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Special Awards

Annually the Wisconsin PGA honors several golf professionals throughout the section for their great accomplishments on and off the course. As PGA Members you can nominate your fellow professionals for an award, or multiple awards, described in detail below.


  • Golf Professional of the Year – One of the highest honors – recognizing overall excellence and outstanding service as a WPGA Professional. Click here to view the application: 2022 Golf Professional of the Year
  • Teacher & Coach of the Year – Bestows special recognition on outstanding teaching and coaching practices. View:  2022 Teacher & Coach of the Year
  • Youth Player Development Award – Recognizing excellence in junior golf and youth development. View the application: 2022 Youth Player Development
  • Assistant Professional of the Year –  View the application: 2022 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award – Presented to a PGA Professional who by their day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and continuing contributions to professional education. View the application:2022 Bill Strausbaugh
  • PGA Professional Development Award – The award is designed to give special recognition to an individual PGA Professional for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education. View the application: 2022 PGA Professional Development Award
  • PGA Player Development (Growth of the Game) –  View the application: 2022 Player Development
  • Patriot Award – This award goes to a PGA Professional who embodies patriotism and shows dedication to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. View the application: 2022 Patriot Award
  • Merchandisers of the Year (Private, Public & Resort) – View the application: 2022 Merchandiser of the Year
  • Players of the Year (Member, Senior & Assistant)

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 then 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 WPGA Executive Director. The finalist committee then votes on their top choice for each award. Once all the votes have been compiled, the winners are notified in February and the information is released to the general public a week or two later. The winners are then recognized for their accomplishment at the Spring Meeting awards ceremony.

 

Pictured Above: The Bob Hornung Sr. trophy is awarded to the Golf Professional of the Year.
Awards Reception Supported By:

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Golf Galaxy Brookfield
Position – Director of Instruction
Elected to PGA Membership – 2002

Hometown – Whitewater, WI
Current Residence – Pewaukee, WI

College – Northern Illinois University

Awards & Honors
2000 Wisconsin Assistant Professional Stroke Play Champion
2002 Wisconsin Assistant Player of the Year
2009 WPGA Member Match Play Champion

Important past work experiences – 1995 – Assistant Golf Professional at Cherokee Country Club, 1999-2004 – Assistant Golf Professional at North Hills Country Club, 2005 – Head Golf Professional at Windwood of Watertown, 2006-Present – Golf Galaxy

Favorite quote – “It’s all relative.”

Favorite Sports Team – Minnesota Vikings

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Golf, reading, hanging out with my dog Charlee

Dream foursome and venue – My mom, my dad and hopefully someday my grandsons, might be a fivesome. It does not matter where we are playing.

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – The Pretzel and a Lakefront IPA at Willowbrook Golf Course.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? This pandemic has been a boon of success for the entire golf industry. The light at the end of the tunnel still appears to be in the distance, but positive signs continue to pop up every day. I love a good mystery novel, so I am looking forward to seeing how this story evolves.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “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. I am proud to be included on the list alongside these great golf professionals.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Westmoor Country Club & Braid Golf Instruction
Position – Teaching Professional
Elected to PGA Membership – 2012

Hometown – Orford, NH
Current Residence – Shorewood, WI

College – Pfeiffer University

Accreditations, Awards & Honors
LPGA Teaching Professional
2021-2022 Golf Digest Best Young Teachers in America
2022-2023 Golf Digest Best Teachers in Your State

Important past work experiences – I recognize my mentors from my time at the Dana Rader Golf School as most influential and would not be honored with this award without them.

Favorite quote – “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost

Favorite Sports Team – Boston Red Sox

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Being with family, hiking and playing golf

Dream foursome and venue – My father, husband and any of our golf buddies… anywhere with beautiful views

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Water, fruit or granola bar

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Completing our family’s foursome with the birth of our second child.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “To have my career recognized by the Wisconsin PGA is an honor. I have dedicated my entire adult life to becoming the best golf instructor I could possibly be and I am so grateful for the time and energy of all of my mentors over the years.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Chenequa Country Club
Position – Assistant Golf Professional
Elected to PGA Membership – 2020

Hometown – Muskego, WI
Current Residence – Waukesha, WI

College – Wisconsin Lutheran

Important past work experiences – I have worked my entire career in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Some important experiences of note are working for Bill Graham at Chenequa Country Club, Vince Pulizzano at Westmoor Country Club, and James Grogan at Whitnall Park.

Favorite quote – “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt

Favorite Sports Team – Milwaukee Bucks

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – I love spending time with my wife Abby, son Jake Jr., daughter Emma, and dog blue. My hobbies include pickup basketball and amateur tree removal.

Dream foursome and venue – My dream foursome would be Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Mike Quinlan, and myself at the Chicago Golf Club.

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Frozen Kit Kat

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Starting my new job as the Head Golf Professional at the Janesville Country Club. The opportunity to help build and grow a golf operation at a historic club is something that really excites me.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “To win this award is a great honor, especially with how many talented Assistant Golf Professionals there are in our section. While my name is on the award, this would not have been possible without the love and support of my wife, as well as my work experiences with people like Bill Graham, Vince Pulizzano, Mike Quinlan, Jason Tipton, Adam Rohde, Chet Hendrickson, Andy Gieryn, James Grogan, and Mark Bergman. I cannot thank you all enough for your support during my journey in this industry.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Pleasant View Golf Course
Position – General Manager
Elected to PGA Membership – 2005

Hometown – Madison, WI
Current Residence – Middleton, WI

College – Mississippi State University

Accreditations, Awards & Honors
Titleist Performance Institute – Level 3 Golf, Level 2 Junior, Level 2 Power, and Level 2 Medical
Level 2 Certified K-Vest Coach
Member of the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) and a level 3 coach, children’s specialist, and freestyle specialist. Examiner for AASI and the administrator of the central region (13 states) snowboard examiner team.

Important past work experiences – Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale had a massive influence on who I am and where I am today. Worked there for 8 years. Sales at Pitney Bowes for two years, which made me realize I need to be in the golf business.

Favorite quote – “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Favorite Sports Team – Wisconsin Badgers

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Snowboard in the winter; lake life in the summer with family and friends.

Dream foursome and venue – My dad, my son, and my grandfather who passed when I was too young to remember…if Tiger Woods decides to join us and make it a 5-some, I won’t complain. Back 9 Talon and back 9 Raptor at Grayhawk.

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Healthy – G2 and a banana. Unhealthy – Snickers and a Miller Lite.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Continued refinement on work life balance with a focus on being more present for my family, and being in front of my staff and customers versus behind the computer screen while at work. I look forward to a renovation project we have in the works at Pleasant View GC, as it’s giving me an opportunity to have a hand in golf course design. Finally, we have a new wave of juniors coming in and I look forward to building long-lasting relationships with them.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “I am incredibly humbled, honored, and appreciative to be recognized for the 2022 WPGA Youth Player Development Award. I think at times we can question why we do what we do, and this was a rather nice affirmation after all the efforts, long hours, and sacrifices that have taken place over the years. It’s been a very long two plus years and when the frustrations of the world are weighing heavily on people, service professionals take on a lot of that load making it difficult to stay inspired. This recognition has lifted my spirits, validated the hard work, and helped justify my beliefs and passion for the golf business, Pleasant View Golf Course, and the PGA.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – SentryWorld
Position – Director of Golf
Elected to PGA Membership – 2004

Hometown – Madison, WI
Current Residence – Stevens Point, WI

College – University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Accreditations, Awards & Honors
2017 WPGA Professional Development Award
2018 WPGA Public Merchandiser of the Year
2020 WPGA Golf Professional of the Year

Important past work experiences – 2015-Present Director of Golf at SentryWorld, 2008-2015 General Manager at The Meadows of Sixmile Creek & Windwood of Watertown. Also worked at Interlachen CC in MN, University Ridge GC, and caddied at Nakoma GC.

Favorite quote – “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Favorite Sports Team – Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Playing with my kids, traveling with my wife (Tawnya), and working on my software business (EventPro360)

Dream foursome and venue – My Dad, My Grandpa and Bobby Jones at Augusta National

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Anything sweet, like a candy bar or ice cream

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Personally: Working on finishing our basement, spending time with my wife and kids and doing some traveling. Professionally: Re-opening SentryWorld after being close for two seasons, and preparing for the 2023 U.S. Senior Open.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “I’m thankful to be honored with this Professional Development Award, but it’s not an individual effort. The professional development work I’ve done in our section and at SentryWorld have been true team efforts by the WPGA Education Committee and by the leadership team at SentryWorld. I’m blessed to be surrounded by amazing people.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Beloit Club & Ironworks Golf Academy
Position – Director of Instruction
Elected to PGA Membership – 2008

Hometown – Holmen, WI
Current Residence – Sun Prairie, WI

College – San Diego Golf Academy

Accreditations
Sam PuttLab Level 3 Certification
V1 Pro Master

Awards & Honors
2009 WPGA Assistant Professional of the Year
2015, 2019, 2021 WPGA Teacher of the Year
2020 WPGA Youth Player Development Award
GRAA Top 100 Teaching Professional, Golf Digest Top 100 Club Fitter, Golf Digest Top Teachers in Your State, Ping Top 100 Club Fitter, Titleist Top 100 Club Fitter

Important past work experiences – Prior to my last 6 years as the Director of Instruction with the Beloit Club and Ironworks Golf Academy, I worked as the Head Golf Professional at Cherokee Country Club for 17 years.

Favorite quote – “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Favorite Sports Team – Green Bay Packers

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Anything with the family, also enjoy fishing and going to live music.

Dream foursome and venue – My Dad, Grandpa, and Son at Pebble Beach

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Power Bar and a Gatorade

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Both Personally and Professionally I am looking forward to self-improvement and opportunities.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “I am so excited and humbled to receive the Player Development Award. To win any award in our great section is always an honor. I am a very lucky person to be able to do what I love, call it work, and be recognized for it by my peers. I would like to thank all of my students for allowing me to be part of their golf experience.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Westmoor Country Club
Position – Head Professional
Elected to PGA Membership – 2005

Hometown – Skokie, IL
Current Residence – Brookfield, WI

College – Ferris State University

Accreditations
Certified PGA Professional – Golf Operations
Business to Business Marketing Certificate – Ferris State University

Awards & Honors
2012 Club of the Year (New Jersey)
2017 WPGA Private Merchandiser of the Year
2019 WPGA Professional Development Award
2020 WPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award

Important past work experiences – There isn’t one specific experience. It’s a compilation of the countless years of “group think” while working at my past and current club(s). This level of group think has paved the way for our teams to excel while learning about this unique golf industry.

Favorite quote – “The episodes in life that last so many years in memory are often measured in fleeting moments as they happen.” Steve Summers

Favorite Sports Team – Chicago Bears

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Family days away from golf and continuing my goal of dining with my wife at every restaurant in Milwaukee!

Dream foursome and venue – It changes every year… but I think the following would a riot. Me, My Dad, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods. The trash talking, shot making and stories would be epic.

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Cheese and crackers with a cold bottle of water… boring I know.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Seeing how the PGA of America and its professionals continue to work through the recent golf surge. More golfers, more demand, fewer employees… something has to give.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “Everything – Each and every day I think about helping people within my inner circle. There are so many great opportunities within this amazing industry that golf professionals have access to. Yet few are willing to risk change for growth. I’ve always been someone that is searching rather than resting. I do my best every day to influence the people I work with to look at their career in the same way.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – The Legend Clubs
Position – Owner
Elected to PGA Membership – 1983

Hometown – Austin, TX
Current Residence – Wales, WI

College – University of Texas

Accreditations, Awards & Honors
2020 WPGA Patriot Award

Important past work experiences
The Legend Clubs (2001-present)
KSL & Meadowbrook Golf (1998-2001)
Country Club of Wisconsin (1995-1998)
TBM Golf Management (1990-1995)
Whitewater Creek CC (1988-1990)
Onion Creek Club (1978-1988)

Favorite quote – “Luck is when knowledge meets opportunity.”

Favorite Sports Team – Texas Longhorns and Green Bay Packers

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Golf & time with family and friends in Austin, Texas.

Dream foursome and venue – Augusta National with Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jason Gaudion, Isabelle Gaudion and Me. (Ok it’s a fivesome but it’s MY dream)

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Smoked brisket tacos on 10th tee at Austin Country Club

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Looking forward to continuing our amazing success story at The Legend Clubs with the opening of the expanded and renovated clubhouse at The Legend at Merrill Hills and expanded pool complex at The Legend at Bristlecone.

Enjoying my families good fortune by spending more time with them…..hopefully in Austin, Texas.

I am most looking forward to sharing our success at The Legend Clubs with the members and staff that built it and to expanding our support for Junior Golf and the Military.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “It’s incredibly humbling to be recognized for The Legend Clubs continued commitment in honoring and supporting those that serve in the military. Golf is such an amazing platform for giving back and for promoting patriotism. Those of us who didn’t serve can never comprehend the sacrifice and suffering of those that fought in combat and the strain on their families. Having grown up in a military family, supporting our veterans is very personal to me. It’s a debt that can never be fully repaid. My most sincere thanks go out to the members and staff at The Legend Clubs for their unwavering support of this mission. My thanks to the PGA of America for bringing a spotlight to supporting our veterans through this award and many other initiatives. My thanks to Fisher House and Folds of Honor (and so many other terrific military charities) for their amazing support of our veterans and their families. Both started with one man’s vision and purpose. It should be an example to us all of what is possible when committed people support righteous causes. SEMPER FI”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Minocqua Country Club
Position – Head Professional
Elected to PGA Membership – 2005

Hometown – Bismarck, ND
Current Residence – Minocqua, WI

College – New Mexico State University

Accreditations, Awards & Honors
2012 WPGA Assistant Professional of the Year

Important past work experiences – Blackwolf Run & Whistling Straits: 2003-2014

Favorite quote – “Practice makes perfect.”

Favorite Sports Team – Minnesota Vikings & UND Fighting Sioux Hockey

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – I love to watch my favorite teams. Huge Pearl Jam fan. Lawn care enthusiast. I certainly try to tee it up as often as I can and I have a great family to explore with – JoAnne, Savanah, Britta and Noah.

Dream foursome and venue – Dad, Son and Grandpa Boots at Augusta!

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Blackwolf Run Big Cookie

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? Personally – I am excited for a couple big trips we have planned in 2022, also looking forward to all the basketball, softball and hockey games our kids will be playing in. Professionally – I am very excited for our plans to renovate our golf shop with new locker rooms, bag room and cart storage.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “It is extremely humbling to win this award in a section with so many deserving golf professionals. This award is a team award and it is the result of their fantastic work in the golf shop. The membership at Minocqua Country Club has helped me tremendously during my time in the northwoods and I am thankful for their support. Many thanks to all the friends and professionals that have been along for the ride. I have the greatest family and I appreciate all their encouragement!”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Pine Grove Country Club
Position – Head Professional
Elected to PGA Membership – 1992

Hometown – South St. Paul, MN
Current Residence – Iron Mountain, MI

College – University of St. Thomas

Important past work experiences
30 years as a Head Golf Professional since 1991, in Minnesota, Wisconsin and currently Michigan, at some wonderful facilities.

Favorite quote – “The answer is in the dirt.” Ben Hogan

Favorite Sports Team – Minnesota North Stars

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Any chance I can get I love pheasant hunting with my dogs, my wife, and my buddies.

Dream foursome and venue – Tralee Golf Club in Ireland with Jack, Arnie and Bobby Jones.

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Breakfast burrito is always the best snack along with a baileys and coffee.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? A trip with 20 of our members to Bandon Dunes in March. Also getting back to the PGA Show will be great. At the show we’ll be looking to purchase a golf simulator for an indoor practice area for our membership to enjoy during the winter months.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “Being chosen for this award is very satisfying after what the golf world has experienced the last few years. I was brand new at Pine Grove and we tried to create a new atmosphere and golf shop experience under very unique circumstances due to the pandemic. It is due to our staff’s hard work and members appreciation that we received this award.”

Get To Know The Pro

Employer – Erin Hills
Position – Head Professional
Elected to PGA Membership – 1998

Hometown – Wausau, WI
Current Residence – Pewaukee, WI

College – University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Accreditations, Awards & Honors
1999 WPGA Member Match Play Champion
2013 WPGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facility
2017 WPGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facility
2018 WPGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facility

Important past work experiences – Working at Ozaukee CC as an assistant golf professional.

Favorite quote – “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

Favorite Sports Team – Milwaukee Brewers

Favorite way to spend free time / hobbies / personal interests – Exercising and working around the house on projects.

Dream foursome and venue – Me, Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, and Fred Couples at Augusta National

Best Golf Course Snack or Drink – Fescue Rescue

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? I’m looking forward to the pandemic going away for the most part so we can return to normal both socially and at work.

Comments or Thoughts – What does this award mean to you? “I am very pleased to accept this award for our whole team that make it happen here at Erin Hills. It is nice to be recognized for a very spirited effort, every day we try to bring the best for our guests.”

 

In just his third year as a PGA member Mick Smith would claim his first WPGA Player of the Year honor in 2021.

After winning the WPGA Professional Championship last September and a runner-up player of the year finish, Smith was certainly primed to make a run at this year’s title.

His great play would start right off the bat, as he would get his season underway at the PGA of America’s Professional Championship in late April. Facing the 312-player field of PGA Professionals from throughout the country, the Australian would open with an impressive 3-under-par 68 on the Ryder course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL. He’d then back it up with a 74 in round two on the Wanamaker course, which would help him be the only WPGA professional to make the 36-hole cut. His steady play would continue into round three as he’d post a 73, moving him past the 54-hole cut. Finally, he’d finish the event with a 74. His 2-over-par 289 total would give him a tie for 22nd and a solid 225-point head start in the Player of the Year race.

“I just practiced hard and I played really solid for the four rounds,” Smith said about his performance in Florida. “So, I was feeling good about my game coming back home.”

The great play continued over the course of May and June, as the Summit resident would keep his grip on the points lead. He would finish second in WPGA Match Play Championship qualifying, make it to the final eight of the Match Play Championship, and tie for the title at the third one-day stroke play of the season.

However, the strong play of Joe Leonard in the middle of the summer would propel the director of instruction at The Oaks Golf Course into the points lead in July. Leonard would win the Stableford Classic on July 13, make it to the Match Play finals in late July, and cap it off as the low WPGA professional at the Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open in August.

With just the WPGA Professional Championship left on the calendar in mid-September, the lead for Leonard almost seemed insurmountable.

Heading into the championship Smith had a lot of ground to make up, but he knew he could only control his own game.

“I knew where I was (in the standings),” Smith said, reflecting on his mindset. “All I could do was go out and win and see what happens.”

Over the course of those two days Smith would dig deep and never give up on his mission to claim the win. He would ultimately be the only player in the field to break par on both days. After an opening 1-under-par 70, he would be well positioned for the final round. However, a slow start on day two and a double bogey misstep on the par-4 6th would put him behind the eight ball. The self-employed PGA teaching professional would not be deterred, as he would go bogey free the rest of the round, with four birdies. The run would result in a one-shot drama filled win over Tom Burton.

The victory helped him leapfrog Leonard and gave him just enough points to secure first place in the standings.

“Initially afterwards I didn’t think I had enough points to win it, however Mark Voeller told me, no it was worth 400 points to win the Section Championship,” Smith said. “So, I was very excited at that moment, because I didn’t think it had happened.”

Smith had delivered at the right moment and the cards fell exactly the way he needed them to fall. More importantly he had accomplished something that is very elusive in the game of golf.

“One of the toughest things in golf is to be playing well at the right time,” Smith said. “To do it when I really wanted it, I’m really proud of that.”

According to Smith the honor is right near the top of his golfing accomplishments. He’ll add the accolade to a playing resume that includes a season-long amateur scoring average Vardon Trophy in New South Wales, the 2014 Illinois PGA Assistant Player of the Year and the 2018 Wisconsin PGA Assistant Player of the Year.

“The older you get, the wiser you become,” the saying certainly applied when it came to Kurt Mantyla’s golf game in 2021. The 51-year old has been on a steady climb the past few years and the hard work paid off with this year’s WPGA Senior Player of the Year honor.

After capturing the 2019 WPGA Match Play Championship his confidence has continued to build. Combined with a general improvement when it comes to the mental side, Mantyla was in a very good place throughout the season.

“I just played a lot calmer in my mind this past year,” Mantyla said. “Make a mistake, don’t let it bother you so much, and keep doing what you’re doing.”

From start to finish the Appleton native was remarkably consistent. He would finish in the top 5 among his senior counterparts in eight different events this year.

The self-employed PGA teaching professional would shine the most at all the WPGA senior major championships. He’d kick it off with an impressive playoff win at the Wisconsin Senior PGA Professional Championship in July, which earned him a shot at the national event in October. Next up would be a run at the title at the Wisconsin State Senior Open, as he’d finish second to Mario Tiziani. Finally, he’d take home the year-long WPGA Senior Match Play title, defeating Eddie Terasa, Jim Schuman, Mark Voeller, Doug Cheever, and Bill Graham along the way.

Even with his great play during the summer months the pressure was on him from a points perspective. Both Jim Schuman and Michael Crowley would be joining Mantyla in Florida at the national Senior PGA Professional Championship. Any type of slip up could cost him the Senior Player of the Year title.

The week turned out to be the highlight of the year for Mantyla, as he’d perform well under pressure. He’d post a 1-over-par 288 total over four rounds and tie for 46th place among the 264 competitors. The finish would turn out to be a difference maker, as both Schuman and Crowley also played well at the championship.

“I just played real solid.” Mantyla said about his performance. “Missing by just two shots to go to next year’s Senior PGA Championship, which would have been a blast. There was so many good players down there and I made both cuts.”

The honor marks the first time that Mantyla has earned the Player of the Year in any of the three WPGA races. In his eyes it ranks right up there with any of his major wins.

“It is pretty cool, definitely very proud.” Mantyla said. “Especially when you look at the competition, we have some great players.”

After winning his first WPGA Assistant Player of the Year in 2019, David Bach watched his Kohler Golf colleague and good friend Josh Grisa earn the title in 2020. An accolade that he was excited to see his friend win. However, the competitive fire burns deep with the Brown Deer native, and in 2021 he was determined to reclaim the honor.

It was a year of rock solid golf for Bach. Although victories in the individual point events were elusive, he would go on to card top-5 finishes among assistant professionals at each event he played in.

“I’m pretty happy overall, even though I didn’t win an individual event this year,” Bach said. “I really just tried to push to stay out in front of the other assistants that could make a run at me in the points.”

One of the biggest factors in his 398-point winning margin was his play at two of the WPGA major championships.

The former UW-Stout student would make a great run at the National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Championship. Two under par rounds would earn him a shot at the win in a playoff, but he’d come up short and finish second to Joaquin Diaz. Bach would then keep it rolling as he’d tee it up at the Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open. Using his familiarity with the Meadow Valleys Course at Blackwolf Run he would card a T20 finish in the 204-player field.

“Going into the State Open, I had a nice comfort level,” Bach said. “It was two Sheboygan courses, so I was able to stay at home, and I could just play my game. It was huge.”

The two finishes provided him with nearly 700 player of the year points, basically securing the accolade.

His consistent play also showed up in his performance in the member standings. After earning his PGA membership in May he’d go on to finish fourth in that race.

An Assistant Player of the Year honor, elected to PGA membership, and the chance to work the Ryder Cup as part of the professional staff at Whistling Straits. It turned to be quite the year for Bach.