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.
As the saying goes, golf is in Kelbel’s blood. Being a third generation golf professional, Kelbel started hanging around the course when he was 5 years old. He learned to love the game at an early age from his grandfather and dad and has carried that passion and devotion within him since.
Kelbel, a PGA member since 1993, began working in the golf business at his father’s pro shop. He spent seven years as the Head Professional at the Grand Hotel Golf Club on Mackinac Island before joining the team at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs as the Head Professional.
“I am honored and delighted to have my work as a PGA Professional recognized with this award,” comments Kelbel. “Any professional worth his salt knows that I couldn’t have achieved this acknowledgment without the help of the dedicated and talented team that surrounds me. Hour-after-hour, day-after-day, week-after-week, I am proud to be a part of this Broadmoor alliance.”
A common thread throughout Kelbel’s life is that he is a relationship oriented guy. He believes that encouragement is the greatest form of motivation and does his level best to treat everyone with dignity and respect. His leadership style is one of always setting an example through his strong work ethic and high-level of professionalism.
To date, he has had a hand in helping 36 assistants go on to become Head Professionals and has sponsored more than 300 Professional Golf Management program interns at The Broadmoor. Teaching and mentoring these individuals not only helps them to be successful in the business of golf but, hopefully, helps them to be successful in life…to be good husbands and wives, good fathers and mothers, good community contributors and good people in general.
Kelbel’s dad inspired a sense of benevolence in his sons when he taught them to, “Be someone worth knowing and always be willing to get your nose dirty for someone in need.” Kelbel shares this belief with his dad and uses it as a motivation in his life.
“Through our influence as golf professionals, we have a rare and unique opportunity to give back,” continues Kelbel. “I am a true believer that this is our obligation and our responsibility.”
There is an allure to the game of golf that transcends all other variables such as race, age and gender, believes Kelbel. There are so many good things that golf professionals can do with this gift by simply being open to the opportunities. Kelbel has served on the boards of the Southern Colorado Ronald McDonald House and Parents Challenge. He also created his own charity, Hemisphere Charities, that donates shoes to children who would otherwise not have access to them.
Kelbel is active in the section’s efforts to grow the game of golf by being involved with programs for young people like The First Tee of Pikes Peak, the USCO FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) and the Colorado Section Golf in the Schools program. He also works closely with the Colorado Springs’ military community by offering wounded warriors free golf instruction. It is his goal to bring two new people a month to the game of golf. He has assisted in procuring and implementing two major golf championships for the State of Colorado with a third coming up in 2018 (the U.S. Senior Open).
“I have always put forth my best effort to represent the PGA of America and the Colorado Section in an exemplary fashion and to use the influence that I have as a PGA Professional to better my community and the lives of the people that I share my life’s journey with,” concludes Kelbel. “I want to thank my fellow professionals for being my friend and for all of your help in my journey.”
It is with great honor that the Colorado PGA names Mark Kelbel the 2017 PGA Golf Professional of the Year.