Ian Webb, the executive professional/general manager at Credit Valley Golf and Country Club in Mississauga, has been named the 2010 Ontario PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
Webb, who began his career under Rocco D’Amelio at the Bridewater Country Club on the Niagara Peninsula, has worked at Credit Valley since 2000.
“It’s a huge thrill for me to have my name added to a list of such decorated and celebrated Professionals,” said Webb.
“I’ve looked up to a number of the past winners my whole life, so it’s a huge honour to be included on the list,” added Webb, a past president of the Ontario PGA.
Webb worked at Bridgewater from 1984-90 before being recruited to join the staff at St. George’s Golf and Country Club under the tutelage of Neil Verwey.
“Neil had a real passion for the game and it was contagious,” said Webb, 45. “Neil made everyone feel important and a part of the team and it’s something that has stuck with me.”
Webb secured his first Head Professional position in 1993 at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club at the age of 26. He recalls starting that journey with his wife Helen.
“We left Toronto with $15,000 in the bank only to be $250,000 in debt in one week later. The best part about it is we jumped in smiling,” remembers Webb, who is quick to credit his past and current staff members.
“This award is really all about the people that have helped me throughout my career,” he said.
This year’s Teaching Professional of the Year presented by FlightScope was awarded to Jason Helman, the director of instruction from Wyndance Golf Club in Uxbridge.
Teacher of the Year nominees are judged from innovative teaching techniques to instructional articles, videos or promotions.
“I’ve followed in some pretty big footsteps with all of the past winners being guys I’ve looked up to,” said Helman, 40, of Port Perry, Ont. “I’ve really got to thank my players who have done a great job over the last few years. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Helman, who began his career as a Canadian PGA Apprentice under Mike Schurman at the Toronto Board of Trade Golf, has been a Canadian PGA Class A member since 2008, Helman currently works with a number of male and female touring professionals including Tyler Martin of Oshawa and Seema Sadekar of Las Vegas via Stouffville.
This year’s Teacher of the Year for Juniors is Ron Webb of South Muskoka Golf and Curling Club. Webb, who has been the head professional at South Muskoka for 37 seasons, is a retired physical education teacher who taught in the Muskoka School system for 31 years.
Webb began his career as a golf professional in 1964 at the Kleinburg Golf Club, working under his mentor and ‘second father’ Len Diplock. Coincidently many of the juniors that participated in Webb’s successful program at South Muskoka often refer to him as a second father and mentor.
Among his many accolades and still his most proudest is that of his son Brennan and daughter Ryley. Brennan is a former Nationwide Tour Member and currently a professional golfer in Florida while Ryley, is the COO of the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, S.C.
Todd McGrath, the head professional at The Cutten Club in Guelph was named this year’s Merchandiser of the Year. Merchandiser nominees are judged on criteria such as merchandising philosophy to pro shop layout and display techniques.
“It’s a great thrill to win this award and I am thankful we have a great team at the Cutten Club,” said McGrath. “I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to work for some of the best retailers and merchandisers and without that mentorship, I don’t think I would be here today,”
McGrath and his team at The Cutten Club pride themselves in offering great customer service and maintaining great relationships. That philosophy also emphasizes catering to the specific needs of member s and guests.
McGrath believes The Cutten Club differentiates itself with personalized touches such as special orders, complimentary shipping, gift wrapping, convenient return/exchange practices, accepting competitor’s gift certificates and offering a wide product mix.
Tayler Kimura, associate professional at Brampton Golf Club is this year’s Assistant of the Year. Nominees are judged on criteria such as staff management, teaching, member interaction and playing ability.
“It’s really special to win tonight, especially to win on the same night as Ian. “added Kimura, who began playing golf as a junior at St. George’s. “I have a real passion for golf and I’m always striving to get better, I think this award is a testament to that and I’m thankful I was chosen this year.”
Kimura, who began his career as a golf professional in the U.S., worked at both Credit Valley and Owen Sound before obtaining his Class A status in 2009 while at Brampton. Kimura attributes his passion for the game of golf as well as having the opportunity to work with a number of esteemed Canadian PGA head professionals as well as associate professionals.