGA Green Section Award recipient for his work in sustainability through agronomic advancements; and Kevin Robbins, author of The Last Stand of Payne Stewart, who will receive the Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. All three will receive their awards during the USGA Annual Meeting on Saturday, Feb. 29 in Pinehurst, N.C.
The USGA’s Annual Awards were established to honor those who advance the game and the association’s mission through research, celebrating and preserving golf’s history, and service to the game through volunteerism and personal spirit, character and respect.  
“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to annually recognize those whose contributions and positive influence have made a meaningful impact on the game,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “The individuals who comprise this year’s list of recipients truly embody the core values of the USGA to lead, serve and inspire.”
Receiving the Ike Grainger Award in recognition of 25 years of volunteer service to the USGA are John Bartholomew, Dwayne Dillinger, Bruce Flower, Robert Hillis, Richard Johnson, Craig Kessler, David Laird, John Luffey Jr., Greg Norris, Gilbert Palmer, Charles Rountree III, Joseph Sholtis and Grover Walker. The group of 13 will also be recognized during the awards banquet at the USGA Annual Meeting.
Bob Jones Award
Presented annually since 1955, the Bob Jones Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.
As one of the most influential pioneering forces in the women’s game, Pak inspired an entire generation of Korean golfers during her 20-year professional career, which included 39 wins, five of which were majors.
Pak burst onto the LPGA Tour in 1998, and her playoff victory in the U.S. Women’s Open, when she became the youngest winner in the history of the championship to that point, became a defining moment in the game. Despite carrying the weight and attention of an entire country, it was through her friendly attitude and humble demeanor that her high level of character truly revealed itself.
Pak will receive the award during the week of the 2020 U.S. Open Championship in June at Winged Foot Golf Club.

Joe Dey Award
Named for Joseph C. Dey, the USGA’s executive director from 1934-1968 and a World Golf Hall of Famer, the Joe Dey Award has been presented annually since 1996 to recognize an individual’s meritorious service to the game as a volunteer.
For more than 30 years, Haskew has served as a volunteer rules official at state, regional, national and international levels, including more than 100 USGA championships. Haskew has been a USGA committee member since 1993 and has served on the Mid-Amateur Committee since 1995. He’s also been a fixture at the collegiate level as an official at multiple NCAA Championships.
USGA Green Section Award
The USGA Green Section Award honors distinguished service to golf through an individual’s work with turf grass.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Meyer has made a significant impact on the turf industry through his turf grass breeding work, which focuses on developing grasses for golf and other playing surfaces that are resistant to adverse factors. As a professor at Rutgers University, he has influenced all levels of the industry at the national and international levels through seminars, research papers and trade publications.  
Herbert Warren Wind Book Award
The Herbert Warren Wind Book Award acknowledges and encourages outstanding achievement in golf literature.
This year’s recipient, The Last Stand of Payne Stewart, vividly recounts the story of Stewart’s last season on the PGA Tour in 1999, including his U.S. Open victory at Pinehurst, through his tragic passing.
Robbins previously captured the award in 2016 for Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf, which tells the story of Penick, the late golf coach, competitor and instructor.
In recognition of excellence in golf literature, the book will be added to the USGA Golf Museum library, the largest collection in the world with more than 100,000 individual volumes and periodicals.