TaylorMade Staff Pros Compete for Sr. PGA Professional Championship

October 13, 2020
Wanamaker 2

If you've ever checked in at a golf shop, taken a lesson or played in a golf tournament, you likely have a PGA Professional to thank. These often unsung heroes of the game are given far too little credit for their contributions, but club professionals make golf possible for you and I on a daily basis.

During the crazy times that are 2020, they likely deserve even more credit. Rounds have exploded in the pandemic as golf has been uniquely positioned to provide a safe and fun way to both get outdoors and enjoy the company of others. Someone has to be up with the sun. Unlocking the golf shop, making sure sanitization protocols are in place and adhered to. Ensuring that the range is picked and fully stocked. That course conditions are up to par.

That someone is a PGA Professional. Within the walls of TaylorMade, we call them Crusaders because they’re on the frontline helping golfers everywhere to find more joy in the game.

This week, a class of senior PGA Professionals get to escape the daily grind and do the thing they love the most. Play golf. The 2020 Senior PGA Professional Championship is taking place at PGA Golf Club (pictured above) in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Oct. 15-18. There's a total of 46 TaylorMade Crusaders in the field.

Let's get to know some of them.

Facility: Century Country Club, Purchase, New York
Age: 52
College: University of Maryland
PGA Classification: Assistant Professional
PGA Member Since: 1996

Player Notes: A 3-time winner of the PGA Assistant Professional Championship, Frank has long been recognized as one of the top players in the New York Metropolitan area. He's competed in the 2012 PGA Championship (Kiawah Island) and the 2009 U.S. Open (Bethpage Black). He's won a number of high-profile events in New York including the Metropolitan Open, Metropolitan PGA Championship and New York State Open.

Favorite course:Winged Foot west
Lowest round: 61 at Century C.C.
Career hole-in-ones:11
X-Factor in your bag: Driver
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Turn, turn, turn.
Go-to on-course snack: Banana
Favorite golfer:Tiger
Favorite shot to hit: Long iron
Dream Foursome: Tiger, Arnie, & Hogan
Instagram handle: fb3468

Facility: Edinburgh USA Golf Club, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Age: 58
Augsburg College
PGA Classification: Head Professional
PGA Member Since:

Player Notes: Don was the 2002 PGA Professional Player of the Year and his a feared competitor in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. He is a 17-time Minnesota PGA Player of the Year and 7-time Minnesota PGA Senior Player of the Year. After being born in the Panama Canal Zone while his dad was deployed in the U.S. Army, he began playing golf at age 8 when his grandfather introduced him to the game. After splitting time between hockey, baseball and golf, he attended Augsburg College in Minnesota, where he was a member of its 1981 national championship hockey team. He's competed in 4 PGA Championships and one U.S. Open.

Favorite course:Pebble Beach
Lowest round: 61
Career hole-in-ones:Not sure, 7 I think. Won a car in the old Oldsmobile Scramble once, so none of the others are that memorable 😊
X-Factor in your bag: My daughter went to Hawaii with a friend years ago and bought me an Aloha ball marker with some bling on it that I still use to this day, lost it once in the seat of my truck and paid someone a couple hundred dollars to take the seat out because I couldn’t find it in there.
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): When it’s breezy, swing it easy.
Go-to on-course snack: Salted Nut Roll – they only sell them in the Upper Midwest, so good!
Favorite golfer:Jack Nicklaus
Favorite shot to hit: Love tough bunker shots
Dream Foursome: Probably be with my three brothers but I’d love to fit Clint Eastwood in there somehow.

Facility: Essex Fells Country Club, Essex Fells, N.J.
Montclair State University
PGA Classification:
Head Professional
PGA Membership:

Player Notes: The 2015 season was momentous for Brian, as he tied for 20th in the PGA Professional Championship, and went on to birdie the first extra hole of a five-way playoff to earn a PGA Championship trip. He has competed in five PGA Championships (2000, '09, '12, '15 and '16), finishing 71st and earning Low Club Professional honors in 2015 at Whistling Straits where follow Team TaylorMader Jason Day took home the Wanamaker. He was the first PGA Club Professional in four years to make the 36-hole cut.

Favorite course:Cypress Point, hands down.
Lowest round: 63
Career hole-in-ones:One. A measly one.
X-Factor in your bag: Putter, for sure.
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Might as well try to make it.
Go-to on-course snack: Peanut butter and jelly or Kind bars.
Favorite golfer:Tough one, Rory.
Favorite shot to hit: Chasing bunker shot.
Dream Foursome: Dad, Brother and God
Instagram handle: gaffney4703

Facility: Traverse City Golf & Country Club, Traverse City, Mich.
Age: 51
College: Ferris State University
PGA Classification: Head Professional
PGA Member Since: 2005

Player Notes: Through the history of the PGA of America, Scott is one of just three to win both the PGA Professional Championship (2008) and Senior PGA Professional Championship (2019). He set three Senior PGA Professional Championship records on his way to victory at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa: a third-round 63, a closing 36-hole total of 130 and a 72-hole aggregate of 16-under-par 270. He's made 5 PGA Championship appearances. Fun fact, during the third round of the 2011 PGA Professional Championship, he recorded his seventh career hole-in-one at the 16th hole at Hershey Country Club's East Course.

Favorite course:Tough questions there are so many great golf courses. Butler National, Southern Hills, Pebble Beach, The Bear (Grand Traverse Resort and Spa).
Lowest round: 61
Career hole-in-ones:5
X-Factor in your bag: The entire TaylorMade team, from the ball to the driver and every club in between. I know I am playing the best equipment in the industry.
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Golf is a game of opposites, down makes the ball go up. Too many golfers try to help the ball up into the air which breaks a fundamental of golf, striking down through the shot.
Go-to on-course snack: Peanut butter and jelly on oatmeal! Keeps you going!
Favorite golfer:Joe Hebert, my father
Favorite shot to hit: Making a long putt. No other shot in golf is more rewarding than making a putt with some length.
Dream Foursome: Joe Hebert, Joe Hebert II, Susie Hebert and myself. Of course I would love to play with many more; however if only had I round left to play, I would choose family.
Instagram handle: scottphebert

Facility: The Club At Las Campanas, Santa Fe, N.M.
Rice University
PGA Classification:
PGA Director of Golf
PGA Section:
Sun Country
PGA Membership:

Player Notes: The 2016 Senior PGA Professional of the Year award competed in three major championships that year: the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open and the PGA Championship. Brad had a tenured career on the PGA Tour having competed in 1991 and 2002-05, playing in a total of 106 events while making 33 cuts and earning more than $200,000. He's played in five PGA Tour majors, with his best finish coming in the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black (T58). As an instructor, more than 20 students have received college scholarships, with the majority of them playing at the D1 level.

Favorite course:Pebble Beach
Lowest round: 61 shot at the Sand Hills in Nebraska. This is the lowest round shot on a top 10 course in the world built after 1940. Golf Digest ranked it as # 8 best course records of all time!
Career hole-in-ones:6
X-Factor in your bag: My putter
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Just breathe
Go-to on-course snack: PB and Jelly sandwich
Favorite golfer:Tiger
Favorite shot to hit: My trap draw
Dream Foursome: Tiger, Jack and Tom Watson
Instagram handle: bradlardonpga

Facility: Bluemound Golf & Country Club, Wauwatosa, Wis.
Age: 57
College: University of Florida
PGA Classification: Director of Instruction
PGA Member Since:

Player Notes: Jim has led a storied career both as player and a coach. From 2017-19, he reigned as the Wisconsin PGA Section Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year simultaneously. He was twice named Section Teacher of the Year and works with Tour pros Jerry Kelly and Fred Funk. From 2003-11, he served as the men's golf coach at the University of Wisconsin. He was a member of the Florida Gators 1985 SEC Championship team and played on the Australian PGA Tour and the Nike Tour for 6 years.

Favorite course:Blue Mound G&CC
Lowest round: 62
Career hole-in-ones:12
X-Factor in your bag: Positive attitude
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): The next shot is an opportunity to succeed.
Go-to on-course snack: Uncrustables
Favorite golfer:Ben Hogan
Favorite shot to hit: A fade
Dream Foursome: Ben Hogan, Rory Mcllroy, Bobby Jones

Facility: Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club, Powell, Ohio
Glenville (W.Va.) State College
PGA Classification:
Director of Instruction
PGA Member Since:

Player Notes: In 2020 at Harding Park, Bob competed in his 11th career PGA Championship and first since 2018. That mark is tied for second all-time among PGA Club Professionals. Winner, 2004 PGA Professional Championship at Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio, he is a 4-time (2003-05 & '14) PGA Professional Player of the Year and 2018-19 Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year. He competed full-time on the Tour in 1998, 2004 and 2009, playing a total of 76 events and making 31 cuts. He competed full-time on the PGA Tour in 2008, with his best finish T9 in the 2008 Wyndham Championship. He has played a total of 40 events on the PGA Tour.

Favorite course:Pebble Beach
Lowest round: 61
Career hole-in-ones:7
X-Factor in your bag: Lob wedge
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Lead the league in GIR.
Go-to on-course snack: Cliff Bar
Favorite golfer:Ben Hogan
Favorite shot to hit: Drop fade
Dream Foursome: My Dad, my Brother, Ben Hogan

All photos provided courtesy of the PGA of America.

Full List of Team TaylorMade Competitors
JohnAberAllegheny Country ClubTri-State Section
DougBaumanBiltmore Country ClubIllinois Section
FrankBenselCentury Country ClubMetropolitan Section
JohnBermelPheasant Ridge Golf CourseIowa Section
DonBerryEdinburgh USA Golf ClubMinnesota Section
RonBeurmannCountry Club of JacksonMichigan Section
CharlieBrownGeneva National ResortWisconsin Section
DavidCarichHarbour Trees Golf ClubIndiana Section
DaveCarrTeal Bend Golf ClubNorthern California Section
BurkeCromerThe Spur at NorthwoodsCarolinas Section
FrankDully IIKernwood Country ClubNew England Section
JimEmpeyQuail Hollow Golf ClubRocky Mountain Section
SeanEnglishElkridge ClubMiddle Atlantic Section
DarrellFustonThe Woodlands Country Club Tournament CourseSouthern Texas Section
BrianGaffneyEssex Fells Country ClubNew Jersey Section
TomHardingCarls GolflandMichigan Section
DanielHeaslipWindstar on Naples BaySouth Florida Section
ScottHebertTraverse City Golf & Country ClubMichigan Section
TerryHertzogMerion Golf ClubPhiladelphia Section
LeeHouttemanLeland Country ClubMichigan Section
DavidHronekGOLFTEC - SarasotaNorth Florida Section
RogerKennedyCountry Club At MirasolSouth Florida Section
MikeKullbergSterling GolfSouthern Texas Section
BradLardonThe Club At Las CampanasSun Country Section
BarryMahlbergStadium Golf CenterSouthern California Section
JaredMelsonBear Trace at Tims FordTennessee Section
BarryMilsteadValley Country ClubColorado Section
KevinMuirThe WyndgateMichigan Section
MichaelO'ConnorKahkwa ClubWestern New York Section
DaveQuinnLaurel Creek Country ClubPhiladelphia Section
LeeRinkerEmerald Dunes ClubSouth Florida Section
MicahRudoskyConquistador Golf CourseColorado Section
TroySchleicherThe Player Golf CourseSouthern Texas Section
SteveSchneiterSchneiter's PebblebrookUtah Section
RickSchuellerStonehenge Golf & Country ClubMiddle Atlantic Section
DirkSchultzBeaver Creek Country ClubMiddle Atlantic Section
JimSchumanBluemound Golf & Country ClubWisconsin Section
JeffSeaveyGoose River Golf CourseNew England Section
RobSedorcekFamily Golf & Learning CenterGateway Section
JeffSheppardIndian Hills Country ClubMidwest Section
BobSowardsKinsale Golf and Fitness ClubSouthern Ohio Section
DaveSpenglerNorthBrook Country ClubWisconsin Section
BrianVarseyEssex Fells Country ClubNew Jersey Section
GordonVietmeierGordon Vietmeier Golf SchoolTri-State Section
TimWeinhartHeritage Golf LinksGeorgia Section
RickWittThe Bridgewater ClubIndiana Section
MichaelZarembaDesert Hawk at Pueblo WestColorado Section
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