A Night to Shine

By Hayden Lewis, PGA / Wednesday, April 14, 2021

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (April 14, 2021) – All eyes were on Wynlakes Golf & Country Club Wednesday evening as the 2020 Alabama–NW Florida PGA Special Awards Recipients gathered for the inaugural Special Awards Dinner & Program.  Thirty-four guests were welcomed to Wynlakes’ main ballroom for a celebratory night highlighting the best PGA Professionals from our Section in 2020.  In a year that brought unimaginable heartbreak and loss for much of the world, these PGA Professionals went above and beyond in their respective positions, but all with one common denominator – bringing the game of golf to their members, guests and surrounding communities.

“This is a night for our golf professionals, and I’m not sure our Section has ever done something like this before to honor just our Special Award recipients,” says Section President, John Carney.  “We hope to continue celebrating our golf professionals, not just for one night, but all year-long. We trust we will be able to invite even more guests next year to celebrate these well-deserved honors.”

The evening was grand, to say the least.  While the current state of the pandemic limited the size of the room, it did not limit the energy and passion of all of those in attendance.  It was a reminder that golf is relevant and will continue to be relevant – the pandemic has truly changed the landscape of the game.  Golf professionals all over the country, let alone the Section, have risen to the challenge of creating innovative ways to keep people in the game while also bringing in new faces. “The beauty of being involved with the PGA of America is we are able to share ideas with our fellow golf professionals,” says Section Secretary and 2020 Professional Development Award recipient, Matt Sheppard.  “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the sharing of ideas – our game wouldn’t be what it is and that’s how we all find success.”

The night was topped off with Rick Gorman, PGA General Manager at Scenic Hills Country Club, receiving the 2020 Golf Professional of the Year Award.  Rick understands where the game is and where it is going.  In his position, he has helped create a place at Scenic Hills where people from all backgrounds can come and enjoy the game.  “As golf professionals, all the new faces that we see at our facilities, it’s our job to keep them coming back – to make sure they stick with the game,” says Rick. “I think that’s our biggest challenge, but I also think that’s our biggest opportunity is to keep people in the game – not just for the duration of Covid, but for a lifetime.”

See below for Rick’s Professional of the Year video feature.

The Section would like to thank Mr. Brent Krause, PGA General Manager at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club and his staff, for hosting this inaugural event.  “We truly believe this is just the beginning of a special tradition which can last for years to come,” says Krause.  “We are honored to have played host to the Section’s Annual Meeting over the last several years and it was a pleasure to host another unique event to honor the best in our Section.”

View a Full List of 2020 Section Special Award Recipients 〉

View Photo Album 〉

Media Contact:  Hayden Lewis, PGA | hlewis@pgahq.com



The Alabama – NW Florida PGA is one of 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. Our Section is headquartered in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Alabama at Ballantrae Golf Club. Established in 1969, the Section consists of over 400 Members and Associates in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Section exists to support its Members who are the driving force to growing the sport and business of golf.