PGA of Ontario Award Winners Honoured

TORONTO, ON – The PGA of Ontario recognized its 2012 provincial award winners at a special banquet as part of the Golf Association of Ontario/PGA of Ontario 2013 Coaching & Development Summit at the InterContinental Yorkville in downtown Toronto on Tuesday.

The eight PGA of Ontario winners include the GAO’s Managing Director of Sport Development Mike Kelly, who earned the Professional Development Award, and GAO Head Provincial Coach Jon Roy who was named Coach of the Year. The six other winners were Adam Tobin; Apprentice/Candidate for Membership of the Year, Doug Lawrie; Junior Leader of the Year,  Jon Moses; Retailer of the Year, Dave Smallwood; Teacher of the Year, Adam Cherry; Golf Professional of the Year,  and Bill Walsh Jr.; Player of the Year.  Also awarded was the Golf Association of Ontario’s Facility of the Year Award, presented to The Academy at The Georgian Bay Club.

“It gives me great honour to present our 2012 PGA of Ontario Award winners with their recognition awards,” said PGA of Ontario Executive Director Kevin Pucell. “Each individual is passionate about the game of golf in Ontario and their dedication to the sport and the association is greatly appreciated.”

The 2013 Coaching & Development Summit was a joint venture between the Golf Association of Ontario and the PGA of Ontario. The two-day conference featured a series of educational seminars and special guest speakers including; Michael Mattalo, Rod Black, Istvan Balyi, Kai Fusser and Michael Hebron. This is the first time the PGA of Ontario presented its awards as part of the summit.

“The PGA of Ontario sees great value in the summit that the GAO started and we believe it holds great value for our members,” Purcell said. “We work very closely with the GAO to grow the game of golf in Ontario and to add the awards dinner to the summit is an opportunity to showcase and honour some of dedicated professionals who make a significant contribution to the game.”

The winners’ were first announced last fall as part of the selection process for the PGA of Canada national awards that were given out in January at Canada Night as part of the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

PGA of Ontario 2012 Award winners who went on to national awards include: Junior Leader of the Year, Doug Lawrie; Professional Development Award, Mike Kelly and Coach of the Year, Jon Roy.


Facility of the Year – The Academy at The Georgian Bay Club

The Academy at The Georgian Bay Club is an innovative and industry leading performance centre with a full range of instructional programs for all ages and skill levels. As a Junior Golf Development Centre, the Academy provides a comprehensive and systematic approach to allow young athletes to learn and grow in the game of golf, with all programs aligning with the Long Term Player Development guide for golf in Canada. The Academy offers the Active Start program to introduce the youngest golfers to the basic fundamentals of golf, the Active for Life program to encourage children to develop skills in an encouraging environment, and competitive development programs including the New Competitor and Developing Competitive programs that aim to shape well-rounded athletes using The Academy’s extensive resources and coaching services to develop high performance athletes. As well as offering adult instructional programs and club fitting services, The Academy also runs CN Future Links clinics and camps, the Girls’ Club program to encourage young female golfers to become engaged in the sport, and Academy coaches volunteer with the National Golf in Schools program in the local community. The Academy team consists of three PGA of Canada Class “A” Professionals; Head Teaching Professional Megan Chapman, Associate Teaching Professional G.W. King, and Associate Teaching Professional Mike Pollard.

Apprentice/Candidate for Membership of the Year – Adam Tobin

Assistant Professional, Whistler Bear Golf Club

As a dedicated and hard-working up-and-coming professional, Adam Tobin’s mentors’ include; Whistle Bear Head Professional Chris Wehrle and former Tobiano Director of Golf Miles Mortensen, where Tobin worked as part of the initial set up team prior to joining Whistle Bear in 2011. Tobin, who hails from Cape Breton Nova Scotia, is a considerate team player who manages a staff of 30 employees at Whistle Bear, heads the popular ladies’ league at the club and is hoping to earn his Class “A” designation before the end of the year. In 2012 Adam took it upon himself to make Whistle Bear a participating course in the PGA of Canada’s Patriot Golf Day. The initiative was successful at Whistle Bear and raised more than $1,000 largely in part to his efforts. The 26-year-old also volunteered his time to help the PGA of Ontario with the Playability Tests held at Cambridge Golf Club. Adam was heavily involved in a new initiative at Whistle Bear “Introduction to Girls Golf” where Whistle Bear invited girls of all ages from the community to attend a free day of golf as an introduction to the game. The day, which saw more than 70 young ladies attend, will now be a staple event at the club.

Junior Leader of the Year – Doug Lawrie

Director of Instruction, Focus Golf Group at Within Range Golf Centres

In 2012 Doug Lawrie created and implemented the Focus Golf Group Jr. Academy to nurture the game of junior golfers and help improve their ability to compete and grow in a market that was without a structured developmental program. The 45-year-old conducted three sessions of eight – week clinics, seven weeks of Summer Camps – all of which followed the Future Links development model, (May – June & July – August) and established a small Junior Development Team of which there are seven children ranging in ages of six to13 years of age.  He also developed and ran the only SNAG (Starting New at Golf) program for the 2012 season available to the public in the western half of the GTA. Lawrie created new play-based learning environment for children age three to seven with the operation of SNAG (Starting New At Golf) four – week programs throughout the season. This blossomed into SNAG birthday parties, SNAG in school programs and a complete season of SNAG where over 180 kids participated in the clinics, camps and schools. Lawrie, who has been a Class A member of the PGA of Canada since 1997, served as a member of the GAO’s Sports Development Committee for a period of two seasons (2010 / 2011) where the topic of junior golf development and the pathways to success were discussed, planned and executed with input from a Committee of 10.

Professional Development Award – Mike Kelly

Managing Director of Sport Development, GAO

Mike Kelly, or Mr. Knickers’ as he’s also known around the province, has been working with the GAO since receiving his PGA of Canada Class A designation in 2006. Over the last five years he has designed and developed numerous successful programs to build the image of PGA of Canada members and the Association brand including; development of the nationally supported Junior Golf Development Centre (JGDC) initiative. This program has transformed club youth programming to be more profitable and impactful to hundreds of families in Ontario. He created a partnership with the University of Ottawa to measure the impact of the JGDC initiative including the benefit of PGA members to facilities from both in revenue and participation. In 2011 he started the first Ontario Golf Coaches Summit reaching over 140 combined coaches. Kelly also designed the first, Women in Coaching program to increase the number of PGA female teachers/coaches and designed and developed the first coaching website specifically for PGA members including a member’s only section featuring a wealth of templates and resources to support their business. Kelly was the 2008 PGA of Ontario and Canada Junior Leader of the Year winner.

Retailer of the Year – Jon Mozes

Head Golf Professional, Nobleton Lakes GC

The owners at Nobleton Lakes took control of the golf shop in 2012. They gave Mozes and his team a budget of $30,000 and a designer to give it a new look. Under Mozes’ guidance they gutted the old shop and started with a completely new look in April 2012. Mozes, 36, has been a Class A member of the PGA of Canada for six years and is in his third season at Nobleton. Jon and his staff changed the displays in the 650-square-foot golf shop at Nobleton Lakes 15 times last year. They featured theme oriented displays including; Own the Podium (Olympic theme), Euro Cup, Mother’s day, Canada Day, Golf’s 4 Majors, Ladies’ Nights and Men’s nights. The newly renovated golf shop is more inviting for guests to browse through and allowed Jon and his team to be more creative. They rotate merchandise bi weekly from fixture to fixture which always keeps the shop looking new and fresh. They also have a small clearance rack that is used in the golf shop to give the customer all different price points to choose from.  Their tournament credit program helped drive pro shop sales well beyond initial expectations.

Golf Professional of the Year – Adam Cherry

Director of Golf, Credit Valley Golf and Country Club

Adam Cherry has owned and operated the golf shop at Credit Valley Golf & Country Club since being hired by the club in 2008. The 42-year-old, who has been a Class A member of the PGA of Canada since 2000 loves the game of golf and counts himself amongst the most fortunate that he can do what he loves day-in and day-out and earn a comfortable living while doing so. This passion for the game is at the heart of how he inspires fellow golf professionals. Adam continues to work on improving his playing ability and believes the golf professional should be amongst the best players at their club. Competing in provincial and national events, along with local pro-am tournaments is a priority for Cherry and the club supports his values. He has been fortunate enough to work at facilities under the leadership of Ben Kern, Neil Verwey, Tom Jackson and Ian Webb who have inspired him to be the best he could be in all aspects of being a Golf Professional. One of his driving goals as Director of Golf is to prepare Assistant Professionals to become Head Professionals in their own right. Nothing would make him more proud than to see a number of the top clubs in Ontario or Canada employing Head Professionals that were groomed and prepared at Credit Valley.

Teacher of the Year – Dave Smallwood

Director of Instruction, The Golf Performance Center at Whistle Bear Golf Club

After 15 years as the Head Professional at Galt CC Dave Smallwood decided to pursue his passion for coaching golf by opening his own academy where he is entering his seventh season as the Director of Instruction at the Golf Performance Center at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge. In 2012 the Whistle Bear Junior Performance Team grew to 48 players and his students enjoyed terrific success. Team members won three individual titles and the overall title at the Maple Leaf Junior Boston Pizza National Tour Championship. Garrett Rank was also selected to the 2013 Golf Canada National Men’s Team, Ben Moser and Alex Kerrigan earned full-time playing status on the PGA Tour of Canada for 2013, Victor Ciesielski played in the 2012 RBC Canadian Open, four golfers signed scholarship offers in the US in 2012 and three have signed on for 2013. Smallwood, 50, also offers a Winter Performance Program at the Whistle Bear academy, has a winter academy in Florida at Old Corkscrew, is the University of Waterloo Men’s Team swing coach, initiated a Saturday morning Girls Club from May through August and has been the Ontario Tournament Director for the Maple Leaf Junior Tour for the past eight years. Smallwood supervises an instruction staff of five full-time PGA professional instructors and four part time PGA professional instructors.

Coach of the Year – Jon Roy

Head Provincial Coach, GAO

In 2002, Jon graduated from the University of Victoria and moved to Toronto to embark on a career coaching golf. He began his career under the guidance and mentorship of Henry Brunton. After six years working and managing his junior golf programs, the 36-year-old moved into his current role as Head Provincial Coach for Ontario where he works with a team of 20 players – 10 boys and 10 girls – every year. He assists each player on Team Ontario to design a performance plan, and manage this plan with the athlete through the year. Roy is a leader and innovator in the field of coaching golf who has consistently developed innovative and special programs, not the least of which has been the development of the “Golf Development Centres” across Canada. Outside his duties with the GAO, Roy also runs a successful coaching business (“Golf Performance Coaches”) where he caters to a group of about 30 athletes who are serious and committed to improving golf. His primary focus is coaching athletes, but his time is also spent learning from great coaches in sport and in mentoring other coaches. He has also taught at Georgian College for the past five years in both the degree and diploma programs. Roy has been a Class A member of the PGA of Canada for 10 years.

Player of the Year – Bill Walsh Jr.

Teaching Professional, Fairtree Golf Centre

Bill Walsh Jr., a nine-year Class A member of the PGA of Canada, picked up his first PGA of Ontario Player of the Year honours after earning $11,400 in 11 PGA of Ontario events in 2012. Walsh, who is into his second year teaching out for Fairtree Golf Centre in Markham, finished among the 10-top in each of the events he entered. He heads into 2013 in second spot on the PGA of Ontario All-time money list at $83,414, less than $19,000 behind leader Danny King. The 39-year-old picked up one PGA of Ontario victory in 2012 with a one shot victory at the Assistants’ Championship at Peninsula Lakes Golf Club over Michael Resciniti. It’s the second time he’s claimed the title having won it back in 2008. The York Downs G&CC member finished second at the PGA of Ontario Merit Vacations Match Play Championship, T2 at the Fall Championship, second-net at the PGA of Ontario Pro Junior Championship and T7 at the PGA of Ontario Championship. Walsh also settled for second and a cheque for $16,450 at the Quebec PGA’s $150,000 Rogers Canada Cup Presented by Via Rail after losing in a playoff to Bryn Parry. Walsh is currently No. 8 among the PGA of Canada Top-10 player rankings.