By Jim Nugent
They have been described as the backbone of American golf.
They are teachers, small businessmen, tournament administrators, rules officials, employers, mentors and knowledgeable golf equipment ambassadors. Many are very golf-fashion informed, while others are asked to oversee the golf cart fleet and golf bag storage area. Occasionally they even function as unlicensed psychologists, called upon to counsel struggling amateur golfers.
Of course I am referring to PGA of America head golf professionals. Many of these individuals also play the game at a very high level and compete, nationally and locally. So for the seventh time, Global Golf Post is proud to salute the best playing PGA professionals by naming our 2022 PGA of America All-Pro teams.
Here’s our criteria to be considered: The professional had to be classified A-1 (head golf professional at a golf course), A-4 (director of golf at a golf course) or A-13 (general manager). We limited the pool of candidates to these classes because we want to recognize the pros who perform all of the tasks working at a golf course entails and continue to play at a high level.
To make our selections, we looked at finishes in several key tournaments in 2021, including the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship, the PGA Professional Championship, the Senior PGA Professional Championship, the U.S. Open, the U.S. Senior Open, the PGA Winter Championships and the PGA Tournament Series. We then considered performance in section events, utilizing player-of-the-year points as proxy for sustained excellence. Any professional in these classes who earned a section player-of-the-year award or senior player-of-the-year honors achieved at least Honorable Mention status in our All-Pro package. Also, any player who made the 54-hole cut in the PGA Professional Championship or Senior PGA Professional Championship also earned at least an Honorable Mention listing.
The 77 players presented herein, representing 33 PGA sections, are the PGA golf professionals who posted outstanding performance in 2021. They are to be saluted for their good play and respected for playing at a high level while balancing all of the duties that come with their jobs.
As in previous years, GGP also has identified one professional who embodies the spirit of our All-Pro effort. This pro joins an esteemed list including the recently retired Bob Ford of Seminole Golf Club and Oakmont Country Club (2015), Dave Podas of Bel-Air Country Club (2016), Rob Labritz of GlenArbor Golf Club (2017), Rod Perry of Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club (2018), Cary Cozby of Southern Hills Country Club (2019), Jim Sobb of Ivanhoe Club (2020) and Darrell Kestner of Deepdale Golf Club (2021). Kestner was selected last year despite full teams not being named as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The selection this year is Doug Doxsie, the head professional at Seattle Golf Club in Shoreline, Washington. As Sean Fairholm points out in his accompanying profile, Doxsie has become one of the most recognizable PGA pros in the industry through his 27-year tenure at SGC and a lengthy career with leadership roles in both the Pacific Northwest Section and the PGA of America. He is currently in the third and final year as the District 14 director on the PGA of America board, a position that was many decades of work in the making.
If one of those honored is your club pro, drop him a note and congratulate him on being selected, and take to social media to call him out; he’ll appreciate it. And even if your pro is not among those honored here, consider thanking him or her for advancing the game of golf in America.