2017 Colorado PGA Special Award Winners

Group to be Honored Oct. 27 at Awards Gala

This is the time of year that the Colorado Section announces its 2017 award winners. These PGA Members are among the “Best of the Best” and work diligently to represent the game and the business of golf. Here are your 2017 Colorado Section Award Winners:

Mark Kelbel, PGA, Golf Professional of the Year

Mark Kelbel, Head Professional at The Broadmoor Golf Club, has been named the 2017 Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the Year. The highest honor given annually by the Colorado PGA, the Golf Professional of the Year Award goes to a member for overall performance including leadership, service and promotion of the game of golf. Kelbel, a PGA member since 1993, is a third generation golf professional who learned to love the game at an early age from his grandfather and dad and has carried that passion and devotion within him since.

Trent Wearner, PGA, Teacher of the Year

The 2017 Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year, Trent Wearner, PGA, is a three-time honoree of this award from the Colorado Section having previously received it in both 2014 and 2004. Wearner is the owner and director of instruction at the Trent Wearner Golf Academy located at the Meridian Golf Club where he has been for the past 18 years. He has also been classified as a Certified Golf Coach by Dr. Rick Jensen. He is also the author and publisher of the widely-used book titled Golf Scrimmages: Realistic Practice Games Under Pressure.

Ty Walker, PGA, Named Bill Strausbaugh Award Winner

Ty Walker, GOLFTEC-Denver Tech Center, was awarded the 2017 Colorado PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award for showing outstanding integrity and commitment to mentoring PGA Professionals. Walker is Vice President of Sales and the Director of Instruction at GOLFTEC and was the organizations first employee back in 1996. As a PGA Teaching Professional, he has made a significant impact on the careers of PGA Professionals and has taught over 45,000 lessons. Other Section awards he has received are the Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year in 2002 and the Horton Smith Award in 2005.

The October issue of Pro Peaks will offer a feature story about Walker.


Patrick Nuber, PGA, Honored with Horton Smith Award

Patrick Nuber has been named the 2017 Colorado Section Horton Smith Award winner. He serves as GOLFTEC’s National Director of Teaching Quality and National Director of Instruction and s one of the chief instructors for all of GOLFTEC coaches. He has taught over 15,000 golf lessons and trained over 1,000 GOLFTEC coaches. He is a PGA Certified Professional in Instruction and General Management. In 2011, he was awarded the Colorado PGA Teacher of the Year award and is recognized as one of America’s Best Young Teachers by Golf Digest for 2017.

The October issue of Pro Peaks will offer a feature story about Nuber.


Leighton Smith, PGA, Player Development Award Recipient

Receiving the 2017 Colorado Section Player Development Award is Leighton Smith, PGA, Class A Teaching Professional and the Program Director for The First Tee of Pikes Peak. Two of Leighton’s main passions are golf and helping others, and at The First Tee of Pikes Peak he is able to combine those passions to create programs that attract youth to golf and also prepare them for life. With his motto Building Swings, Changing Lives, Leighton is known for getting quick results and building consistency in his clients’ golf games.

The September issue of Pro Peaks will offer a feature story about Smith.


Todd Laxson, PGA, Receives Youth Player Development Award

Todd Laxson, Head Golf Professional at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course has been presented the 2017 Colorado Section Youth Player Development Award. He serves the junior golf community in multiple places, as well in several roles. Being a father of two young boys, he is aware of how the least-experienced athletes are often overlooked when it comes to learning from the best. Laxson pairs the very best and experience instructors with the players who need the most instruction making for a dynamic performance system.

The September issue of Pro Peaks will offer a feature story about Laxson.


Steve David, PGA, Private Merchandiser of the Year

The 2017 Colorado Section Private Merchandiser of the Year Award was given to Steven David, PGA. David is no stranger to receiving this aware having received that honor from the Colorado Section in 2012, the Minnesota Section in 2005 and the Nebraska Section in 2002. David is the PGA Head Professional at the oldest country club west of the Mississippi – the Denver Country Club. One of David’s best practices refers to the importance and business impact of developing a handicap-based points-race for women golfers called Chase to the Championship.

Learn more about David in the September issue of Pro Peaks.


Phillip Tobias, PGA, Resort Merchandiser of the Year

Phillip Tobias is the recipient of the 2017 Colorado PGA Resort Merchandiser of the Year Award. Being a 20-year resident of Summit County, Tobias has a definite knowledge about the clothing styles and merchandise that will best meet the needs of mountain golfers. Tobias is the PGA Professional at The River curse in Keystone.

Learn more about Tobias in the September issue of Pro Peaks.


Dale Smigelsky, PGA, Public Merchandiser of the Year

Elected to PGA membership in 1985, Dale Smigelsky is the Director of Golf and Head Professional at the Collindale Golf Club in Fort Collins and is the winner of the 2017 Colorado Section Public Merchandiser of the Year Award. He is also the owner and operator of Collindale Golf Academy and Club Fitting Center, as well at the Golf Pro Shop. For Smigelsky, business is more about the relationship than it is about the transaction, which may be one of the reasons he was recognized as the 2012 PGA of America Public Merchandiser of the Year.

Learn more about Smigelsky in the September issue of Pro Peaks.


Barry Milstead, PGA, Warren Smith Award Winner

Barr Milstead, PGA, is the recipient of the 2017 Colorado Section Warren Smith Award, which gores to a profession for special contributions to the game of golf. Milstead served as an officer for the Colorado PGA for nearly a decade and has been on the Board of Directors since 2000. He has been instrumental in the implementation of numerous growth of the game initiative. He is the Head Golf Professional at Valle Country Club and was the 2014 Colorado PGA Golf Professional of the year.

Learn more about Milstead in the August or September issue of Pro Peaks.


Cy Twete, PGA, Assistant Professional of the Year

The winner of the 2017 Colorado Section Assistant Professional of the Year Award is Cy Twete, PGA, First Assistant Professional at The Golf Club at Bear Dance. Having been with the Bear Dance team for eight years, he is an experienced club fitter, as well as the Director of Instruction. Twete enjoys the game and the business of golf as much as helping others find enjoyment in the game.

Learn more about Twete in the September issue of Pro Peaks.