Editor's Note: For more information on the individual award winners, click here.
Dan Pasternak, the PGA General Manager at Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club, has been named the 65th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. In winning the highest annual honor given to a PGA Golf Professional, Pasternak heads the 2018 PGA National Awards class for “qualities of leadership, strong moral character, and a substantial record of service” to the PGA and the game of golf overall.
As the first-ever PGA Professional to assume the role of General Manager at the 122-year old Essex Fells Country Club, Pasternak has enjoyed a distinguished 22-year career as a PGA Member. A selfless leader and mentor, Pasternak has guided more than 20 former assistants and colleagues to PGA Head Professional status. This is part of an unrelenting passion to ensure his fellow colleagues and young professionals are equipped with the tools needed to advance in their careers.
Pasternak, the first New Jersey PGA Section Member named PGA Golf Professional of the Year, has served as a NJPGA Officer and on virtually every committee in the Section, as well as at the national level on the PGA’s Board of Directors. This commitment to volunteerism and service is reinforced by his current role as President of the New Jersey Golf Foundation, which he helped launch in 2004, as the charitable arm of the NJPGA. Recognizing the importance of continued education, he recently earned certification in General Management through the PGA Certified Professional Program.
The 2013 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient on the national level, Pasternak also received the award from the NJPGA on four occasions (2007, ’08, ’09, ’11). He is also a two-time recipient of the NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year (2007, ’11).
James Sieckmann, a 23-year PGA Member in the Nebraska Section and the PGA Director of Instruction at The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha, is the recipient of the 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”
Recognized by GOLF Magazine as a “Top 100 Teacher in America,” Sieckmann currently instructs 16 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Web.com Tour players, including Stewart Cink, Ben Crane, Anirban Lahiri, Cameron Tringale, Ben Marten, Tom Pernice Jr., Duffy Waldorf and 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion In-Kyung Kim, among others. He has also been named to Golf Digest’s “50 Best Teachers in America” list from 2015-2018.
Sieckmann is highly regarded as a mentor, educator and role model for fellow PGA Members. His recognition as 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year follows a long list of awards and accolades, including nine times as the Nebraska PGA Section’s Teacher of the Year (1996, 2000, ’01, ’02, ’04, ’09, ’14, ’15, ’16). He was also named the Nebraska Section Horton Smith Award Winner in 2000, and was inducted into the Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.
“The PGA of America National Awards winners represent the best of the best among our nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “Their expertise in the game and business of golf is so highly respected throughout the industry. Through their best practices and innovations in teaching, coaching, management, merchandising, growth-of-the-game initiatives, community and veterans outreach, and much more, they have earned the admiration of their peers. Congratulations to this outstanding class of PGA Members who serve as consummate PGA Professionals.”
Pasternak and Sieckmann lead a group of 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section in winning the PGA of America’s 2018 National Awards. The majority of the awards will be presented on Nov. 6 during the 2018 PGA Annual Meeting in Indian Wells, California. The three PGA Merchandiser of the Year Awards will be presented during the 2019 PGA Magazine Merchandiser of the Year Conference prior to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in January.
Recipients of the 2018 PGA of America National Awards include:
- PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Dan Pasternak, PGA, Essex Fells (New Jersey) Country Club
- PGA Teacher of the Year: James Sieckmann, PGA, The Golf Academy at Shadow Ridge C.C.-Omaha, Nebraska
- PGA Youth Player Development Award: Cameron Milton, PGA, Polson (Montana) Bay G.C.
- Bill Strausbaugh Award: Cameron Doan, PGA, Preston Trail G.C.- Dallas
- Horton Smith Award: Joseph Hallett, PGA, Vanderbilt Legends G.C.-Franklin, Tennessee
- PGA Player Development Award: Marvol Barnard, PGA/LPGA, Haven G.C.- Green Valley, Arizona
- Patriot Award: Ken Juhn, PGA, Terrace Hill Golf Center- Temple Terrace, Florida
- Deacon Palmer Award: Monty Elam, PGA, Whiteford Valley G.C.- Ottawa Lake, Michigan
- Herb Graffis Award: Colorado PGA Section
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Facilities: Nick Muller, PGA, C.C. of Lincoln (Nebraska)
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Facilities: Mark Rashell, PGA, The G.C. at Newcastle (Washington)
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Resort Facilities: Erik Wilson, PGA, Fairmont Grand G.C.- San Diego
For more information on the individual award winners, click here.
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