TUMWATER, WA: For the third time in the history of the Pacific Northwest Section PGA, two PGA Professionals from the Section received PGA National Awards in the same year. Chris Runyan was awarded the 2020 Patriot Award; Jacob Lippold was named the 2020 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public facilities.

Chris Runyan, PGA, Teaching Professional at GOLFTEC in Spokane, Washington, is the recipient of the 2020 Patriot Award. As golf has become a therapeutic part of the rehabilitation process for many Veterans with disabilities, PGA Members like Runyan have dedicated their careers to serving America’s heroes. This honor bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates an unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected our country. A Marine Corps Veteran, Runyan’s family has served in virtually every major conflict since 1860, including the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War and Gulf War. Runyan has used his commitment and passion to assist fellow Veterans in finding hope through the game of golf. As a PGA Member, he has been instrumental in growing the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program for Veterans throughout the Pacific Northwest PGA Section. He also founded VETS on the Green, a complementary program to PGA HOPE that helps get PGA Professionals involved in teaching the game to Veterans, while making a difference in their lives. Runyan is a six-time recipient of the Section’s Patriot Award (’13-’16, ’18-’19).

Jacob Lippold, PGA, Head Professional at Chambers Bay Golf Course, in Tacoma, Washington, is the recipient of the 2020 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award – Public Category. The award recognizes PGA Professionals who have excelled in business and merchandising in the promotion of golf. Lippold is regarded as a detail-oriented merchandiser who is diligent, with a strong work ethic and always focused on the betterment of the bottom line. His philosophy of flexibility enables him to seamlessly transition to a new merchandising idea at any moment. He also keeps a close eye on retail trends on the local, regional, national and international levels. His diligence with vendors and reps is best realized through continued communication and open dialogue, which allows his team to establish strong relationships. He maintains close personal communication with members and guests looking for specific products, as he believes that personal touch goes a long way in repeat business. Lippold was also recognized by the Pacific Northwest PGA Section with the 2019 Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category Award.

The awards are currently scheduled to be presented on Tuesday, October 27, as part of the 2020 PGA Annual Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut. The 2019 OMEGA PGA Professional Player of the Year Ryan Vermeer, PGA; 2019 OMEGA Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Joanna Coe, PGA; and 2019 OMEGA Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year Bob Sowards, PGA will also be honored.

2020 PGA of America National Awards Recipients

  • PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Ronny Glanton, PGA, Sherrill Park Golf Course – Richardson, Texas
  • PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year: Mark Blackburn, PGA, Greystone Golf & Country Club – Birmingham, Ala. 
  • PGA Golf Executive Of The Year: Dana Garmany, PGA, Troon – Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award: Larry Dornisch, PGA, Muirfield Village Golf Club – Dublin, Ohio
  • PGA Professional Development Award: Jim McLean, PGA, Jim McLean Golf School – Coral Gables, Fla.
  • Deacon Palmer Award: J.P. Lunn, PGA, Fountain Head Country Club – Hagerstown, Md.
  • PGA Patriot Award: Christopher Runyan, PGA, GOLFTEC – Spokane, Wash.
  • PGA Player Development Award: Rich Jones, PGA, Pine Ridge Golf Club – Coram, N.Y./Golf Galaxy – Bayshore, N.Y.
  • PGA Youth Player Development Award: Chris Thomson, PGA, Wilderness Ridge Golf Club – Lincoln, Neb.
  • Herb Graffis Award: Nebraska PGA Section
  • PGA Merchandiser of the YearResort Category: Josué Reyes, PGA, Destination Kohler – Whistling Straits/Black Wolf Run – Kohler, Wis.
  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Category: Jacob Lippold, PGA, Chambers Bay Golf Course – Tacoma, Wash.
  • PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Category: Jason Ballard, PGA, Oak Hill Country Club – Rochester, N.Y.

Reminder: Special Awards Nominations are OPEN

We rely on PNW PGA Professionals to identify the best and brightest in our Section by nominating PGA Professionals who you feel are deserving of awards in 10 different categories. Please take a moment to think of your peers who have performed exceptionally this season, especially in light of this difficult time. This process is critical in recognizing the excellent contributions our PGA Professionals are making across our industry and in their communities. Only PGA Members in good standing are eligible for awards.

Nomination forms and criteria for each award are found on this website at: https://www.pnwpga.com/about/section-awards/nomination-forms.

The deadline for nominations is September 15, 2020.