2024 Special Awards Winners
David Huffman, PGA (South Park Country Club) - Golf Professional of the Year: One of the highest honors the PGA can bestow, David Huffman, PGA, becomes the 69th recipient of the Kentucky Golf Professional of the Year award for his outstanding services as an overall PGA of America Golf Professional. Huffman celebrates his fifth year as Head Professional at South Park CC this month and has faced various challenges during his tenure. South Park faced natural disasters and significant staffing changes in 2023, but all obstacles were swiftly and successfully overcome due to David’s leadership. He is not only an asset to South Park and their membership, but the Section as a whole. David has served in multiple capacities on the KPGA Board for three years and always focuses heavily on the Assistant Professionals and how to grow their membership. From growing the game to being a leader at South Park and in the Section, David Huffman exemplifies a model PGA Professional.
Mitchell Moore, PGA (Hopkinsville Golf and Country Club) - Teacher & Coach of the Year: From hosting a multitude of Teaching Summits and Webinars to giving over 1,000 lessons per year over the last eight years, it is clear Mitchell has a great passion and dedication to teaching the game of golf. A four-time Golf Digest award winner, he has made great strides and contributions in the teaching and coaching world through initiatives like his online lesson business and bolstering staff at the Mitchell Moore Golf Academy to help develop his players. He has an active online presence, with over 3,000 posts and followers across social media platforms, and a YouTube channel with over 75 videos dedicated to teaching and coaching. He has coached dozens of successful professional, collegiate, and amateur golfers, as well as acting as a mentor for many teaching professionals. Mitchell is dedicated to growing the game in all avenues and is now a two-time recipient of this award.
Matt Fraser, PGA (Keene Trace Golf Club) - Deacon Palmer Award: Reflecting on his journey in the past few years, Matt expresses how grateful he is to Keene Trace and its members as he fought Hodgkin lymphoma. Thankfully in remission, he strives to support others in the same way they supported him - especially through the game of golf. He worked throughout the entirety of his treatment, allowing him to focus on the game he loves and providing an escape from his situation. Matt is someone to look towards for support and positivity in all aspects of life and in the game of golf.
Ralph Landrum, PGA (World of Golf) - Patriot Award: The lead professional at one of Kentucky’s first PGA HOPE Chapters at World of Golf, PGA HOPE Florence has become a staple yearly chapter. Ralph will be leading four sessions in 2024, but his dedication to giving back to those who have served our country continues in many avenues. At World of Golf, Ralph offers a discount to Veterans, hosts fundraisers each September for Patriot Golf Day, and has a Hit the Green contest throughout the summer, with all proceeds donated to the local Veterans Affairs chapter. On a personal level, he has completed PGA HOPE trainings three times and was a part of the 12-person PGA of America team that runs the New York City Marathon to raise money for PGA HOPE on two occasions. Ralph strives to create a welcoming environment and works to support Veterans in both his personal and professional lives.
Keith Reese, PGA (Valhalla Golf Club) - PGA Golf Executive of the Year: Throughout his 33 years at Valhalla Golf Club, with ten of those years as PGA General Manager, Keith has helped guide Valhalla through many eras of growth and change. He has constantly remained a positive and reassuring presence to both staff and members, most recently with the changing of hands of ownership and extensive renovations on the property. Keith and ownership took charge of updating all aspects of the operation in conjunction with these changes, from updating staff policies to streamlining the onboarding process. Under his leadership, Valhalla has also hosted multiple prestigious PGA of America, KPGA, and APGA events, including the upcoming 2024 PGA Championship. Keith also maintains a high level of commitment to growing the game through initiatives like PGA HOPE and donating to high school golf. Through supporting his staff, members, the community, and more, Keith exemplifies what it means to be a Golf Executive.
Scott Sedgwick, PGA (Louisville Country Club) - Bill Strausbaugh Award: A now four-time recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award, Scott has demonstrated his dedication to creating a successful golf operation and cultivating growth for PGA of America Golf Professionals in a multitude of ways. He has mentored hundreds of employees throughout his time in the golf industry, providing them the confidence and tools to succeed in their career endeavors. His outstanding integrity and character are clear with everyone he works with, from members of LCC to his staff. He has also served on KPGA Committees, furthering his commitment to making the Section the best it can be. Scott’s contributions continue to create longevity and a bright future for the Kentucky Section and the game of golf in the Commonwealth.
Austin Burke (Audubon Country Club) - Assistant Professional of the Year: Now in his fourth season at Audubon, Austin has continually proven himself to be a leader in golf operations through various tasks and initiatives. His work has impacted every level of golf operations, from working on Audubon’s project to add indoor simulators to coaching junior golfers through leading PGA Jr. League teams. In addition to high-level projects, Austin maintains his individual lessons and desire to grow his relationships with every Audubon member. He continues to work in various capacities with the Section, as well, and currently serves as the President of the Assistants and Associates committee. Additionally, his services to the KPGA support both the Kentucky Golf Foundation and other charitable organizations through the 100 Hole Effort initiative. Austin is committed to serving and growing in any capacity, from helping Audubon members to those in the Kentucky Section and the community.
Tyrus York, PGA (High Performance Golf Academy) - Player Development Award: Throughout his time as co-owner of the High Performance Golf Academy, Tyrus has been incredibly successful in continuing education through a variety of programs. He has driven immense growth in these programs, namely the Mega Junior Camps, PGA Jr. League, LPGA Girls Golf, and Ladies 9 League. Tyrus's approaches to these programs, such as separating junior golfers by skill level rather than age, help foster a welcoming learning environment and keep golfers engaged in the game. He is also a member of the Kentucky PGA Development Committee, where he stays involved with Section members and their growth of the game initiatives. A two-time Kentucky Teacher of the Year award winner and the head coach for Transylvania University’s women’s golf team, Tyrus remains committed to Player Development in many regards.
Nathan Downs, PGA (Greenbrier Golf & Country Club) - Merchandiser of the Year (Private): Winning his second Merchandiser of the Year Award (Private), Nathan’s philosophies regarding a successful merchandise operation have immensely paid off for Greenbrier Golf & Country Club. He has provided fantastic merchandise and service to the membership by relying heavily on critical areas like data-based decision-making, diversification of the merchandise mix, effective marketing, and more. Nathan has helped drive high percentages of growth in all aspects of merchandising over the years, in addition to helping train and empower Greenbrier’s Assistant Professionals.
Whitney Paul, PGA (Kearney Hill Golf Links) - Merchandiser of the Year (Public): Whitney constantly strives to stock unique goods and products in Kearney Hill’s shop, focusing on differentiating what they have available. She is meticulous in researching the area’s market and following trends to ensure she provides clients with the best possible products. Whitney also places a high emphasis on client relationships, with training staff on the products and creating a space for the clients to try the items helping to bolster this. From the shop configuration to researching trends, Whitney always has the client in mind.
John Dickson, PGA (Kearney Hill Golf Links) - Youth Player Development Award: Receiving his third PGA of America Game Changer award just last month at the 2024 PGA Show, John’s contributions to youth development in golf are far-reaching. In the Commonwealth, he has been the driving force behind an array of junior golf programs in the Lexington area, namely his PGA Jr. League program, the largest in Kentucky and one of the top 25 largest in the nation. He has launched many new programs, such as the “Play Golf LEX Middle School Golf Program,” and revitalized older ones. He gives his time in every aspect of the golf landscape, teaching clinics across Kentucky through the Blind Golf Association and Special Olympics and volunteering as a coach for the Do Something Extraordinary Golf Club. John is committed to providing golf education to youth in every way he can, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere, and impacting the lives of junior golfers past what they learn about the game.
Joel Behlmer (JB Golf Resource) - Sales Representative of the Year: An independent sales representative, Joel represents johnnie-O, Swannies, Byron Nelson, Vessel, golf Drawn, US Kids, Vimhue, and Theragun in the Commonwealth. He supports the customers of each brand at the highest level in all aspects of his work, from sales calls to presence at sponsored events. Additionally, Joel demonstrates his dedication to growing the game through his work with US Kids, as the company focuses on bringing the game to kids and their families. Joel constantly shows support to everyone he works with across all accounts.
Kentucky PGA Special Awards
Golf Professional of the Year
One of the highest honors the Association can bestow on a working club professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional.
Assistant Professional of the Year
Awarded for overall excellence as an assistant professional.
Teacher of the Year
Recognizes a PGA Professional who is an outstanding teacher of golf among the ranks of PGA membership.
Sales Representative of the Year
Recognizes an outstanding Golf Sales Representative in the Kentucky.
Youth Player Development Award
Recognizes the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth.
Media Representative of the Year
Recognizes an outstanding Golf Media Representative in the Kentucky.
Bill Strausbaugh Award
Recognizes PGA Professionals who by their day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community.
PGA Professional Development Award
Recognizes the PGA Professional who is the model educator of PGA Golf Professionals.
Player Development Award
Recognizes a PGA Professional for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development.
Merchandiser of the Year
Recognizes those PGA Professionals who have excelled as business persons & merchandisers in the promotion of golf at a private, public or a resort facility.