PGA National Awards

2006 PGA National Award Winners

The following individuals were selected as The PGA of America's 2006 National Award winners.

Jim Manthis, PGA Master Professional at the University of Minnesota/Les Bolstad Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn., has been named the 53rd recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, the highest annual honor bestowed by the PGA of America on a PGA Professional.

A native of Minneapolis and resident of Coon Rapids, Minn., Manthis, 64, is the third member of the Minnesota PGA Section to be so honored. Manthis' introduction to golf came at age 9 while through his foster father at Galls Golf Course in White Bear Lake, Minn. His love for the game blossomed by age 12 while serving as a caddie at Midland Hills Country Club in St. Paul, Minn., where he met PGA Head Professional Wally Mund. Two years later, Manthis recorded his first complete round of golf. He went on to be an accomplished player, winning tournaments in six different decades, and in the past five as a PGA Professional.

The connection between Manthis and Mund grew, with Mund winning the 1969 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award and serving 17 years on the PGA Executive Committee, the longest such term of any PGA Professional. Mund became PGA head professional at Midland Hills, and Manthis would later succeed his longtime mentor in 1967 and remain in that position until 1995.

Manthis turned professional in 1964, and was elected to PGA membership in 1969, the same year that he founded the Assistants Association in the Minnesota PGA Section. For the next two decades, Manthis followed Mund's advice well, becoming one of the most active members of the Section. He served three terms on the Board of Directors from 1974 through 1994; as Section president from 1983-84; as District 8 Director on the PGA national Board (1987-90); as a member of the Board of Control (1993-97); and as a member of the PGA Membership Committee (2001-03).

Giving back to others was a part of Manthis, and he demonstrated it best by training more than 250 caddies, including 37 that earned Chick Evans Scholarships to attend college. Additionally, Manthis guided six assistants who went on to pursue golf professional careers.

Other recipients of 2006 PGA of America Awards are:

Bill Forrest of Scottsdale, Ariz. – PGA Teacher of the Year
Frank Selva of Bethany, Conn.– PGA Junior Golf Leader
Michael Harmon of Beaufort, S.C.,– Bill Strausbaugh Award
Tom Tatnall of Ridgeland, Miss. – Horton Smith Award
Bob Baldassari of  Fredericksburg, Va. – President's Plaque (for contributions to PGA Player Development)
Northern California PGA Section – Herb Graffis Award (for exemplary contributions to Player Development)
Brian Gerard of  Meggett, S.C. – PGA Merchandisers of the Year - Resort Facilities
Brad Bradem of Discovery Bay, Calif. – PGA Merchandisers of the Year - Public Facilities
Dick Stewart of Kalamazoo, Mich. – PGA Merchandisers of the Year - Private Facilities
Mik Small of Champaign, Ill. - PGA Professional Player of the Year
Chris Starkjohann of Cardiff by the Sea, Calif. - Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year