West Allis, WI – The Wisconsin Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (WPGA) announces their 2022 Special Award Winners acknowledging exemplary service, dedication and accomplishments in golf. Eleven golf professionals from the section have been selected for their great accomplishments on and off the course and will receive their awards during the annual WPGA Spring Meeting to be held at The Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells on March 7. The Wisconsin PGA awards are proudly supported by the Wisconsin Golf Sales Association and PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Headlining this year’s award winners is Golf Professional of the Year, Mark Voeller, PGA. Voeller is the Director of Instruction at Golf Galaxy in Brookfield and the current section vice president.
“Many of the names on the WPGA Golf Professional of the Year award have been my mentors and friends. To be bestowed the award from this organization is an honor,” said Voeller. “I am proud to be included on the list alongside these great golf professionals.”
Bios for each professional will be posted below as they are released on social media over the course of the next 11 days.
• Golf Professional of the Year – Mark Voeller, PGA of Golf Galaxy Brookfield (Brookfield)
• Assistant Golf Professional of the Year – Jake Van Fleet, PGA of Chenequa Country Club (Hartland)
• Teacher of the Year – Molly Braid, PGA of Westmoor Country Club (Brookfield)
• PGA Professional Development Award – Danny Rainbow, PGA of SentryWorld (Stevens Point)
• Youth Player Development Award – Jeremy Cabalka, PGA of Pleasant View Golf Course (Middleton)
• Player Development Award – Travis Becker, PGA of Beloit Club and Ironworks Golf Academy (Beloit)
• Bill Strausbaugh Award – Vince Pulizzano, PGA of Westmoor Country Club (Brookfield)
• Patriot Award – Jack Gaudion, PGA of The Legend Clubs (Wales)
• Merchandiser of the Year (Private) – Dave Kemnitz, PGA of Minocqua Country Club (Minocqua)
• Merchandiser of the Year (Public) – Tom Dolby, PGA of Pine Grove Country Club (Iron Mountain, Mich.)
• Merchandiser of the Year (Resort) – Jim Lombardo, PGA of Erin Hills (Erin)
About Mark Voeller, PGA, 2022 Golf Professional of the Year
Upon graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1994 Voeller, a Whitewater native, began chasing his PGA Tour dreams for a few years. Eventually he would settle in and set his sights on becoming a PGA Professional and a career in golf. Elected to PGA membership in 2002, he has been in his role at Golf Galaxy Brookfield as Director of Golf Instruction for the past 15 years.
“The journey to this honor has been 51 years in the making for Voeller. To say he’s had golf and the PGA embedded in his DNA from a very young age would be a very accurate assessment,” said Chris Hoel, assistant executive director of the WPGA. “His parents were actively involved with several facets of the game. While his godfather, Gene Frank, just celebrated 50 years as a PGA member. In the junior golf ranks he had several peers that had PGA Professionals as fathers. There always seemed to be a direct correlation.”
Of all his golf seasons, the 2021 season proved to be a banner year for Voeller both on the job and also with his involvement with the Wisconsin PGA. Heading up the lesson, club fitting, and repairs department at the Brookfield retail location, he finished in the top 10 across the entire company in terms of lessons given. His department also was a key part of producing store sales numbers that were 33% more than budgeted. In terms of section involvement Voeller was the chairperson of the membership committee which gave direction and oversight on the Wisconsin PGA’s marketing campaign. Serving his sixth year on the Wisconsin PGA board of directors he was elected as the section vice president in October. In addition, the Pewaukee resident represented the Wisconsin PGA at the PGA of America’s annual meeting in Milwaukee and also was involved with the section’s responsibilities for the Ryder Cup. In his spare time Voeller squeezed in participating at over 15 Wisconsin PGA events. It was a terrific display of visibility to his fellow WPGA members and volunteerism as a section leader.
Voeller lives in Pewaukee with his wife Kara.
About the Wisconsin PGA Section Annual Awards Process
The Wisconsin Section PGA honors golf professionals annually. Professionals are nominated by fellow professionals for an award(s). After a professional is nominated it is his or her choice as to whether to submit materials for consideration. Materials are generally due by early December. The materials are then reviewed by a different sub-committee for each award. The WPGA Past President takes their feedback and finalists are determined. Once the finalists have been selected, their materials are forwarded on to the finalist committee made up of the District Directors, Independent Directors and the WPGA Executive Director. The finalist committee votes on their top choice for each award. Once all the votes have been compiled, the winners are notified and then the information is released to the general public early in the calendar year. The winners are recognized for their accomplishment at the annual Spring Meeting awards ceremony.
About the Wisconsin PGA Section
The Wisconsin Section is one of the 41 sections that comprise the regional entities of the PGA of America. Over 500 members and associates belong to the Wisconsin Section, stretching from areas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to almost the entire state of Wisconsin. Annually, the Wisconsin Section conducts over 40 professional events, operates their foundation – PGA Reach Wisconsin, and participates in several growth-of-the-game activities including PGA Junior League, Drive, Chip and Putt and PGA Hope. Wisconsin PGA Office is located at 11350 W. Theo Trecker Way in West Allis, Wis.
About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, comprised of nearly 28,000 male and female golf professionals who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The organization serves millions of people throughout its 41 PGA Sections nationwide. Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has enhanced its leadership position by growing the game of golf through its premier spectator events, world-class education and training programs, significant philanthropic outreach initiatives and award-winning golf promotions.