The 2017 South Australian Golf Industry Awards were held in Adelaide on Saturday night, with nearly 200 people in attendance, including many PGA Professionals from South Australia, the night celebrated the achievements of the past year by those working within the industry.

Warren MercerSouth Australian Vocational Committee Chairman Ian Pritchard was on hand along with PGA of Australia State Manager (Vic/Tas/SA) Nick Dastey as well as South Australian based Darren Baynes (SA Assistant State Manager).

Prior to the award ceremonies, the PGA and wider golfing industry recognised the graduating PGA Trainees from 2016.

Ian Pritchard was on hand to present the graduating certificates to Samuel Hynes (Flagstaff Hill Golf Club) and Dylan Thomas (The Vines Golf Club).

The evening saw several PGA tournament & vocational awards handed out including the PGA Club Professional of the Year, PGA Pro-Am Tournament of the Year and two new awards this year which included the PGA Coach of the Year and the My Golf Deliver of the Year award.

The 2017 Ladbrokes PGA Legends Tournament of the Year Award was presented to the Victor Harbor Golf Club which hosted their first ever Legends Event back in April and was accepted by General Manager Daniel Loveridge on behalf of the club.

It was then onto the 2017 Ladbrokes PGA Pro-Am of the Year award which went to another first time winner in Mt Gambier Golf Club which hosted its first ever Beachport Liquid Minerals Pro-Am.    Mt Gambier Head Professional and Tournament Director Craig Davis said it was a “huge surprise but a wonderful honour,” going on to say, “pro-am’s are an integral part of the game in Australia and encourages all clubs to get involved to showcase the facility to the local community.”

The evening continued on with local south Australian media personalities Ben Hook and former Australian Cricketer Wayne Phillips introducing the PGA Vocational awards which started with the Golf Car Solutions PGA Teaching Professional of the Year award which went to Adrian Wickstein from the Glenelg Golf Club.

On hand to present the award was sponsor Jordan Ormsby, son to PGA Australia Life Member Peter Ormsby and brother to Australian Tour Professional Wade.

Gareth Jones, also from Glenelg Golf Club was the first ever recipient of the South Australian PGA Coach of the Year which recognises the achievements of a PGA Pro in coaching elite players and teams and whilst Jones does an incredible amount of work in South Australia and around the country, his achievements with the Japanese National Program have been superb and he will lead the team into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on home soil.

The Coca-Cola-Amatil PGA Club Professional of the year award was won by Warren Mercer from the Grange Golf Club with Darren Beer from CCA (Business Development Manager Sports & Clubs) presenting the award to Warren who thanked his club, staff and family for their continued support.

Mercer has established one of the most efficient businesses in the country with an engaging retail space which focuses on member satisfaction, it flows into the programs and services the club provides which is offered by several PGA Pros including two PGA Trainees learning from one of the very best in the industry.

Another new award was created on a national scale in 2017 which allows each state to recognise the great work being done to deliver the MyGolf Program, the national junior program and a joint initiative between Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia.

The 2017 My Golf deliver of the Year award was presented to PGA Professional Simon MacWhirter from the North Adelaide Golf Club who has created a wonderful junior platform under the My Golf umbrella which is supported by his fellow PGA Pros, Jamie Clutterham and Gavin Fontaine.

MacWhirter will join all the PGA vocational award winners from around the country, including Mercer, Wickstein and Jones at the Greg Norman Medal Ceremony which will take place on the Gold Coast during the Australian PGA Championship week at RACV Royal Pines next month.

Certainly a highlight of the evening was the inclusion of the Service to the Golf Industry Award which was presented by his Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le, Governor of South Australia.

Receiving the award was PGA member Nick McCormack and Jan Douglass for the work done to develop junior golf throughout the entire state and in particular regional areas. McCormack has developed junior programs in Adelaide which the effects of can still be seen today at many clubs, in particular Adelaide Shores and Grange Golf Club where he continues to pass on the skills to the next generation of stars.

The evening including recognition for the work done by Golf Club General Managers, courtesy of the General Managers Association (SA Division) and the work done around the state in the Superintendents field recognizing the members of the Superintendents Association of Australia.

The event coincides with Golf Month, a national program which was first launched in South Australia by Golf SA and Golf SA CEO Chris Luz Raymond who was on hand along with Golf SA Chairman Tony Timmons who opened and closed the formalities of the evening.