The Youth Player Development Award recognizes a Colorado PGA member who is a leader in junior golf, reflects the image and qualities that juniors can emulate, and provides opportunities and experiences for juniors to learn and play golf. Congratulations to Tom Young, PGA, Head Professional at Black Canyon Golf Club at Montrose, for being this year’s award recipient!
Young grew up on the golf course in Montrose and graduated from CSU in ’89 with a degree in Construction Management. He helped build golf courses all over the world for 20 years. In 2009, when the economy crashed, the career of building courses also crashed. Young’s hometown course in Montrose needed a Superintendent. With his knowledge of courses, he got the job and excelled, so much so that when need arose for a Head Professional, he was asked to fill that position. It was fun for Young to go from building golf courses to maintaining them, to running them.
Young enjoys the Montrose community, the partnerships created there and working with juniors. In 2019, he helped coordinate efforts between three golf courses in town to join forces and create a junior golf program that would benefit the three courses, the community and most importantly, youth golfers. They created the Montrose Junior Golf Alliance (MJGA) and ran a nine-week summer program held every Thursday.
Assistant Coaching is also a role Young has held at Montrose High School for five years. They have won Regionals five years in a row. Montrose won the team state championship 3 years in a row, with a #1 player winning the individual title. This year, senior Jordan Jennings won the 4A Individual Championship for the first time, and the team took third. Young values being a part of the kids’ lives and seeing them succeed.
What does it mean to you to receive this award?
It’s a real honor to be recognized from fellow PGA members, especially with my background and just becoming a member. To get this recognition has a lot of meaning.
What are the qualities you possess that you believe supported you in receiving the Youth Player Development Award?
I enjoy working with kids. Coaching is a way I can do what I love. I have the ability to connect with the kids and with others in the community. One thing you won’t hear me say is “me.” When I am talking with others and the staff, I use “we” and “us.” It’s a team aspect.
If you were to ask the kids, I believe the kids feel like I am a guy they can go to for anything – golf or personal. Parents trust me with their kids and ask me to help breakthrough to them.
What are two tools you use in your professional that help you with your success?
My greatest asset is this community because this community backs junior golf. My employer allows junior golfers to play for free until the age of 13 and then we charge them $100 for the season.
Second, I have a lot of integrity with the kids and a strong work ethic. They know I will always be there for them but will also come down on them if they need it. I have a lot of trust with the kids.
As it relates to golf, what is the best piece of advice that you have received and what advice would you give to others?
I have been shown by my dad how to have a moral compass. I would advise others to have integrity and a good moral character. Golf embodies integrity. Use your integrity to make the best decisions possible and never quit trying.
What is your proudest moment as a golf professional?
Becoming a PGA Professional is one of my proudest moments. It was something I never thought I would achieve in my life and the fact that I achieved it in 24-26 months means a lot to me.
Another proud moment is starting the MJGA and having 100-125 kids show up to play. Instead of fighting other courses over juniors, we were able to work together and become a powerhouse to help the boys and girls of the community.
Share something about yourself that others may not know.
It might surprise people to know that I am relatively new to the PGA. I also have a landscaping business that employs five to seven people.