MISSISSAUGA, ON (October 28, 2009) - Ron Janes, the Head Professional at The Toronto Hunt was named the 2009 Ontario PGA Club Professional of the Year earlier tonight. Janes, who began his career under the venerable Pat Fletcher at Royal Montreal, has been the Head Professional at The Toronto Hunt since 1996.
"At my age to win this award means a lot, I mean there are so many qualified individuals for this award and to be chosen was a complete surprise but a welcome one," said an elated Janes after accepting the prestigious award.
After becoming a Class 'A' member in 1974, Janes moved from Royal Montreal to work at Barrie Country Club and eventually on the St. Charles Golf & Country Club in Winnipeg. St. Charles would be where Ron met his most important mentor in Jim Collins, then the Head Professional at St. Charles. Collins', who was one of the country's top club professionals from a managerial, playing and teaching standpoint, took Janes under his wing and helped him become the Professional he is today.
"I was extremely lucky to work with Jim Collins," said Janes, who has become an accomplished player in his own right. "He was the guy who helped me get on in life and in the business and I am very grateful for that."
Now 60, Janes doesn't have any retirement plans in the near future. In fact Janes is looking forward to completing a number of projects that are on the go at The Toronto Hunt.
"I'm at a magnificent facility and I plan to keep working to improve what we've started," added Janes, who has been instrumental in a number of course changes that have occurred at the 9 hole track over the last few years. "I've never woken up feeling down about going to work, I absolutely love this business and it keeps me going everyday."
This year's Teaching Professional of the Year presented by FlightScope was awarded to Sean Casey from the Clublink Academy which is located at Glen Abbey. Teacher of the Year nominees are judged on a wide array of criteria ranging from innovative teaching techniques to instructional articles, videos or promotions.
Casey, who began his career in New Brunswick in 1998, is a five time featured instructor for Scoregolf Magazine and has been published both nationally and internationally highlighted by his own instructional book entitled Casey's Golf Tips.
"It's a great honour just to be nominated with all of theses fine individuals," said Casey, who has been nominated twice before in this category. "It was a great night and winning with Justin tonight made it that much better," added Casey, who earned the use of a FlightScope Launch Monitor for a year.
This year's Teacher of the Year for Juniors is none other than Henry Brunton of Henry Brunton Golf. Teacher of the Year for Juniors nominees are judged on contributions to the development of junior golf to leadership, inspiration and promotion of the game.
Brunton's year was highlighted with the introduction of his first book entitled Journey to Excellence - The Young Golfers Complete Guide to Achievement and Personal Growth. Journey to Excellence, which was designed to assist young golfers maximize their potential on and off the course, was released in September.
"The book was the highlight of my year and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my positive experiences with parents, players and all golfers not only juniors," added Brunton. "It's great to be recognized with my pears," said Brunton, Canada's only Top 100 Golf Magazine Instructor.
Colin Imrie, the Head Professional at Weston Golf and Country Club was named this year's Merchandiser of the Year. Merchandiser nominees are judged on criteria such as merchandising philosophy to Pro Shop layout and display techniques.
"Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as some of the past winners is a privilege and an honour," said Imrie. "Our team at Weston has made a commitment to making our shop a world class operation and offering our members top quality service," added Imrie.
Imrie, who is in his fourth season as the Head Professional at Weston, beat some pretty impressive competition in Gar Hamilton (Mississaugua) and Mike Harris (Donalda) to win his first Merchandiser of the Year Award.
Justin O'Leary, Associate Professional at Deer Ridge Golf Club in Kitchener was this year's Assistant of the Year. Assistant of the Year nominees are judged on criteria such as staff management, teaching, member interaction and playing ability.
"I've been working in golf since I was 11 years old and this is the highlight of my career," said O'Leary who grew up at Westfield Golf Club in Saint John, New Brunswick. "To win this award on the same night as Sean (Casey) is truly awesome and I can guarantee we will do some celebrating tonight," added O'Leary.
All Ontario PGA award winners will now but put forward as national nominees. 2008 was a banner year for Ontario Zone members as three of the provincial winners went on to claim national awards. Bill Wogden (Club Professional), Tim Moore (Merchandiser) and Mike Kelly (Juniors) will all be recognized next month at the Canadian PGA Club Professional Championship in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
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