BRENT LINGEL HEADLINES 2022 SOUTHWEST PGA AWARD RECIPIENTS
Honored as the 49th recipient of the Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – 11-21-22 – Brent Lingel, PGA General Manager at Rolling Hills Golf Course and Dorado Golf and Country Club in Tucson, Ariz., has been named the 49th recipient of Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, the highest annual honor bestowed by the Southwest PGA on a PGA Professional.
“I’m completely blown away by being named the Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year,” said Lingel. “I can’t explain how much it means to me to be recognized and honored by my fellow PGA Members in my home state and Section. There are so many outstanding Professionals in the Southwest PGA and to be singled out as the Professional of the Year is something I will forever cherish.”
Lingel heads the 2022 Southwest PGA Awards class for “qualities of leadership, strong moral character, and a substantial record of service” to the Southwest PGA and the game of golf. He will be honored at the Southwest PGA Awards Ceremony in February of 2023.
The Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year – Born and raised in Tucson, Lingel was introduced to the game by his grandfather, who is a former bomber pilot for the United States Air Force and flew missions in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. As a teen, Lingel worked at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Golf Course (later named General William Blanchard Golf Course), helping clean carts and pick the driving range so he could play and practice at the course. In high school he lettered in both baseball and golf, where he was a two-time, all-city member of the baseball team and captain of the golf team. After a couple years at Central Arizona College and Pima Community College, Lingel completed his college education graduating from the University of Arizona in Tucson, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. Following graduation, Lingel spent six years as an assistant golf professional at Tucson Country Club, earning his membership in the PGA of America in 2008. The following year he returned to the General William Blanchard Golf Course as the PGA Director of Golf. He then served for six years as the PGA Head Golf Professional at Keeton Park Golf Course in Dallas, Texas, before accepting his current position at Rolling Hills. He is the owner of Generation Golf, LLC., which leases both Rolling Hills Golf Course and Dorado Golf and Country Club. Since acquiring Rolling Hills in 2018, he has doubled the total revenue in four years, and in the first year at Dorado, a 50% increase in revenue.
Lingel describes being a PGA Professional as the “best thing that has ever happened in his life.” He measures his performance as a PGA Professional by how much he can positively impact those around him through the game of golf. Lingel feels the most rewarding aspect of being a Professional is mentoring others and witnessing their continued growth as his assistants and others in the program advance their careers and become the future leaders in the industry. Lingel is very involved with the community in Tucson volunteering his time, and money, for PGA HOPE, Fisher House and hosting the annual Southwest PGA Birdies for Good fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he has cooked meals for families for the holidays. Lingel is a certified PGA Professional in Golf Operations and currently working towards a PGA Master Professional distinction. Giving back to the Section is also important to Lingel as he is the current Vice President of the Southern Chapter PGA, his second stint serving on the Chapter’s Executive Committee (2009-2012). He has served on numerous committees both in the Section and Chapter. Lingel was named the 2019 Southwest PGA Public Merchandiser of the Year, having previously earned the same recognition in the Northern Texas PGA in 2017. He was also honored with the 2014 Northern Texas PGA Player Development Award and as the Southwest PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year in 2010. Among his numerous awards in the Southern Chapter PGA, Lingel was honored with the 2019 Southern Chapter PGA Professional of the Year award.
The Southwest PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year – Megan Scholl, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, has been named the Southwest PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year for her leadership, ability to inspire fellow PGA Professionals, promotion of golf and service to the PGA. Scholl is a graduate of the PGA Professional Golf Management program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she was a member of the women’s golf team. Following graduation in 2020, she was elected to membership in the PGA of America. Scholl began her career in golf as an assistant golf professional at Pinehurst Country Club in Denver with additional stops at Colorado Springs Country Club and Cherokee Ridge Golf Course before landing her current position at Grayhawk. She credits the day-to-day operations in the golf shop for her development on learning the importance of positive customer relations. Those experiences led to her transitioning into the retail operation with her promotion as the retail manager for the facility. Outside of operations, Scholl plays a large role in the junior golf program at Grayhawk. She coaches for PGA Junior League, PING Junior Interclub and runs weekly junior camps. In addition to her responsibilities at Grayhawk, she served as a district director the past two years for the Southwest PGA Junior Prep Tour. Scholl volunteers on three committees with the Southwest PGA – Diversity and Inclusion, Social and Sponsorship Appreciation and Junior Golf. The Southwest PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year honor is Scholl’s first award as a member of the Southwest PGA.
The Southwest PGA Teacher of the Year – Derek Deminsky, PGA Director of Instruction at Forty-Niner Country Club in Tucson, has been named the Southwest PGA Teacher of the Year for his outstanding performance as a golf teacher, innovator and coach. Originally from Rogers, Minn., Deminsky relocated to Arizona in 2007 to attend the Golf Academy of Arizona. A year after completing the program, he began as a PGA Associate at Forty-Niner Country Club and was elected to PGA Membership in 2013. Deminsky owns and operates the very successful golfbettertucson.com website and is very active on all social media, where on Instagram alone, he has over 135,000 followers. His weekly “reach” on Instagram is over 1.5 million people with videos and posts having been viewed over 30 million times. Through all his different channels of contact, he has given golf instruction to over 2,500 golfers this year. Those lessons were conducted through in-person private instruction, online lessons, clinics and camps. His online membership platform continues to expand with lessons and courses available. Due to demand, he will be launching a new platform and site to host more members and courses. With his expertise in short game and backspin, he was selected to present this past November in Andrew Rice’s Coach Camp and will be partnering with Chris Como on another spin project this winter. Deminsky takes pride in teaching all levels from the beginner to the Tour professional. His client list has included over 30 players from the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Latino America, LPGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour and Champions Tour. He still finds time to play and compete in Section and Chapter events, as well as run his “Golf Better Podcast.” He was honored by the Southern Chapter PGA as the 2017 Teacher of the Year.
The Southwest PGA Youth Player Development Award – Liam Hunt, PGA Teaching Professional at DragonRidge Country Club in Henderson, Nev., is the recipient of the Southwest PGA Youth Player Development Award. The honor recognizes a PGA Professional who has displayed extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of youth player development. Born in Pretoria, South Africa and raised in Manchester, England, Hunt attended high school in San Jose, Calif., and recently graduated from the PGA Professional Golf Management program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This past spring, he earned his membership in the PGA of America. While at UNLV he began working at DragonRidge with PGA Master Teaching Professional Mike Davis with his very successful Junior Golf Academy programs. His passion for teaching juniors began in 2014 after volunteering as a coach at The First Tee of Silicon Valley in Northern California, where he recorded over 3,000 hours of volunteer time. Hunt is very involved in PGA Junior League, including the Championship season, at DragonRidge, where the club the program has grown annually. In addition to volunteering his time for free junior golf clinics with Davis, Hunt serves on the Junior Golf Committee for the Southern Nevada Chapter PGA and runs programs for the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association. This is Hunt’s first award as a member of the Southwest PGA.
The Southwest PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award – Mark Gurnow, PGA General Manager at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club in Gold Canyon, Ariz., is the recipient of the Southwest PGA’s Bill Strausbaugh Award, presented to a PGA Member who demonstrates exceptional character, integrity and leadership by way of teaching and mentoring other PGA Professionals. Born in Montgomery, Ala., Gurnow graduated from the University of Alabama, where he was a three-year member on the men’s golf team. Following graduation, he entered the golf industry as the head golf professional at Ponce De Leon Country Club in Florida and earned his membership in the PGA of America in 1982. After a year playing on the PGA Tour in 1985, Gurnow relocated to the Phoenix area and worked at Karsten Golf Club, Alta Mesa Golf Club and Las Sendas Golf Club before joining Troon Golf in 2001. He has served in his current role at Superstition Mountain since 2013. In his 40 years of PGA membership, Gurnow has mentored countless up-and-coming PGA Associates and Assistant Golf Professionals, many of whom have gone on to leadership roles in the industry. He prides himself on setting the example to always do the right thing and do it with a great attitude. He noted he lives his life, and teaches future PGA Professionals, by the famous C. S. Lewis quote “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Having volunteered on numerous committees throughout his career, Gurnow served on the Board of Directors in the North Florida PGA from 1984 through 1988 and the Southwest PGA twice, from 1992 to 1999, and 2016 thought 2021. In 1994 Gurnow captured two majors – the Southwest PGA Match Play Championship and the Southwest PGA Championship. This is his second award in the Section having earned the Southwest PGA Player of the Year award in 1994. Gurnow competed in the 1985 and 1988 PGA Championships.
The Southwest PGA Professional Development Award – Brian Jones, PGA Associate Golf Administrator of the Professional Golf Management program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), is the recipient of the Southwest PGA Professional Development Award. The award is presented annually to a PGA Professional who exhibits commendable additions to the education of PGA Professionals. Originally from Fallbrook, Calif., Jones enrolled in the Professional Golf Management program in 2008 at UNLV, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 and Master of Science degree in 2014. He was elected to membership in the PGA of America in 2012 and began working full-time within the PGM program at UNLV in 2018. In his current role, Jones is responsible for student internship placement and facility correspondence, teaching, academic advising, and management of campus golf shop operations. He takes great pride in mentoring and assisting individuals in their personal journeys in achieving their goals. Annually, Jones places over 100 PGM internships across the country which helps aspiring PGA Professionals network and receive valuable field experience. He recently completed the Certified Professional Program in Executive Management with the hopes of earning his PGA Master Professional designation in the future. The Southwest PGA Professional Development Award is Jones' second award in the Southwest Section having earned the same honor in 2020.
The Southwest PGA Player Development Award – Landyn Lewis, PGA Director of Player Development for Tucson City Golf, is the recipient of the Southwest PGA Player Development Award, which recognizes a PGA Professional for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development. Born and raised in Tucson, Lewis first played golf during his sophomore year at Tucson High School. After graduation he started working at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club as a Player Service Attendant and quickly found his passion when he began coaching junior golfers. He earned his membership in the PGA of America in 2017 and became the Program Director for the First Tee of Tucson, where within his first three years, the program doubled in size. In his current position for Tucson City Golf, Lewis created the Tucson Golf Program, which includes various player development programs to introduce people to the game, help existing players improve, provide classes/clinics/camps and encourage people to get out on the golf course. Those programs include Get Golf Ready, Operation 36, PGA Jr League, PING Interclub and PGA Family Cup. He conducts, coordinates and promotes all the initiatives resulting in all programs flourishing city-wide. Lewis has served on the Southern Chapter PGA Board of Directors since becoming a PGA member in 2017 and is currently the Secretary of the Chapter. He serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Section and co-chairs the Southern Chapter PGA Junior Golf Committee. Lewis serves as the Associate Head Coach for the Men's Golf Team at Pima College. Among his numerous awards received in the Southern Chapter, Lewis was honored with the 2018 Southwest PGA Youth Player Development Award.
The Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities – Samantha Sorensen, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Las Vegas (Nev.) Country Club, is the recipient of the Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities. The award recognizes PGA Professionals who have excelled as businesspersons and merchandisers in the promotion of golf. Sorensen earned her PGA membership in March of 2020 after graduating from the PGA Professional Golf Management program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her merchandising philosophy involves strategic merchandise buying as well as thoughtful displays and advertising to help members and guests find what they need and to grow the game of golf. She feels it’s important to understand who you are buying for and provide them with items that they are drawn to at a price point that matches the facility type. At Las Vegas Country Club, she carries unique products in the golf shop that a customer may not find at a local golf store. Her monthly detailed analytics of every item helps her strategically eliminate brands and has successfully introduced higher price point items that have a positive impact on the cost of goods. She frequently changes displays to give the shop a “new” look even if there are no new products which ensures all items in the shop are seen. This is Sorensen’s first award as a member of the Southwest PGA.
The Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities – Greg Adams, PGA Head Golf Professional at Prescott Golf Club in Dewey, Ariz., is the recipient of the Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities. The award recognizes PGA Professionals who have excelled as businesspersons and merchandisers in the promotion of golf. Born in West St. Paul, Minn., Adams attended Irondale High School and Brainerd Technical College (now Central Lakes College) in Minnesota. He earned his membership in the PGA of America in 2018 while he was an assistant professional at Pinewood Country Club in Munds Park, Ariz. A U.S. Army Veteran, Adams graduated first in his class from Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Va., and served under the Army Air Defense Command. After spending a long career in the automotive industry, Adams entered the PGA PGM working at many facilities en route to earning his PGA membership. He strives to engage every customer that enters the golf shop with the best, cleanest, and most popular items. Always keeping an open mind to the customer’s needs and suggestions, he believes no special order is too small or too insignificant for every customer. He attends numerous merchandise shows across the country to view new products in the market, as well as visiting other facilities to expand his operation on displays and products. He recently renovated the golf shop to ensure customers have the opportunity to pass every fixture. His complimentary club fittings have greatly increased hard good sales. He credits the training of his staff as a critical aspect of the sales growth at the facility. This is Adams’ first award in the Southwest PGA.
The Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities – Andy Silcox, PGA Head Golf Professional at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, is the recipient of the Southwest PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Resort Facilities. The award recognizes PGA Professionals who have excelled as businesspersons and merchandisers in the promotion of golf. A member of the PGA of America since 2018, Silcox oversees the entire golf operation including merchandising at Camelback. Upon arriving at the club in 2021, he completely transformed the golf shop that has resulted in a 40% increase in sales in 2022. He attributes the success of sales to his merchandising strategy of offering products year-round that are unique and spark interest across all segments of play whether a member, resort guest or the general public. He notes the merchandising operation is most successful when all products are constantly rotated throughout the golf shop and displays are kept fresh to attract as many eyes as possible on all merchandise. Silcox takes pride in mentoring the assistant golf professionals at Camelback with his merchandising strategy and techniques. He previously worked as an assistant professional at TPC of Scottsdale and Troon Country Club. This is Silcox’s first award as a member of the Southwest PGA.
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