Casey & Brunton Take Home National Awards

3/1/2010

Canadian PGA has announced the 2009 winners of its prestigious National awards for exceptional and dedicated service as Canadian golf professionals.

The 2009 winners are:
• Club Professional of the Year – Bob Paley, Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Alberta
• Teacher of the Year – Sean Casey, The Clublink Academy At Glen Abbey, Ontario
• Merchandiser of the Year – Bob Paley, Kananaskis Golf Club, Alberta
• Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year Award – Henry Brunton, Henry Brunton Golf, Ontario
• Tex Noble Award – Jamie Stevens, Granite Point Golf Club, British Columbia

Each year, a National Selection committee evaluates nominations from more than 3,600 Canadian PGA Members coast-to-coast and recognizes winners in each of the four categories. The winners will receive their award at the 2010 Club Professional Championship in November.

“Our 2009 National award winners are symbols of the passion and dedication to excellence that Canadian PGA Members bring to their profession in making the game of golf better for Canadian golfers,” said Lindon Garron, President of the Canadian PGA. “This year’s winners have set standards of excellence that all Canadian golf professionals can aim to achieve. On behalf of the Canadian PGA, the Zones, and the membership, I congratulate them all for receiving this recognition.”

Club Professional of the Year– Mr. Bob Paley

Bob Paley, Head Professional at Kananaskis Country Golf Course in Kananaskis, Alberta is the 2009 recipient of the Canadian PGA Club Professional of the Year award.

“I have always been blessed with an amazing support group around me throughout my life that have allowed me to focus on things like school, athletics, and work. Without my wife Tracy, our two boys Matt and Sammy, my amazing family, and phenomenal friends I would not be capable of even dreaming about winning this award. As anyone in this industry knows, the life of a Golf Professional can be very selfish and being supported by all of these people makes the award that much more special for all of us.”

One of the best pieces of advice Bob was ever given was from a key mentor, Tiffany Gordon, who told him to become involved in his Association. Bob took the advice to heart and has been involved with the PGA of Alberta in many different roles.

o Consumer Show Committee – 1997 – 2002
o Assistants Board Vice President – 1997 – 1999
o Education Committee – 2002-2008
o Alberta Board of Director – 2005 – present
o Co-chair of the Employment committee - 2005
o Chairman of the Education Committee – 2005-2008
o Chairman of the Promotions Committee – 2008 – present

I truly believe that one of the secrets to our success at Kananaskis is that we have created a culture that is warm, fun, and inviting for our team and our guests. We have always been about creating phenomenal experiences for our guests and our team because at the end of the day, that is one of the most important reasons we are all here in this business.

Bob is a firm believer in mentorship and the importance of idea sharing. “The most amazing thing about this award is that it is an acknowledgement to my mentors of the amazing kinds of people they are and the tools they have given me to be successful in my life. From my wife Tracy, to my parents, to Hugh McPherson, to Kerry Ketter at the Derrick, Tiffany Gordon at Cottonwood, Gregg Schubert at Cottonwood, Wayne and Lloyd McBean at Lakeside, Wayne and Brian Bygrave, Darren Robinson and Calvin McNeely at Kananaskis, and a number of PGA of Alberta Board Members that I have worked with like Clive Grant, Steve Moe, John Wilson, and Ron Laugher. They and too many others to mention are why I am being honoured with this life changing award. I am a product of their ideas, hard work, vision, and passion for people and the game of golf. To all of you I say thank you”

Teacher of the Year – Mr. Sean Casey

Sean Casey, Teaching Professional at the Clublink Academy at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, is the 2009 recipient of the Canadian PGA Teacher of the Year award.

Sean grew up in Grand Bay, NB and learned the game at the Westfield Golf and Country Club. He joined the Canadian PGA in 1998 while attending the University of New Brunswick’s Business Administration Program and has been a Class 'A' member since 2001.

Sean was recently honoured as the 'Teacher of the Year' by the Ontario PGA. He is the Head Coach for the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) National Teams and oversees the successful ELITE Junior Development program at Glen Abbey. Sean has been the featured instructor for SCORE Golf magazine numerous times and has also hosted and produced Golf Talk Live, a local golf instructional TV show on Cogeco.

Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year – Mr. Henry Brunton

Henry Brunton, Master Professional at Henry Brunton Golf in Maple, Ontario is the 2009 recipient of the Canadian PGA Jack McLaughlin Junior Leader of the Year award.

Henry Brunton is one of the most recognizable names in Canadian golf and one of the world’s leading golf coaches and educators. He is the Royal Canadian Golf Association's National Golf Coach, the creator of the Canadian PGA's Teaching and Coaching Certification program, a CPGA Master Professional and the only Canadian ever listed among GOLF Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America and the US Kids Top 50 Kids Teachers. In 2009, he published Journey to Excellence: The Young Golfer’s Complete Guide to Achievement and Personal Growth, the first comprehensive guide to competitive junior golf for both juniors and their parents.

Brunton has been a member of the Canadian PGA since 1984. In 2008, the Canadian PGA honoured him with its highest standing – Master Professional. He was also named as the fourth Most Influential Person in Canadian Golf in rankings by Canada’s National Post.

A resident of Stouffville, Ontario, Brunton has a passion for developing junior golfers. In addition to his work with the Canadian Men’s and Junior Boys National Teams, he also leads “Strive for Excellence,” a comprehensive year-round coaching and training program for aspiring high-level junior and collegiate golfers at his home base at Eagles Nest Golf Club near Toronto.

Merchandiser of the Year – Mr. Bob Paley

“The Canadian Merchandiser of the Year Award is special because it touches every single member of our Kananaskis Family in 2009. Whether someone worked in Food and Beverage, our Sales Department, Administration, Staff Accommodation, Turfgrass Maintenance, Building Maintenance, or the Pro Shop, everyone had a hand in the product that we deliver year in and year out at this facility. I am so proud for everyone here because I know how hard they all work to provide the kind of experience we do for our guests”.

Bob Paley and his team at Kananaskis were honoured to have been awarded Alberta PGA Merchandisers of the Year - Public in 2007 as well as in 2009. The strength of their merchandising is in their people and in their passion for finding guests value and quality in the merchandise presented. The mandate of their team is to welcome guests as soon as they arrive at the facility and make them feel at home. “When guests are treated to great conversation, fun staff, a clean and organized Pro Shop that is beautifully merchandised, and great deals, they will stay, spend, and come back with friends. We are good with all of those things!”

Bob has created a number of unique sales programs, staff training techniques, and buying strategies that help to set Kananaskis Country Golf Course apart. “Annually my wife and I attend the February Gift Show in Edmonton to find unique items to help accent our Pro Shop. This past year exquisite wine decanters, sushi sets, lady’s scarves, entertaining baby onesies, and wine aerators were the hits. We have found that people love seeing things that they don’t expect to find in a Pro Shop and most importantly it makes them want to hunt around and see what else is unique. As we all know…retail hunting is good!”

An important part of Bob’s merchandising philosophy is to partner with suppliers that want to make their business successful. These suppliers are considered to be a very important part of their family as well, and are treated with a phenomenal amount of trust and respect. Partnership with great merchandisers like Green Grass One and the Association of Golf Merchandisers helps to take their product to a totally different level. “We have a really special team of suppliers, staff, and advisors that keep Kananaskis on the cutting edge of retail, service, and creating special experiences. To win this National Award is a pat on the back for everyone’s great ideas, hard work, and attention to detail.”

Tex Noble Award – Mr. Jamie Stevens

The Canadian PGA’s Tex Noble Award represents the Association’s commitment to recognizing a high standard of achievement among Canadian PGA Apprentice Professionals,” stated Gary Bernard, Executive Director of the Canadian PGA. Jaime obtained an impressive Class “A” Examination test scores of 96%.

Jamie played the majority of his junior golf at the Riverside Golf & Country Club in Rothesay, New Brunswick, where he learned many of his life lessons from playing the game, club members and from Head Professional Jim Connolly. Jamie graduated from the Professional Golf Management Program in Lethbridge, Alberta in 2004 and remained in southern Alberta for 4 years. He then had the great fortune to land a job at the Nicklaus North Golf Course in Whistler where he worked as an Assistant Professional for two years. Jamie feels these years were crucial in his development as a quality and respected Golf Professional.

In January 2009, he accepted the position as Golf Operations Manager at Granite Pointe Golf Club and in late December of that same year he successfully completed his Class “A” exam. Jamie is currently the Head Professional at Granite Pointe Golf Club and is looking forward to many successful years in Nelson as it has become an adopted home to him.
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