TaylorMade Staff Pros Compete for PGA Assistant Professional Championship

November 4, 2020
PGA Golf Club

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 frontlines helping golfers everywhere to find more joy in the game.

This week, a class of Assistant PGA Professionals get to escape the daily grind and do the thing they love the most. Play golf. The 2020 PGA Assistant Professional Championship is taking place at PGA Golf Club (pictured above) in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Nov. 12-15. There's a total of 34 TaylorMade Crusaders in the field.

Let's get to know some of them.

Facility: Northway Golf Center, Clifton Park, New York
Age: 45
PGA Class: Assistant Pro
PGA Member Since: 2011
Player Notes: Scott is one of the most feared competitors among club pros in Northeastern New York, having claimed 10 consecutive Player of the Year Awards in his region. When he’s not griding on his game, he splits time between Saratoga Spa Golf Course and Northway Golf Center, where he’s a sought-after club fitter. He finds time to grow the game as the assistant men’s golf coach at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.

Favorite courseBethpage Black
Lowest round61
Career hole-in-ones5
X-Factor in your bagMy Hi-Toe ATV 60°
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip)Practice, practice, practice.
Go-to on-course snackPeanut butter sandwich (no jelly)
Favorite golfer:Payne Stewart
Favorite shot to hit: Power fade
Dream foursome: DJ, Rory and Tiger.

Facility: San Diego (California) Country Club
Age: 33
PGA Class: Assistant Pro
PGA Member Since: 2015
Player Notes: Having competed professionally in the Philippines and Thailand before turning to a career as a golf pro in 2013, the San Diego native returned home to the classic and acclaimed San Diego Country Club. Thomas was named the 2018 Southern California PGA Assistant Professional of the Year and has been a common competitor on both local and national stages.

Favorite course:San Diego Country Club
Lowest round: 64
Career hole-in-ones:1
X-Factor in your bag: Spider Putter
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Dream big. Work hard. Believe in yourself.
Go-to on-course snack: Oatmeal raisin 1st tee bar
Favorite golfer:Jason Day
Favorite shot to hit: Tap in birdies
Dream foursome: Kawhi Leonard, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan
Instagram handle: @thomas_chu705

Facility: Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Age: 32
PGA Class: Assistant Pro
PGA Member Since: 2019
Player Notes: Steve enjoyed a strong playing career as amateur, twice competing in the U.S. Am (2009, 2012) and the U.S. Public Links Championship (2011 and 2014). He continued his stellar play after starting his path to PGA Membership, winning this Mid Atlantic Assistant PGA Championship three times (2016, 2019, 2020). A native of Rockville, Steve is a former Assistant Coach at the University of Maryland.

Favorite course:Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
Lowest round: 61 (Columbia Country Club)
Career hole-in-ones:I had my first one this year.
X-Factor in your bag: Driver
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): People put too much pressure on themselves. Who cares...
Go-to on-course snack: I'm a big snack guy. Uncrustable PB&J.
Favorite golfer:Some left handed guy
Favorite shot to hit: High draw
Dream foursome: My grandfather, dad and uncle.
Instagram handle: @srdelmar

Facility: Overbrook Golf Club, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Age: 36
PGA Class: Assistant Pro
PGA Member Since: 2014
Player Notes: For this daughter of a PGA Professional, competing against the boys is no big deal. She twice qualified for the field in the national PGA Professional Championship and in 2017 became the first women in her region to win a sanctioned Philadelphia PGA event. The two-time winner of the Maryland Open also was a member of the victorious 2019 U.S. Women’s PGA Cup Team. She’s competed in three majors over the course of her career, including the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open and 2018-19 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Favorite course:Old Head in Ireland
Lowest round: 62
Career hole-in-ones:12
X-Factor in your bag: Driver
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Decade Golf-play each shot and each hole one at a time. I imagine that each shot I approach is the only and last one I have to hit that day.
Go-to on-course snack: Banana and/or peanut butter crackers
Favorite golfer:Tiger Woods
Favorite shot to hit: 70-100 yard wedges. ( I grew up on a pitch and putt golf course.)
Dream foursome: Eric Kennedy, Dirk Schultz, Bud Lintelman (maybe not a dream, but my favorite people to play golf with)
Instagram handle: @Aegolfer6

Facility: Lookout Mountain Golf Club, Phoenix, Arizona
Age: 36
PGA Class: Assistant Pro
PGA Member Since: 2008
Player Notes: As a two-time winner of the Southwest PGA Championship and four-time winner of the area’s Assistant Championship, Michael has amassed plenty of success as a player. He’s competed in the seven PGA Professional Championships and one PGA Tour event (2015 Phoenix Waste Management Open).

Favorite course:Pebble Beach
Lowest round: 60
Career hole-in-ones:6
X-Factor in your bag: My Spider X (pun intended)
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): See your target and just let it go.
Go-to on-course snack: Cliff Bars
Favorite golfer:Tiger Woods
Favorite shot to hit: A flush driver(SIM) to a narrow fairway.
Dream foursome: My grandfather, Bill Hopper, Tiger Woods and Fred Couples.
Instagram handle: @TigerHopper419

Facility: Woodhaven Country Club, Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 33
PGA Class: Associate
PGA Member Since: 2016
Player Notes: Jesse has posted a 56. Enough said. The two-time Kentucky PGA Assistant Champion recorded the crazy round in July 2013 at Glenmary Country Club in Louisville. If you’re curious about the math: 21 putts, 14 birdies, 1 eagle and three pars adds up to 56.

Favorite course:Pinehurst No. 4
Lowest round: 56
Career hole-in-ones:1
X-Factor in your bag: SIM UDI...aka the missile launcher.
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): Golf is a mixture of caring way too much or not caring at all, you’ll find your best golf right in the middle.
Go-to on-course snack: Mingua Beef Jerky
Favorite golfer:Dustin Johnson
Favorite shot to hit: Low spinner wedge.
Dream foursome: My father, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Instagram handle: @jessemassie25

Facility: Bel-Air Country Club, Los Angeles, California
Age: 31
Birthplace: Englewood, Colorado
PGA Classification: Associate
PGA Member Since: 2018
Player Notes: The son of PGA Tour pro Mark Wiebe, winner of the 2013 Senior British Open, Gunner has built a notable playing career of his own. After competed in the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Amateur Championships, he went on to win the 2020 Southern California PGA Assistant Championship. That victory punched his ticket to Florida for this very event.

Favorite course:Muirfield in Scotland
Lowest round: 60
Career hole-in-ones:3
X-Factor in your bag: My wedges
Personal golf mantra (best golf tip): "You never know."
Go-to on-course snack: Almonds
Favorite golfer:Mark Wiebe
Favorite shot to hit: Anything moving left to right.
Dream foursome: My dad, Mark Wiebe, and my two brothers-in-law, Nate Fogel and Steve Prioletti.
Instagram handle: @gunner.wiebe
Full List of Team TaylorMade Competitors
PeterBassoGreenwich Country ClubMetropolitan
ScottBerlinerSaratoga Spa Golf CourseNortheastern New York
RyanBottsOld Hickory Country ClubTennessee
ThomasChuSan Diego Country ClubSouthern California
CianCurleyThe Golf Club of PurchaseMetropolitan
SteveDelmarColumbia Country ClubMiddle Atlantic
JoeDolbyLa Rinconada Country ClubNorthern California
RyanDruskaSpring Lake Golf ClubNew Jersey
GeromeEspinozaAlbuquerque Country ClubSun Country
TommyGibsonOld Town ClubCarolinas
AshleyGrierOverbrook Golf ClubPhiladelphia
AlexHoffmanManor Country ClubMiddle Atlantic
MichaelHopperLookout Mountain Golf ClubSouthwest
LukeJamesRoyal Lakes Golf and Country ClubGeorgia
ZachJohnsonDavis Park Golf CourseUtah
JeffKellenButler National Golf ClubIllinois
BrianMackeyNorth Jersey Country ClubNew Jersey
JesseMassieWoodhaven Country ClubKentucky
JonMcleanJim McLean Golf School - Biltmore MiamiSouth Florida
KirkMitchellOldfield ClubCarolinas
DanielMolterBinghamton Country ClubCentral New York
ShanePranteThe Home CoursePacific Northwest
TimPuetzSiwanoy Country ClubMetropolitan
GunnarRileySt. Clairy Country ClubTri-State
CarlosSainzGOLFTEC - Upper KirbySouthern Texas
KyleScanlonNorthfield Golf ClubMinnesota
JordanShueyWest Shore Country ClubPhiladelphia
PatrickSteinerWindsor Golf ClubNorthern California
KyleSzyhowskiOld Warson Country ClubGateway
BrianVarseyEssex Fells Country ClubNew Jersey
BobWallacePonte Vedra Inn & ClubNorth Florida
ShawnWarrenFalmouth Country ClubNew England
JoshWebbSedgefield Country ClubCarolinas
GunnerWiebeBel-Air Country ClubSouthern California

Photos provided courtesy of the PGA of America.

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