The PGA of Alberta introduced the Lifetime Achievement Awards to recognize the professional careers and contributions made to the Profession and the Association. For more information about award consideration, click here.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Bud Loftus2006 Winner
Frank Fowler2004 Winner
Henry Martell2003 Winner
Lifetime Achievement Award - Player
Bud Loftus2006 Winner
Born on June 25th, 1930 in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, George (Bud) Loftus first started playing golf at the young age of 6, as one of very few youngsters on the links.
His game at the ‘Muni’, Edmonton’s Victoria Golf Course became quite noticeable to some of golf’s more established players, so much so that Highlands Golf & Country Club Head Professional Henry Martell decided to hire the youngster in 1948. This, after Loftus had already claimed two Alberta Junior Titles (‘45, ‘47), and played as part of Alberta’s Willington Cup Team in 1948.
Like many others preceding and following him, apprenticing under Henry Martell proved to be the challenge that shaped Bud Loftus into one of the Canadian PGA’s most distinguished Golf Professionals. Not only did his golfing ability reach new heights during this three year tenure, but his career path in the game was paved and developed into an equally strong part of his character.
In the same year he joined Henry, Bud won his first of three Alberta Opens (’48, ’51, ’59) and a year later finished third at the Saskatchewan Open, a tournament he would finish as runner-up (’53) and win (‘60). In 1956, he joined the PGA Tour for the winter months and competed amongst peers at that level through to 1959 when he joined the Canadian Team in the Carling International Matches.
During that time, he worked as Head Professional at the Willowdale GC (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan) and the Regal GC (now Calgary Elks in Calgary, Alberta), as well as an Assistant Professional at the Calgary Golf & Country Club. In 1962, he made his formal application to the CPGA and became Head Professional at the Calgary G&CC in 1963, where he would remain until 1975.
In 1988, after brief stints as Head Professional at the Shuswap Lake Estates GC in BC and the Edson GC in Alberta, Bud decided to retire from his career in golf. He was elected to Life Membership of the CPGA in 1994, and received a plaque for serving 25 years as a Class A Member in 1998.
He and his wife Virginia currently reside in Tappen, BC, and many of their six children (two daughters and four sons), continue to be involved in some capacity in the golf industry. Bud becomes just the third CPGA Member to receive the Alberta PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in the Player Category, joining fellow CPGA Members Henry Martell and Frank Fowler.
Frank Fowler2004 Winner
Mr. Frank Fowler joined the Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association in 1957, but it wa s long before then when he picked up his first golf club and became hooked on the game.
While following his father around the Mayfair Golf & Country Club from sunrise to sunset, Frank learned the art of the game at the very grassroots level, giving him a strong appreciation and respect for the game of golf, inherent in the work performed by a private golf club’s keeper of the green. His father was the course’s superintendent for 22 years.
Following years of strengthening his grip, stance and swing during his childhood, Frank won the Edmonton Junior in 1949 and was the Highlands Junior Champion in 1950. Two years later he won his first city amateur and repeated as Edmonton’s Amateur Champion in 1954.
In 1955, Frank began his career as a golf professi onal, working at the Richmond Hill Golf Club in Grande Prairie, Alberta. In 1956 he went to work at the Red Deer G&CC for two years, before moving down to Calgary to become Canyon Meadows’ Head Pr ofessional from 1959 to 1974. Frank took a stab at the Canadian Tour in 1975, then came back to wo rk at the Drumheller Golf Club for three years, before moving on to work eleven more years at the North Battleford Golf & Country Club in Saskatchewan.
His playing career as a golf professional in Al berta, have earned Frank th is Lifetime Achievement Award nomination by the Alberta PGA Board of Direct ors. Frank will join the legendary Henry Martell, as the two golf professionals to earn this prestigious Award.
And his playing career as a golf professional speaks fo r itself: He finished in the top five in the Alberta Open, the Saskatchewan Open and the Manitoba Open, a combined nine times between 1956 and 1966, at a time when there were very few golf tourna ments open to professionals. In 1966, he finished runner up to another Canadian Go lf Legend, Moe Norman, at the Canadian PGA Championship and was invited to represent Team Canada at the Wo rld Golf Championship in Tokyo, where he joined partner George Knudson, one of Canada’s greatest PGA Tour Members of all time, where they competed against a field which included Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. In 1978 he won the Alberta PGA Pro Am Championship.
Frank has since retired as a golf professional, but has maintained his professional status as a Life Member of the Canadian PGA, and his game continues to flourish. In 1986, he won his second Alberta PGA Pro Am Championship and the Canadian PGA Seniors’ Championship. In 1992 he won the Alberta PGA Seniors’ Championship, and was the four time champion in Saskatchewan from 1994 to 1997. He repeated as the Alberta PGA Seniors’ Champion in 2001 at age 69.
Frank continues to support the Alberta PGA Seni or Championship each season, and tees it up each year, competing with all players young and old through to the final hole.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Association Builder
Sandy Robertson2003 Winner
Like so many before him, Alexander (Sandy) Robertson left Scotland for Canada as a banker, ending up in the growing city of Edmonton, Alberta. He later joined the Canadian PGA in 1958 as an Assistant Professional at the Mayfair G&CC, when dues in the Association were just $17. A short time later in 1962, he moved on to become Head Professional at the Riverside Golf Course where he remained for eighteen years. In 1979, he made the move from Riverside’s public fairways to the private ones at the Glendale Golf and Country Club in Northwest Edmonton, where he stayed for another sixteen years, in an active capacity as Head Professional. More recently he has been helping his successor at Glendale, son Peter, for the past ten years, as a backshop supervisor. Currently, he is a Life Member of the Canadian PGA.
While Sandy is a well respected player, twice winning the Alberta Assistants’ Championship in the 1970s, he is also known for his leadership within the Association, and for his efforts in building the Association from the ground up. As the Association’s first President in 1964, Sandy spearheaded the province’s education program, and coordinated the activities of the professional association in Alberta, without a rule book or procedure manual to follow.
In addition to laying the groundwork for regular meetings of the province’s golf professionals at the annual educational seminars he helped to initiate, he was also instrumental in establishing the Merchandising Trade Show in Alberta, bringing together golf professionals and sales representatives from throughout the province at various hotels and conference centres. To this day, this show remains one of the Association’s most valuable assets, and the premier show in the country.
In 1964, when the first Education Seminar was held in Red Deer, an unexpected 70 Professionals showed up to the meeting, officially forming the Alberta PGA as a Zone body representative of the Canadian PGA.
Sandy’s initiative within the Association landed him the role as Alberta’s representative at National Association meetings and eventually a position on the National Education Committee. He could often be found marking Class A exams on the train ride between Edmonton and Toronto.
Sandy’s contributions to the Association, both on a Provincial and National level continue to bring value to Golf Professionals and to the industry. In 2003, Sandy was unanimously selected by the Alberta PGA Board of Directors as the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Association Builder Category.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Industry
Jack Skellern2014 Winner
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1925 and raised in Nelson, British Columbia, Jack Skellern who was a WWII Veteran in the Canadian Air Force actually got his start in the game of golf at the age of 44 in Vancouver, BC.
Even though Mr. Skellern worked outside of the industry for the first part of his career, he always had a great passion for the game of golf. He was a member and director at the Uplands GC in Victoria, BC and those who knew him fondly remember one of his expressions ‘the higher the handicap, the higher the sales’.
His love of everything golf eventually led him to a company called Golfcraft and from there he started his own company called Two Way Golf. In 1973 Jack started working for Powerbilt and it is here that he had most of his success and developed tremendous relationships with PGA of Alberta Professionals over the next 20 years. To Jack golf was a friendship, not a business, and it was no secret that he viewed the annual Buying Show as a holiday, a time when he could connect with all his friends.
Jack brought Powerbilt to the forefront in many golf shops across the province, as he was genuinely interested in helping the Professionals with their business. His interest extended to the education of PGA of Alberta Professionals, and at the Spring Seminar Jack was the first one there to provide funds to subsidize the costs. He attended all the seminars he could, and many Professionals remember his generosity as he would step up to buy the coffee and muffins without giving any of them the chance to even reach for their wallets. His generosity also extended to tournaments, where he coul d be seen supporting the players and donating funds to the Assistants, stating “maybe this will help the boys out a bit.”
In 1986 Mr. Skellern was named as the presenting sponsor of the Jack Skellern Patron of the Year Award which is still presented annually on his behalf to an individual or organization, for their support of the PGA of Alberta and the advancem ent of Professional Golf in the province.
On December 13, 1999 a dear friend of the PGA of Alberta passed away at the Andy Moog Centre in Penticton, BC. And while friends say Jack was more than generous with what little he had, it was the riches in friendship and love that fulfilled him the most. Jack was proud of the PGA of Alberta, and he is fondly remembered as one of the kindest and nicest people who ever set foot in the golf industry.
Today Jack Skellern’s name continues to be a big part of the Association, as an Honourary Member and now as a Lifetime Achievement Award Winner in the Industry Category.