2015 Section Award Winners
Bryan Tunstill, PGA, received the Section’s highest honor as Golf Professional of the Year for 2015. Tunstill has developed every aspect of his profession to the fullest degree, including golf shop operations, teaching, playing, tournament administration, rules of golf, and merchandising.
Greg Manley, PGA Head Professional at Meridian Valley CC in Kent, WA, was awarded the Bill Strausbaugh Award. He has proven to be a true mentor to his fellow PGA Professionals through 13 years of service to the Western Washington Chapter, 7 Years to the Section, and extensive community service.
Jason Aichele, PGA, Teaching Professional at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland, Washington, was named the 2015 Teacher of the Year. Aichele has brought to fruition a fantastic plan for a year-long coaching program and 3,200 square foot indoor practice facility.
Andy Mackimmie, PGA, was honored with the Horton Smith Award. Mackimmie, who has been the Section’s Chairman of Education for the past five years, has shown his commitment to furthering education in the Section by coordinating the popular Sweet Sixteen Education Seminars.
Justin Roberts, PGA was named Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. He stepped up in a big way with daily operations, as well as hosting major Section and Montana State amateur events at Canyon River GC. He also started up a junior golf program, and raised funds for it by holding a tournament.
John Grothe, PGA Head Professional at the OGA Golf Club, received the Player Development Award. Grothe was recognized for making exemplary contributions in the area of player development. He has been a leader in programs to grow the game, at little or no cost to participants.
Sara Griffin, PGA, received the Youth Player Development Award for her extensive and innovative junior golf programs at Tacoma C&GC, as well as developing her own Golf in Schools program.
Chris Runyan, PGA, of Prairie Falls GC, received the Patriot Award. Runyan spearheads a charity golf tournament that raises over $50,000 for charities supporting our veterans and he works with injured local veterans to bring golf back into their life.
Matt Brown, PGA, was named the 2015 Merchandiser of the Year for Public facilities. Brown was recognized for innovative merchandising including online sales, high-tech custom club fitting, and managing a custom club brand that he launched in 2014.
Louis Bennett, PGA Head Professional at Tetherow GC in Bend, OR was named the 2015 Merchandiser of the Year for Resort facilities. Bennett was recognized for his partnerships with golf apparel companies and local breweries for creative and successful promotions.
Scott Leritz, PGA Head Professional at Royal Oaks CC in Vancouver, WA, received the 2015 Merchandiser of the Year award for Private facilities. Leritz is recognized for the great attention to detail that he puts into merchandising and for personally reaching out to each customer.
Kathleen Brown, PGA of Esmeralda GC in Spokane, WA, was honored with the Perry Williams Award. In addition to serving the PNW PGA Rules Committee since 2013, she was the PGA Rules Official on both the 2015 Rosauers Open Invitational and the 2015 PNW PGA Professional Championship.
Derek Barron of Tacoma Golf Center in Tacoma, WA, was recognized as both the Omega Player of the Year and Assistant Player of the Year. In addition to fantastic play throughout 2015, he won the 2015 Northwest Open Invitational and tied for 7th in the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Rob Gibbons, PGA of Arrowhead GC in Molalla, OR was named the Omega Senior Player of the Year. Besides placing well in all of the Section’s senior events in 2015, he qualified for and played in the 2015 Senior PGA Professional National Championship at Bayonet & Black Horse in Seaside, CA.
Visit the PNWPGA history site to see Past Section Award Winners.