Jeff Strong Named Southern Texas PGA Golf Professional of the Year

Jeff Strong, 2009 STPGA Professional of the YearJeff Strong, who has served as the head golf professional and general manager of Mont Belvieu’s Eagle Pointe Golf Club since construction on the course began in 1999, has been named the 2009 Southern Texas PGA Golf Professional of the Year.

The honor has been presented annually for 42 years. The honor is the STPGA’s highest award and the recipient is chosen on the basis of his or her overall performance as a PGA golf professional, level of service to the Southern Texas PGA, leadership, image, ability to inspire fellow professionals and service to the region’s golf community. The first STPGA Golf Professional of the Year award went to the late Hardy Loudermilk, shortly after the STPGA’s creation in 1968.

“To receive this kind of recognition from my peers is incredible,” Strong said. “To know you’ve done something for this game that we love so much is just indescribable. It brings me a lot of joy.”

Elected to membership in the PGA of America in 1996, Strong has proven to be one of southern Texas’ most willing and able golf professionals. The Michigan native has been a very active participant in the Southern Texas PGA’s Junior Golf Program and it’s member tournament operations.  He completed a two-year term on the STPGA’s Board of Directors in 2008, serving as the chairman of the Section’s Tournament Committee throughout that period.

Amongst his many accomplishments as chairman of that committee was the creation of a series of pro-ams to help support larger purses at some of the STPGA’s member tournaments.

He also led the charge to re-invigorate the STPGA Senior Series operation, which is geared toward providing a slate of competitive events for golfers ages 50 and above.

Strong has hosted the Eagle Pointe Pro-Am for the past three years. The tournament is geared toward generating financial support for the Southern Texas PGA Foundation, through which the STPGA provides financial sustenance for its many junior golf and scholarship activities. The 2009 tournament raised $11,000, bringing the three-year total of funds donated to the STPGA Foundation to $34,500.

Strong is as active in the non-golf community as he is in the golf industry. He has donated over 1,000 rounds of golf to local charities while facilitating Eagle Pointe’s support of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the United Way, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and others.

Jeff Strong accepts the Joe Black Cup

Never one to rest on his laurels, Strong accepted the assignment of Captain of the 2009 Southern Texas PGA Texas Joe Black Cup Matches and led his team to a 13-11 victory over their Northern Texas PGA counterparts. The win tied the Ryder Cup-style series at 14-14-1.

“Being Captain of the STPGA’s Texas Joe Black Cup Matches team was really one of the highlights of my career,” said Strong. “I can’t tell you how much fun that was, or how much it meant to me.”

A collegiate golfer at the University of Wisconsin, Strong spent the early part of his career working in Florida, where he started out as an assistant professional and quickly worked his way up to general manager status and responsibilities.

His career took on a global flavor in 1993, when he took on golf instructor duties at the International Golf Club Bonn in Germany. Three years later, he was named the head golf professional and general manager at River Oaks Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

He made his move to Texas in 1998, taking the general manager position at Longwood Golf Club in Cypress, and then, in late 1999, was named head golf professional/general manager at Eagle Pointe, which was then under construction.

Strong took his career a step farther in 2001, when he founded Strong Sports Management, Inc., through which he operates Eagle Pointe, and in 2005, earned a maintenance contract with The Battleground at Deer Park.

In addition to his honor at the 2009 STPGA Golf Professional of the Year award, Strong is also the recipient of the 2009 Golf Professional of the Year honor from the Eastern Chapter of the STPGA.

He has previously been honored as the Southern Texas PGA’s 2008 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner and the 2007 and 2008 STPGA Eastern Chapter Golf Professional of the Year awards. His golf shop at Eagle Pointe received the STPGA’s 2009 Merchandiser of the Year Award (for public facilities) — the shop also received 2005 STPGA Eastern Chapter Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities award.

Strong credits his wife, Liz, and their daughters, Sharon (13) and Lauren (8) for providing the support he needs to fulfill the opportunities provided him in his personal and professional lives.

Strong and his fellow 2009 STPGA award winners will be formally presented with their honors during the STPGA’s 42nd Annual President’s Dinner, to be held Feb. 21 at Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land.

The complete slate of 2009 Southern Texas PGA award recipients is below:

Golf Professional of the Year
Jeff Strong, Head Golf Professional and General Manager
Eagle Pointe Golf Club, Mont Belvieu

Dick Forester Quarter Century Award
Joe Black
PGA Life Member, Bee Cave

Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year
Charlie Epps
Director of Instruction, The Houstonian Golf & Country Club, Richmond

Junior Golf Leader

David Goldblum
Director of Instruction, The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch, Katy

Horton Smith Award

David Altemus
Head Golf Professional, Royal Oaks Country Club, Houston

Bill Strausbaugh Award
Gordon Johnson
Head golf professional, Houston Country Club, Houston

Assistant Professional of the Year
Heath Martin
Senior Assistant Professional, Austin Country Club, Austin

Merchandisers of the Year
The Quarry Golf Club , San Antonio (Public)
Royal Oaks Country Club, Houston (Private)
Hyatt Wolfdancer Golf Club, Lost Pines (Resort)

STPGA Player of the Year
Tim Thelen
Assistant Professional, The Falls Golf & Country Club, New Ulm

STPGA Senior Player of the Year
David Lundstrom
PGA Life Member, Houston

Bridgestone STPGA Senior Series Player of the Year
Troy Schleicher
Golf Instructor, Matt Swanson School of Golf, Houston

STPGA President’s Plaque

Janet Ortega
Head Golf Professional, First Tee of Greater Austin, Austin

STPGA Golf Sales Representative of the Year
Gill Barnett
Gill Barnett Golf, Houston

STPGA Amateur of the Year
Juan Salcedo
The Woodlands

STPGA Junior Golfers of the Year
Stratton Nolen, Austin (Boys)
Avery Seale, Houston (Girls)

STPGA Special Service Award
Al Thomas
Houston

STPGA Meda/Public Relations Award
Brent Blackburn
Director of Daily Operations and Teaching, Dallas Athletic Club, Dallas

STPGA Chapter Awards

Each of the Southern Texas PGA’s three Chapters selects its own slate of award winners annually. For 2009, the recipients of those award winners are as follows.

EASTERN CHAPTER

Golf Professional of the Year
Jeff Strong, Head Golf Professional and General Manager
Eagle Pointe Golf Club, Mont Belvieu
   
Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year
Charlie Epps, Director of Instruction
The Houstonian Golf & Country Club, Richmond

Junior Golf Leader
David Goldblum, Director of Instruction
The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch, Katy
   
Merchandiser of the Year

The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands

SOUTHERN CHAPTER
   
Golf Professional of the Year
Doug DeSive, Head Golf Professional
Corpus Christi Country Club
   
Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year
Joe Powell, Head Golf Professional
Palms at Mid-Valley Golf Course, Mercedes

Junior Golf Leader
Mike Fernuik, Head Golf Professional
Harlingen Country Club, Harlingen
   
Merchandiser of the Year
The Club at Cimarron, Mission

WESTERN CHAPTER

Golf Professional of the Year
Dale Morgan, Head Golf Professional
Austin Country Club, Austin
   
Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year
Bill Moretti, Director of Instruction
Academy of Golf Dynamics, The Hills
   
Junior Golf Leader

Matt Trevino, Head Golf Professional
Riverhill Country Club, Kerrville
   
Merchandiser of the Year

Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay

 

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