TUMWATER, Wash. (August 28, 2014) – For the first time, two PGA Professionals from the Pacific Northwest Section received PGA National Awards in the same year. Roger Wallace of Polson Bay GC in Polson, MT, was awarded the 2014 PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award and Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen of Indian Canyon GC in Spokane, WA, was named the 2014 PGA Teacher of the Year. Wallace and Gildersleeve-Jensen will be honored in a ceremony, Thursday, Nov. 20, in conjunction with the 98th PGA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.
The other nine recipients of 2014 PGA of America Awards are as follows:
- Ray Cutright, of Macon, Georgia – PGA Professional of the Year
- Tom Morton, of Sacramento, California – PGA Youth Player Development Award
- Pat Gavin, of Las Cruces, New Mexico – Horton Smith Award
- Ralph Landrum, of Crestview Hills, Kentucky – PGA Player Development Award
- Jim Dickerson, of Iowa City, Iowa – Patriot Award
- Southern California PGA Section – Herb Graffis Award
- Scott Nye, of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities
- George Ancuta, of Hackettstown, New Jersey – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facilities
- Ron Leporati, of Bedford, Pennsylvania – PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facilities
ROGER WALLACE – Bill Strausbaugh Award
Polson Bay Golf Course – Polson, Montana
Roger Wallace, PGA Director of Golf at Polson Bay Golf Course in Montana, is the PGA’s 2014 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner. The award recognizes PGA members who have distinguished themselves by mentoring fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situation and through service to the community. Wallace, 54, is a seven-time Pacific Northwest Section PGA Award winner, including four Bill Strausbaugh awards; is a former member of the National PGA Board of Directors; was Chair of the National PGA Communications and Public Relations Committee; and previously served on National Committees for Employment and Awards.
Wallace has participated in PGA Master Professional Thesis reviews for PGA members seeking the Association’s highest educational designation. During his tenure at Polson Bay, he has guided six of his PGA Assistant Professionals and three golf shop assistants to become PGA Head Professionals, PGA Directors of Golf or General Managers. As the face of golf for 27 years in a town of 5,000 on the Flathead Indian Reservation, Wallace has provided guidance on golf operations and employment to a wide range of PGA Professionals, as well as numerous counties and municipalities throughout the Inland Northwest. He is just the second member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Section to win the Bill Strausbaugh Award.
KATHY GILDERSLEEVE-JENSEN – PGA Teacher of the Year
Indian Canyon Golf Course – Spokane, Washington
Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, PGA Director of Instruction and owner of KGJgolf at Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane, Washington, is the first woman professional to be named PGA Teacher of the Year. She is also the first Pacific Northwest PGA member to be so honored.
Born in Baker City, Oregon, Gildersleeve-Jensen first played golf at age 9. She was inspired by her father, Chuck, who played golf at Washington State University, and her mother, Kay, who was a 10 handicap player. As a teen, Gildersleeve-Jensen attended a golf camp and met the legendary Billy Casper. Her inspirational mentors helping elevate her career include: the late PGA Professional Joe Durgan, of Cheney, Washington; Randy & Ross Henry, of Henry-Griffitts, Ltd.; and PGA Professional Gary Lindeblad, of Indian Canyon Golf Course. Gildersleeve-Jensen turned professional in 1985, and was elected to PGA membership in 1990.
Gildersleeve-Jensen, 52, was appointed to the Pacific Northwest Section Board of Directors in 2012, the first woman so named in governance in the Section’s history. That year, she also was named the Pacific Northwest PGA Teacher of the Year, which emanated from guiding more than 100 youth to achieve collegiate success; along with having the highest–ranked youth tournament players in Washington/Idaho; and many adult players who have become club champions. Included among her list of players are celebrities, as well as Canadian, Asian and Symetra Tour Professionals.
In 2013, Golf Digest selected Gildersleeve-Jensen No. 4 in its “Best Teachers in State” roster; and she was among the 2013 Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Teachers Growth of the Game list. Gildersleeve-Jensen continually incorporates new technology, science and social media into her work, including Web Cam Live Personal Online lessons. She is an eBook Author of “How to Play Golf … Inside 50 Yards” and has written countless magazine articles on the game.