Bryan Haas Wins Professional Development Award And Steve Watt Wins Bill Strausbaugh Award

Sep 24, 2021

Haas Wins Professional Development Award
Riverside, Iowa – 
Bryan Haas of Blue Top Ridge has been named the 2021 Professional Development Award winner. The Professional Development Award is based on a Professional’s entire record and achievements over their career. The guidelines for this award include various types of educational seminars brought to the section, contributions made to building the PGA image, leadership and networking ability, promotion of the game of golf within the community, techniques used to encourage membership support of the various seminars, articles written for publication in books or magazines and any sectional or nationally recognized coursed attended by the nominee which enhance the PGA Professional.
This past Spring, Haas, along with Lucas Donah of the Cedar Rapids Country Club, held a class for our Iowa PGA Associates in the Riverside Performance Studio.  They covered the subjects of teaching and fitting. The class was well attended, and he enjoyed going through the processes with the group. A lot of questions have continued to be asked throughout the year by many of the different attendees as they gain experience and have experiences that they may not have the answer to. Haas truly enjoys the process of helping them grow in our business.
Contributions made to building the PGA image: Haas believes his contributions to help build the PGA image comes from his work within our community. Helping our local High School teams when they need a place to play, a coach or just someone to offer encouragement. Building a High School team at a school that did not have golf on their radar. Many of the kids in the Highland High School program have not ever met a PGA Professional or have had any interactions with a PGA Professional. For many of the kids, this is the first time they have touched a golf club. Teaching them the basic rules of golf and helping them understand that our game is a game they can play for life and enjoy well after high school is very important to him.
There is no doubt the GIVE Foundation is one of his biggest passions in his efforts to give back. Even though his work is more behind the scenes now, he still likes to get out and see our Veterans on the range enjoying all of the work we have done to help make that possible.
This is Haas’s second time to be rewarded the Professional Development Award (2012). He has also been awarded for the Merchandiser of the Year (Resort) in the years of 2008, 2009, 2011, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Thank you for the honor and recognition of receiving the Professional Development Award.  Golf was such a great experience for me at a very young age that I continually feel the need to give back to the game that has given my family and I so many opportunities.  The ability to help Golf Professionals and Amateurs to succeed in this game and business is very fulling and certainly drives me as I watch them develop into great players, Golf Professionals and business people.  Thank you again for the honor, I truly appreciate everyone in our PGA Section and all that you do to make our Iowa PGA the success that it is.
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Bryan Haas as our 2021 Professional Development Award.



Watt Wins Strausbaugh Award
Steve Watt of Glen Oaks Country Club has been named the 2021 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner by the Iowa PGA Awards Committee. The Strausbaugh Award emphasizes the nominee’s performance and achievements over the past five years and is awarded to those who demonstrate day-to-day alternative methods of improving the employment conditions for the PGA Professional.
Watt began his career as a Golf Professional at Hillcrest Country Club in Long Grove, IL as an Assistant Professional 2000 to 2001.  Watt later learned many retail skills at Quality Golf/Golfzilla in Coralville, Iowa from 2003 to 2006. He then worked as an Assistant Professional and 1st Assistant Golf Professional at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona from 2006 to 2012. Watt become a Class A PGA Member in the PGA of America in September of 2008. He then moved onto Phoenix Country Club as Head Golf Professional from 2013 to 2014. In 2015 Watt was hired as the Director of Golf at the Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa where he continues to serve the membership in that capacity.
Jim Sinclair, in his letter of recommendation stated, “Steve has enhanced the careers of many assistant golf professionals while they were under his tutelage at Glen Oaks. These young men and women have learned a skill set from Steve to enable them to become head golf professionals at other locations across the country. Steve, while certainly remiss to lose great teammates, enthusiastically congratulates and encourages these people to make their own marks on the golf world at their new golf locations. Steve is a great teacher, leader, and role model for all of the golf professionals at Glen Oaks.”
Teaching and coaching our young Professionals is vital in the business of golf according to Watt. More than ever this is so important as it has become more difficult than ever. Having staff that want to learn and be successful is the first step. Then providing the foundation and building blocks is next. Being involved at a Board level helps peak Watt’s interest and keeps him fresh on the latest trends and education to-dos. By providing the staff with basic helps keep all of team on the same playing field. Knowing what the basic expectations are. Knowing that your teammate understands the same. And that they will be working hard to help you out and the members out together.
The PGA image is vitally important as Watt and staff are always promoting themselves, their facilities, and the game of golf! Watt has much respect for those who have served before him. Which has paved the way for Watt to do what he loves and that is simply being around the game of golf! Watt cannot think of a better career and area in his life to spend time.
Aside from leading by example to his staff and fellow professionals it is important to network in our industry. Watt is fortunate to attend the PGA Merchandise Show each winter and Watt uses this time to really enhance his knowledge and network of professionals he can lean on. Watt attends all the seminars he can during his trip. Watt has attended the Teaching and Coaching Summit along with the Youth and Family Golf Summit in the past. Both of these have added value to his knowledge that he can pass down to his staff and become a benefit to the Iowa PGA Section and his membership.
Watt is also a member of the GBN or Golf Business Network, which has a very east coast feel and presence. This is very helpful as these connections are able to share ideas almost weekly during the season and can gain many great ideas and see what works for other facilities. Watt also belongs to the AGM, Association of Golf Merchandisers. This group puts tons of info into his fingertips on how to do his job better in terms of the merchandising operation. According to Watt, the most valuable part of this is again the networking and relationships that come from this group of professionals. It is just incredible. All these things allow for Watt and his team to represent the PGA Professional as well as raise the brand of Glen Oaks Country Club.
Watt was quoted as saying, “To be honored with 2021 Bill Strausbaugh Award is a wonderful recognition and something I am extremely proud to receive. Helping fellow PGA Professionals advance and grow into their careers is vital to the growth of golf.  Promoting and protecting the PGA brand is key to all of our successes.”
Watt has also won the Professional Development (formally known as the Horton Smith) Award in 2018 and Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities in 2018 and 2020. Watt is also the 2021 Iowa PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year winner. In 2019 Watt became Certified in Player Development with the PGA of America.
The Iowa PGA Congratulates Steve Watt as our 2021 Bill Strausbaugh Award.



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