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 - 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.
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 was 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 professional, 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 Professional from 1959 to 1974. Frank took a stab at the Canadian Tour in 1975, then came back to work 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 Alberta, have earned Frank this Lifetime Achievement Award nomination by the Alberta PGA Board of Directors. 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 for 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 tournaments open to professionals. In 1966, he finished runner up to another Canadian Golf Legend, Moe Norman, at the Canadian PGA Championship and was invited to represent Team Canada at the World 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 Senior Championship each season, and tees it up each year, competing with all players young and old through to the final hole.
Henry Martell2003 Winner
Hammering Henry Martell, the Mashie-Manipulating Maverick was born in Poland March 16th, 1913. That same year, at the age of six months, his family moved to Canada and settled in Edmonton, Alberta.
Throughout his career Mr. Martell distinguished himself as both a player and a professional. As one of Canada’s most highly respected members, Hammering Hank became a respected athlete, sportsman, teacher, and mentor to many.
Mr. Martell once recounted his introduction to the game during a CFRN interview. Upon finding an old English Special Loft Iron in the alley garbage can, Henry convinced his friends to help build a six hole course on the old Hudson Bay Reserve Grounds (now the site of the Edmonton Airport) . He was hooked.
As an amateur from 1928 through 1947, Mr. Martell was a marvel on the golf scene. So much so that he left his job as an Edmonton Police Officer to become a Professional Golfer in 1947. His career as Head Professional at the Highlands Golf Course lasted 32 years, until his retirement in 1979.
His accomplishments include:
10 Edmonton Open wins; 1934, 1936, 1938-39, 1949, 1951-55, 1957, 1958-59, 1961
11 Edmonton Amateur wins; 1935-45, 1947
11 Alberta Amateur wins; 1935-47
1 Canadian Amateur win; 1946
1 Ontario Open win; 1939
3 Alberta Open wins; 1936, 1944-45 , 1952
4 Saskatchewan Open wins; 1952-53, 1956-57
2 CPGA Championship wins; 1953, 1958 (2nd in 1954)
2 CPGA Seniors’ wins; 1966, 1971 (at age 59)
Guinness Record for eight consecutive birdies
These accomplishments, along with his contribution to the game of golf and his city, secured Mr. Martell a place in the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. On June 7, 2002 the city of Edmonton honoured Mr. Martell with the dedication of the Henry Martell Park in the Highlands neighbourhood next to the golf course he loved.
The Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association lost one of it’s most respected members in 1987 at the age of 74. Survived by his wife Frances, son Clyde, and daughter Sandra, Mr. Martell will be remembered as a true ambassador for the game of golf.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Teacher
Born on May 26th, 1954 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Alan Riley left his career in oil & gas to follow his passion for the game of golf. Alan joined the PGA of Canada in 1983 under the mentorship and guidance of Head Professional Ray Milne, at the Highlands GC. Here he became an instant favorite amongst the membership and with the support of the club he obtained his Class ‘A’ status in 1987.
In 1988, Alan went on to take the role of Head Professional at the Edson GC where he superseded Bud Loftus, another one of his mentors, and remained for the next 12 years. An individual who has always had a thirst for knowledge, Alan continued to develop his understanding of the golf swing during his tenure at the Edson GC. It was here that he set a goal to complete the requirements necessary in order to obtain the Master Professional designation with the PGA of Canada. In 2003, Alan was awarded the Master Professional designation, a title that only 14 Members in Canada held at that time. Today, Alan is one of three Master Professionals in Alberta and 25 in Canada.
In his quest to become one of the most influential instructors in Alberta, Alan began to apprentice with world renowned instructor, Chuck Cook. As Alan’s philosophy on instruction took shape, he began the lengthy process of writing his thesis ‘How to Play Better Golf without Practicing’ which focused on the importance of the mental aspects of the game.
Alan’s involvement with the PGA of Alberta has been vast, from serving on the Education and Membership committees to being voted in as Association President in 1997 where he served until his advisory role ended in 2000. Today, Alan is actively involved as a facilitator with the PGA of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program as well as instructing golf physical education courses at the University of Alberta
In 2000, Alan was offered the role of Program Coordinator for the Professional Golf Management Program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, thus beginning a new chapter in his professional teaching career. Over the next 15 years, Alan was directly responsible for the program curriculum and was instrumental in mentoring and teaching approximately 1,300 students. In 2006, Alan received a Distinguished Teaching Award from Grant MacEwan, acknowledging his contributions. Alan can also be credited for drafting an application for the Grant MacEwan Golf Team in 2008, which is now regarded as one of the largest teams in Alberta. In 2011 and 2012, Alan was named ACAC Coach of the Year and was subsequently nominated for a CCAA Coach of the Year Award.
In 2016, Alan was selected by the PGA of Alberta Board of Directors as the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Teacher Category. Alan becomes the third Member in Alberta to receive this prestigious Award.
Clayton Robb2005 Winner
Born on April 9th, 1939, and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Clayton Robb first picked up a golf club under the watchful eye of Riverside Golf & Country Club Head Professional, Bill Turnbull, and at the age of twelve, became one of the club’s caddies.
In the 1950s, between regular shifts at the club, he managed to win the Saskatchewan Juvenile Championship and the Lobstick Amateur Open in Waskesiu, known today throughout Western Canada as one of the top Open Golf Tournaments.
Deciding to pursue golf as a career, Clayton joined the Canadian PGA in 1960, while working as an Assistant Professional at the Riverside G&CC. He went on to work as Head Professional at Willowdale G&CC and Cooke GC in Saskatchewan, before making the move to the Pinebrook Golf & Country Club in Calgary in 1975. He was a Member of the Saskatchewan PGA Board of Directors for four y ears, including one year as president, he won the Saskatchewan PGA Championship twice, th e 1965 Regina Open and the Lobstick Open in 1972, this time as a professional, before leaving for Alberta.
It was during his twenty five years as Head Professional and Director of Instruction at Pinebrook, where Clayton was able to develop and pursue his greatest passion in life, and make his mark as one of the most influential and talented golf instructors in the country.
While serving the club members of Calgary’s newest private golf club, Clayton developed and organized several initiatives to help grow the game and foster individual talents. The most notable are the Lynne Cox Ladies’ Camp – the first of its kind – a Canadian Ladies’ Golf Program which he ran for fifteen years for the top ten females in the country, helping them prepare for international competition; and the Maximum Golf School, which began in 1982 and continues to be offered by golf professionals today.
A strong believer in sharing successes with others, in order to develop short game and biomechanical instructional approaches, Clayton founded a soft touch short game school in 1983, and has attended several national and international clinics and school s on the subject. In 2003 he co-chaired the Alberta PGA Teaching Summit, in order to provide Alberta’s Golf Professionals with a similar opportunity to share their experiences with one another.
His involvement with the Alberta PGA has been instrumental in the development of top instructors within the province and in 1996, Clayton was voted by his peers as the Alberta PGA Teacher of the Year. Clayton becomes the second Member to receive the Alberta PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in the Teacher Category.
Alex Olynyk2003 Winner
Born June 18th , 1918, Alex Olynyk joined the CPGA in 1947 and was a member until he passed away March 9th , 1998. He was an instrumental teacher in the game of golf.
Not only was Alex Olynyk a proud member of the Alberta PGA, he also served in World War II as a surveyor and artillery specialist. With his love of the game and his love to teach people the game of golf, Alex was a key asset to Canadian Golf.
Getting started at the age of 12, Alex found his first golf clubs out of a garbage can. He began to practice his skills in cow pastures. He played his first pro event at age 17, earning $50 and continued on to enjoy great success at the game, even defeating t he great Stan Leonard for the Canadian Senior Championship title in 1969.
Alex went onto becoming a builder and founder of the Windermere G&CC. He also served as the facility’s first Head Professional and mentored several apprentices into Head Professionals, including Sandy Roberts on, Bill Wright Jr., Monte Koenig and 1954 Canadian Open Champion Pat Fletcher. He also opened the city of Edmonton’s first driving ranges, Grierson Hill and Borden Park.
As an instructor, Alex ran his renowned Masters Golf School, which he opened in 1938. Alex was a teaching professional fo r more then 60 years. He taught many students during the course of his career, including much celebrated ladies’ champion Betty Stanhope Cole and Canadian Junior champion, Rob McMillan.
Alex was honored at the Legends Golf Course , where his favorite saying can be found on a plaque, “The person who wins at the game of golf isn’t the one with the lowest score, it’s the person who enjoys the game the most.” Alex Olynyk became a Life Member of the Canadian PGA in 1988.
After his passing, a scholarship in memory of Alex, is in place as a reminder of the thousands of junior golfers he started on their way. Donations continue to be made to the Alex Olynyk Junior Golf Scholarship Fund in care of the Edmonton Junior Golf Association. Alex is survived by his wife, Elaine and 4 children, Sandy, Toni, Beth and Victoria.
In 2003, Alex was unanimously selected by t he Alberta PGA Board of Directors as the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Teacher Category.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Association Builder
Born April 1st, 1941, Don Price joined the PGA of Canada in 1964 as an Assistant at the Earl Grey GC. He continued his golf career as a Head Professional with Red Deer GC, Canyon Meadows G&CC and Glencoe G&CC, where he retired in 1998.
He was a Class ‘A’ Member for 34 years and throughout his membership, gained much recognition for his work within the Association and his personal career. Don became a PGA of Alberta Board Member in 1966, served as President from 1976 - 1980 and remained an advisor to the Board until 1998. He also spent 4 Years as the National Representative for Alberta and became the National Employment Chairman as the CPGA Rep.
Don Price was honored as the Alberta Club Professional of the Year for a record five consecutive years from 1980 - 1984. He was also recognized and awarded the Canadian Club Professional of the Year Honour in 1983. Ron Belbin, Jim Boomer, Judy Forshner, Ken Frame, Alan Killian, Steve Moe, Bill Murchison and Brian Miller are just some of the Head Professionals who apprenticed under Don.
Some other achievements include:
> 1977 CPGA Classic Shimoda Japan Champion
> 1978 Southern Alberta Pro Match Play Challenge Champion
> 1979 2nd place in the Canadian Club Pro Challenge
> 1981 & 1983 Alberta Pro - Lady Individual Champion
Don has contributed endlessly to Junior Golf Development. He started the Junior Masters in 1990, to give Calgary elite juniors an equal competitive opportunity to play, as the Edmonton Golf Association was doing for the city of Edmonton juniors.
In 1998, Don Price was recognized for not only being a member of the PGA of Canada for 25 years, but his years of golf service and his contributions to the game of golf. Soon after, Don retired in 1999 and moved to Creston, BC with his wife Linda.
Don was recognized once again for his involvement within the Association and the game of golf by becoming a Life Member of the Association in 2000, and in 2003 he was unanimously selected by the Board of Directors to receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in the Leadership Category.
In 2012, Don was once again recognized for his contributions to the Association and was presented with a 2nd Lifetime Achievement Award, the latest being in the Builder Category.
Alan Ewen2008 Winner
Born in Fife, Scotland on November 27, 1933 and raised in Dunfermline, Scotland, Al Ewen, a carpenter and draftsman actually got his start in the game of golf when he came to Canada at age 27, playing at the Victoria GC in Edmonton.
His natural ability allowed him to progress quickly in the game and following a brief stint as President of the Victoria Golf Club, Al decided to make his passion his profession. In 1962, Al joined the CPGA and became an Assistant to Jack Reynolds at the Red Deer G&CC.
In 1964, Ewen moved to the Regal Golf Club (now Calgary Elks Lodge) with Head Professional Neil Green.
In 1965, Bud Loftus took him on as an Assistant at the Calgary Golf & Country Club, where his career flourished. He remained as an Assistant to Loftus for ten years, and upon Bud’s retirement in 1975, Ewen assumed the Head Professional role, a post he held until his retirement in 1994, some thirty years later.
Al’s commitment to the profession and to the Association have been evident throughout his career. He had an outstanding service record as Head Professional at the Calgary Golf & Country Club, highlighted with the Members at the club providing him with a lifetime membership. Al also served on the PGA of Alberta Board of Directors for five years, was President of the Board for two years, served on the National Board of Directors for eight years and was President of the Canadian PGA for two years.
As an accomplished player, Al won the Alberta Assistants’ Championship in 1971, and finished in the top ten three times at the Western Assistant Professional Championship between 1965 and 1968. As an instructor to many of the game’s greats, Al Ewen has established a number of golf leagues in and around the city to help spread the game far and wide, and he still finds the time to watch over some of the up and coming instructors of today at least three times a week.
In 1993, Al Ewen became a Life Member of the Canadian PGA.
On most days during the golf season, if Al isn’t hitting it two hundred and fifty yards down the middle, he can still be found at his ‘desk’ at the Calgary Golf & Country Club, a spot unofficially reserved for him at all times in the pro shop offices. And he always seems to take the time with anyone to discuss the game as part of a welcomed daily routine by the staff and Members at one of the province’s most established clubs, a ‘club’ he played a great part in building.
Golf wasn’t always at the forefront of De rek Gibson’s career plans. Growing up in the 1950s and 60s playing hockey on the ponds of Prince Albert, Derek centered players on teams at every level of play, eventually moving into Junior and Senior Leagues in Greensboro, North Carolina and Spokane, Washington during the winter months, and working at the golf courses during the summer. “With only six teams in the National Hockey League’s until 1967, it was pretty tough to make a go of it at that time,” says Gibson, “you had maybe 120 guys in the league.”
And so Derek’s focus on golf grew more intense with each summer in Prince Albert and later on in Saskatoon, working as a member of the greenscrew under Head Professional Hubert Cooke, and t hen with Peter Semko at Holiday Park. “Working for $50 a week for Peter was what I was paid in ’62. “It was fun though, helping build a brand new golf course. You know, I learned a lot there with Peter those two years, that’s for sure.”
In 1964, Gibson left Saskatchewan and moved to Ontario, to work year-round with Jack Kay, Head Professional at the Rosedale GC in Toronto. Derek stayed with Jack for five years, working six months in Toronto and six months at Lyford Cay GC in Nassau, which at the time is where Jack spent his winter months. “I bumped into a lot of interesting people down in Nassau,” recalls Gibson. “One day, I open the shop and a few moments later I look up from the counter and I’m staring at Sean Connery, standing there with a bag of clubs over his shoulder. He was in the Bahamas filming Thunderball (1965), and with shooting at night, I guess he had time for golf during the day. We must have played more than 20 rounds together that year.”
In the fall of 1969, Derek applied for the Mayfair position, which was being vacated by Ron Rayner, who was moving to The Summit GC in Ontario. Derek flew fr om Toronto to interview for the job, en route to Nassau for his winter term with Jack, and In February of 1970, he was offered the job, which he anxiously accepted.
While at Mayfair, Derek has seen a number of professional s, members and guests come through the Mayfair Gates to the historic Edmonton Club. “I generally kept assistants for five years, if they wanted,” says Gibson. “That was ideally the best for both of us.” Some of his Assistants who moved into Head Pro roles are Ron Belbin, Randy Breen, Gord Hayward, Dean Heck, Jim Jempson and Pat Little. He has traded conversations over time with Ken Venturi, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Mike Harris, and in 1980 when Mayfair held the Canadian Open, Derek had the likes of Arnold Palmer, Isao Aoki and Bob Charles walk into his pro shop.
In 1972, after his second season at Mayfair, Derek was approached by a few Members of the Alberta PGA and was asked to consider helping out as a Member of the Board of Di rectors. Derek gladly accepted and his enthusiasm for the Alberta Zone continued to grow, as he served on the Board for eight more years before becoming president in 1981. Derek remained as an advisor to the Board following his term in 1983, a post he has kept in guiding the Alberta PGA ever since. Derek was voted by his peers as the Club Professional of the Year in 1985.
In 2001, Derek retired from his duties at Mayfair, however, he and wife Irene continue to be a part of the growth of the club, as lifetime members. A Life Member of the Canadian PGA, Derek became the fourth recipient of the Alberta PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in the Association Builder Category.
Bill Quilley2005 Winner
Bill Quilley was born on November 7th , 1933 and at the age of twenty-nine, decided to join the Alberta Zone of the Canadian PGA as an Apprentice in April 1963, while working at the Regal Golf Club in Calgary (later to become known as the Calgary Elks Lodge & Golf Club and now The Winston GC).
After brief stints of seasonal employment as a Assistant Professional at the Canyon Meadows G&CC and the Calgary CC, Quilley found a stable position at the Willow Park G&CC in 1967, first as an Assistant, and later as the Club Manager. He remained at Willow Park through the 1975 season before moving to British Columbia, as Head Professional at the Kimberley Golf Club, to close out his career.
Throughout his career, he had a proven track record both on and off the golf course. As a successful tournament player, Quilley posted runner-up finishes in the provincial Assistants’ Championship in 1963, 1964 and 1966, and finished in the top ten at the 1964 Calgary Molson Open, the 1964 U.S. National Lefthanders Open in Florida, and the 1966 Edmonton City Open.
In 1965, he decided to complement the competitive skills he had developed on the golf course with a year of PGA business school in the United States. Upon his return, he quickly ascended the employment ranks at Willow Park, and used his savvy business knowledge to help shape the Alberta Zone into the Association it is today.
As Zone President from 1969 to 1973, Quilley was in charge of all Zone administration, including the record keeping duties associated with Member movement, and was instrumental in promoting education and employment for CPGA Members. He was one of the founding Members of the Alberta PGA Education Seminar, an event which has now grown to host over 200 annual attendees, and also served as the regional employment representative for Southern Alberta during that time. Along with fellow Alberta PGA Board Member Frank Fowler, he would travel to golf clubs throughout t he southern half of the province every Friday afternoon, while his counterparts Sandy Robertson and Ron Rayner did the same in the northern half of the province, promoting the hiring of CPGA Members to provide professional services to these clubs.
A true testament to how dedicated our past golf professionals were to the game, is recollected in one of Quilley’s favourite stories about the summer he enjoyed working with Bud Loftus at the Calgary Country Club. ‘Six days a week, we were at the club at quarter past five, pulling carts out for the day. It took as all of fifteen minutes, and although there were no golfers for the next hour that didn’t matter. We’d play the front nine in forty-seven minutes and be ready for work at half past six. That’s how we learned the game.’
Quilley was unanimously voted in as a Life Member of the Canadian PGA in 1994 and currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta.
Dave Mayes2004 Winner
The Alberta Professional Golfers’ Association was formed in 1964 by a group of Alberta’s Canadian PGA Members to advance the interests of golf professionals in this province. Golf Professionals have always played a strong leadership role and have always been very prominent at the club level in the promotion of the game of golf, through a strong ability to play the game, as well as teach the game. Things haven’t changed too much as far as leadership goes, Golf Professionals continue to be the Ambassadors and Leaders of the game of golf each and every day, playing a much more significant role today on the business end of the golf operation.
This loosely knit group of golf professionals met annually to increase and communicate any available employment opportunities to each other within the province, and developed an annual education seminar to promote the sharing of information and ideas designed to help them with their careers in the pro shops.
In 1986 the Association took a major step forward in solidifying this leadership position and brought with it a major increase in Membership Programs and Services by hiring its’ first full time Executive Director, Mr. Dave Mayes. Equipped with a few contact phone numbers, three boxes full of Membership Records and a few thousand dollars in the bank, Dave went to work, setting up an office in the basement of his house, and began a journey to help each and every Canadian PGA Member in Alberta advance their careers in the golf industry.
With a strong vision for what the future could hold for the Membership, Dave worked tirelessly with ten Presidents, dozens of Board Members and hundreds of Members at large during a career which spanned over 16 years. His work helped to build a family of golf professionals into the prominent figures of the game in Alberta, and shape the Alberta Zone of the Canadian PGA into a leader in the industry, an organization which many industry experts across the country have come to call a model Association.
When his family moved to Calgary from Scotland, Dave got his start in the game at age 13, washing clubs and carrying bags as a ‘C’ caddy for the Membership at the Calgary Golf & Country Club. It wasn’t long before he made the jump through the ‘B’ ranks to the ‘A’ list under Head Professional Jack Cuthbert.
Dave’s passion for the game led him to volunteer as a Member of the Calgary Golf Association and the Alberta Golf Association for a combined twelve years. In 1986, after thirty-six years at Texaco, Dave accepted the challenge presented to him by the Members of the PGA of Alberta, and left Texaco to work full time in the golf industry.
One of only two Honourary Life Members of the Canadian PGA, Dave has since retired but continues to help out whenever the industry beckons. He has been a course marshal, starter and scorer at almost every Professional and Amateur Championship in the province, and continues to support all Alberta PGA tournaments, seminars and shows, to see how the family of Alberta’s golf professionals are doing with their careers.
Dave retired in 2000 and was awarded with Honourary Lifetime Membership in 2003.
After making great contributions to the Association, Dave was awarded the PGA of Alberta Lifetime Achievement Award in the Association Builder category in 2004.
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 - Leadership
Born on June 11, 1956 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Paul Lowe joined the PGA of Canada in 1978 starting his career in golf at the Bridgewater G&CC in Fort Erie, Ontario where he worked for seven seasons. Once achieving his Class ‘A’ status, Paul moved to Henderson Lake Golf Club under the guidance of Jim McLaughlin before accepting his first Head Professional position at the Hillcrest Sports Centre in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1986. A number of moves across Western Canada within a year and a half brought him back to Henderson Lake to accept the Head Professional position where he remained for 28 years. It wasn’t long after this move that he began to stand out as a leader in the golf industry. Considered by his peers as a mentor in junior golf, retail, customer service, teaching and playing, Mr. Lowe has inspired many golf professionals to be the best version of themselves both on and off the course. He can be quoted by many saying, “treat the person off the street with the same quality you would give your best member”.
Under the mentorship of Jim McLaughlin, Paul learned the ‘Junior-Junior Program’ from the son of Jack McLaughlin, the very person that introduced it to the PGA of Canada and learned the importance of strong Junior Programs. With this guidance combined with his passion and commitment to junior development made his program one of the best in Southern Alberta at the time. This program that was held out of Henderson Lake provided an introduction to the game and stimulated the interest of golf to juniors in Lethbridge and the surrounding area. As soon a junior became a member at the Henderson Lake, they were automatically enrolled in this program with no extra charge for instruction. With two other Golf Professionals, Paul went on to implement a Junior Super League which included ten clubs in the Southern Alberta area including Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Calgary and High River. Above the instruction that he provided, Paul made it his goal to start the Henderson Lake GC Junior Scholarship Program. To date, approximately $90,000 has been raised for the Scholarship Program. His innovative junior development ideas were recognized by the PGA of Alberta in 1998 & 2006 when he won Junior Leader of the Year. He was nominated three more times in this category and once for Club Professional of the Year in 2014.
Mike Mezei, writer for SCOREGolf and past PGA Tour Canada winner, and Dunc Mills, Executive Director of the McLennan Ross Junior Golf Tour both commended Paul for outstanding dedication to both Henderson Lake and junior golf in Canada in their 2014 articles.
In a further effort to develop Golf Professionals in Alberta, Paul, Brian Huculak, the current Executive Professional at the Lethbridge CC and the Director of Lethbridge College at the time introduced the PGA Golf Management Program to the College. The three were instrumental in building the noteworthy program which many PGA of Canada golf professionals were enrolled in.
Receiving the Life Professional designation in 2015, Paul remains to be active in the Association and continues to be a role model to many members. He takes great care of the ones in whom he sees great potential in and always inspires them to grow into Golf Professionals of their own. The Association is pleased to recognize Paul as the third Member to receive the PGA of Alberta Lifetime Achievement Award in the Leadership Category.
Born June 1, 1946 in Vancouver BC and raised in Victoria, Jay Wilson grew up under the watchful eyes of the two Canadian PGA Head Professionals who worked at the Victoria GC, Laurie Carroll and Paul Trapp in the 1960s.
As a junior, Jay competed in many local junior events, city amateurs and island opens. He was a distinguished enough junior at the time and made the trip to compete in four provincial juniors as well as the Canadian Junior between 1961 and 1964.
In 1965, Jay decided to join the Canadian PGA and became the Assistant Professional at the Victoria GC, a position he held until 1968. In 1969 he decided to make the move to Alberta, accepting a position with Head Professional Ron MacLeod at Jasper Park Lodge. In the winter months, Jay would travel to the Bahamas where he worked as a Golf Professional at the Grand Bahama Hotel (1969 to 1974). As far as his career in Alberta, he remained in Jasper until 1977 and learned as much as there is to learn about the golf business and about merchandising from some of the leaders in the industry. He had found his passion.
In 1978, he was offered the Head Professional position at the Shaganappi Point Golf Club, a municipal course located in the heart of Calgary. Twenty-five seasons later in 2002, he could still be found in the shop at ‘shag sipping away at a coffee while reviewing a list of inventory or a catalogue of new products with the same level of passion and excitement as the day he first started. Jay has the time for everyone who walks through his door and has an all around good-natured ability to engage everyone around him into a passionate dialogue about the golf business. He enjoys learning from others and is always willing to share his experiences from his life long passion with the game.
Since the days as Head Professional at ‘shag, (he became Executive Professional in 1995) Jay also oversaw operations at the city’s McCall Lake Golf Course from 1988 to 2006 and was involved in the operation of the Valley Ridge GC from 1984 until 1987 and in the ownership of the Cochrane GC from 1995 to 2003.
When the city bought his shop in 2002, he continued to manage the operation at McCall for four years before moving on to assist with the revival of the Sundre GC, a position he currently holds and as described in his own words ‘the ownership aspect of the business intrigues me the most.’
Fitting for a genuine and natural business leader who happens to be a golf professional.
His Leadership contributions to the Industry were also recognized within the Association, when, as a Member of the Board of Directors from 1980 to 1986, Jay was voted as Association President in 1986. His first order of business was to hire Executive Director Dave Mayes to assist the Board in building the Association. The PGA of Alberta Championship was another significant initiative that found its roots under the guidance of Jay Wilson, who organized the Association’s first Pro Am to Jasper in 1981 and 1982 before the event was separated into the Pro Am and Stroke Play Championship in 1983.
Jay continues to oversee the Sundre GC operation and becomes just the 2nd recipient of the PGA of Alberta’s Lifetime Achievement Award in the Leadership Category, joining Don Price who received the award in 2003.
Born April 1st , 1941, Don Price joined the CPGA in 1964 as an Assistant at the Earl Grey GC. He continued his golf career as a Head Professional with Red Deer GC, Canyon Meadows G&CC and Glencoe G&CC, where he retired in 1998.
He was a Class ‘A’ Member for 34 years and throughout his membership, gained much recognition for his work within the Association and his personal career. Don became an Alberta PGA Board Member in 1966, served as President from 1976-1980 and remained an advisor to the Board until 1998. He also spent 4 Years as the CPGA Representative for Alberta and became the National Employment Chairman as the CPGA Rep.
Don Price was honored as the Alberta Club Professional of t he Year for a record five consecutive years from 1980-1984. He was also recognized and awarded the Canadian Club Professional of the Year Honour in 198 3. Ron Belbin, Jim Boomer, Judy Forshner, Ken Frame, Alan Killian, St eve Moe, Bill Murchison and Brian Miller are just some of the Head Professionals who apprenticed under Don.
Some other achievements include:
> 1977 CPGA Classic Shimoda Japan Champion
> 1978 Southern Alberta Pro Match Play Challenge Champion
> 1979 2nd place in the Canadian Club Pro Challenge
> 1981 & 1983 Alberta Pro-Lady Individual Champion
Don has contributed endlessly to Junior Golf Development. He started the Junior Masters in 1990, to give Calgary elite juniors an equal competitive opportunity to play, as the Edmonton Golf Association was doing for the city of Edmonton juniors.
In 1998, Don Price was recognized for not on ly being a member of the CPGA for 25 years, but his years of golf service and his contributions to the game of golf. Soon after, Don retired in 1999 and moved to Creston, BC with his wife Linda.
Don was recognized once again for his involvement within the Association and the game of golf by becoming a Life Member of the CPGA in 2000, and in 2003 he was unanimously selected by the Board of Directors to receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in the Leadership 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 could 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 advancement 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.