In the News

Jay Larscheid Elected 24th President of the Southwest PGA

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Jay Larscheid of Gilbert, Ariz., was elected the 24th President of the Southwest Professional Golfers' Association of America by PGA members at the Association's 61st Annual Meeting. Larscheid is the PGA General Manager at Sunland Springs Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. Prior to being elected Southwest PGA President, he served as Vice President and Secretary of the Section.

Succeeding Larscheid as Vice President is Al Sutton of Scottsdale, Ariz., who served the past year as Secretary of the Southwest PGA. Sutton is the PGA Director of Golf at Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Country Club.

Steve Leonard, of Buckeye, Ariz., was elected to succeed Sutton as Southwest PGA Secretary. A former member of the Southwest PGA Board of Directors, Leonard serves as the PGA General Manager at Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz..

Jamey Lewis, of Anthem, Ariz., who served as the 23rd President of the Southwest PGA since 2017, assumes the role of Southwest PGA Honorary President.

In addition, three members were elected and sworn in to the Southwest PGA Board of Directors. Serving three-year terms are: Mark Gurnow, 62, of Phoenix, the PGA General Manager at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club in Gold Canyon, Ariz.; Travis McCutchan, 39, of Scottsdale, the PGA Head Golf Professional at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, and Danny Medina, 37, of Tucson, the PGA Director of Golf at Omni Tucson National Golf Resort.

Born and raised in Sioux Falls, S.D., Larscheid, 56, began his career in the Southwest PGA in 1990 as a PGA Apprentice at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale. He earned his membership in the PGA of America in 1996, the same year he was named the PGA Head Golf Professional at McCormick Ranch.

In 2001 Larscheid accepted the PGA Head Golf Professional position at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, and was promoted to PGA General Manager after three seasons. In December of 2015, he moved on to his current position as PGA General Manager at Sunland Springs Golf Club.

Larscheid was elected to the Southwest PGA Board of Directors in 2010 and served as chairman of the Southwest PGA Junior Golf Committee. Additionally, he chaired the Southwest PGA Special Awards Committee and served on the Southwest PGA Governance Committee.

He was honored in 2011 with the Southwest PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, which recognizes a PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. Larscheid was also recognized nationally in 2008 by the American Junior Golf Association as their Golf Professional of the Year. Larscheid has served on the Southwest PGA Foundation Board of Directors for the past 12 years.

Sutton, 54, born in Asheville, N.C. and raised in Long Beach Island, N.J., earned his membership in the PGA of America in 1993. Before his current position at Paradise Valley, Sutton worked as the first Assistant Golf Professional at some of the top facilities in the country including: Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., Navesink Country Club in Middletown, N.J., and Fiddler's Elbow Country Club in Far Hills, N.J. He earned his first PGA Head Golf Professional position in 1996 at Mendham (N.J.) Golf & Tennis Club, where he remained for three seasons before accepting the PGA Director of Golf position at Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli, Pa.

Sutton was elected by the membership to the Southwest PGA Board of Directors in 2016. He served on numerous committees during his time in the Southwest PGA. After his election to the Board, he was appointed chairman of the Education and Hall of Fame Committees. In his short time as Education Chairman, Sutton and his committee has administered numerous seminars and education opportunities for Southwest PGA membership.

He was appointed Secretary of the Southwest PGA by the Board of Directors of the Southwest PGA in April 2018, filling the vacated role of former Secretary Mike Scully, who accepted a position outside of the Section.

Before relocating to Arizona, Sutton volunteered his time with the board of directors and served on many committees in New Jersey and Philadelphia. He was honored as the 2006 Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities and the 2008 PING Fitter of the Year.

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Leonard, 51, has spent the majority of his 26-year career in the golf industry in the Southwest PGA. Leonard was a member of the golf team at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., before transferring to East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn., where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications.

Following college, Leonard began his career in golf with a PGA apprentice position in 1992 at Marriott's Griffin Gate Resort & Spa in Lexington, Ky. He transferred as a seasonal position to Marriott’s Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, Calif., where he spent one year before relocating to Arizona for the same position at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, where he remained for four years.

Leonard earned his membership in the PGA of America in 1997 and obtained his first PGA Head Golf Professional position at Kierland Golf Club in Scottsdale. Following a four-year stint as the PGA General Manager at Savannah (Ga.) Quarters Country Club, Leonard returned to the valley for PGA General Manager positions at Golf Club of Estrella, Moon Valley Country Club and Tatum Ranch Golf Club, before moving on to his current position at Talking Stick.

Always very active with Southwest PGA governance, Leonard has served on numerous committees over the years. He was elected by the Southwest PGA membership to the Board of Directors in 2017. He served as chairman of the Southwest PGA Coaching Challenge Committee.

Leonard was honored by the Commonwealth of Kentucky with the title of Kentucky Colonel, which is the highest title of honor bestowed to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation.

About The Southwest Section PGA:
The Southwest Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in Arizona and Southern Nevada who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Southwest PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, junior golf programs and events, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With 1284 members and associate members, the Southwest PGA is the fifth largest of the 41 regional entities or Sections that comprise the PGA of America.  For more information about the Southwest PGA, please visit www.southwestpga.com and join us on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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