Greystone Instructor Founded Prominent Golf School
The PGA of America awards for Mark Blackburn continue to pile up, and it’s safe to say his most recent will be one his most cherished.
Blackburn, a 14-year PGA Member in the Alabama-NW Florida Section and director of instruction at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Hoover, has been named the recipient of the 2020 PGA Teacher and Coach of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”
A decorated PGA member, Blackburn is a four-time Alabama-NW Florida Section PGA Teacher of the Year (2008-10, 2015) and two-time Alabama-NW Florida Section PGA Professional Development Award recipient (2011, 2018).
He is also one of GOLF Magazine’s Top100 Teachers and one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America. His Blackburn Golf Academy develops and coaches juniors, club golfers, elite amateurs, college and professional clients from around the world.
Among the many PGA Tour golfers taught by Blackburn are Chez Reavie, Kevin Chappell, Charley Hoffman, Mike Weir and Heath Slocum.
Mark Blackburn Came to the U.S. from England in 1994
A native of England, Mark Blackburn came to the United States in 1994 on a golf scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was a letterman and team captain. Following college, he had aspirations of playing professionally, but inconsistencies and injuries led him down a new path, studying the golf swing, teaching theories and coaching philosophies. Those findings transitioned into Blackburn’s “Coaching Codification” which applies a holistic, sport-science approach to teaching and coaching golfers.
Mark Blackburn founded Blackburn Golf in 2000, and continues to work with golfers of all levels, focusing on each student’s unique movement patterns to develop an efficient and repeatable technique for their desired ball flight. In conjunction with coaching, Blackburn is a passionate educator, keen to share knowledge while presenting to PGA sections and International Federations around the world.
Mark Blackburn, Glanton and Garmany land Other Top Award Winners
Ronny Glanton, PGA, the head professional at Sherrill Park Golf Course in Richardson, Texas, is the recipient of the 2020 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. This is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America professional, awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf.
Glanton has spent the past 35 years as head professional at Sherrill Park Golf Course, which is consistently ranked among the Top 10 municipal facilities. A PGA member since 1984, he manages golf operations including rounds, food and beverage, teaching, property renovations and course maintenance for the over 300-acre facility. Glanton has created a culture that enables individuals from all walks of life to embrace the game in a welcoming environment.
Glanton played an integral role in the PGA Frisco project, which includes two 18-hole courses, the relocation of the PGA of America headquarters and a new headquarters for the NTPGA. An accomplished teacher, Glanton believes that golfers who establish good fundamentals from day one will enjoy the game for a lifetime.
Glanton is the first three-time recipient of the section’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award (1999 ,’07, ’19). He also is a five-time NTPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award winner (2003, ’04, ’05, ’08, ’14) and was named the 1994 NTPGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category. An accomplished player, Glanton has competed in nine PGA Professional Championships; four Senior PGA Professional Championships; and seven AT&T Byron Nelson events on the PGA Tour.
Dana Garmany, PGA, a Southwest PGA Section member and executive chairman of Troon Golf in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the recipient of the inaugural PGA Golf Executive of the Year Award. The honor bestows special recognition for performing outstanding services in an executive management position, while possessing qualities of leadership, vision, courage, moral character and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game.
Garmany has more than 35 years of industry experience developing and operating golf facilities worldwide. He founded Troon in 1990, and today serves as chairman of a company that leads the industry in golf course and private club management, operating at more than 440 locations worldwide.
He has been named as one of the most powerful and influential people in golf by Golf Inc., Golf Digest and Golfweek. Under Garmany’s leadership, Troon leveraged its foundation in golf-facility management to extend its vision beyond the golf course with a diverse portfolio that includes 10 distinct brands: Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Honours Golf, OB Sports, Green Golf Partners, CADDIEMASTER, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Management and RealFood.
Garmany has received numerous honors, including induction into the Southwest PGA Hall of Fame, Arizona Golf Hall of Fame, University of Alabama Hospitality Hall of Fame and DeKalb County Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Garmany has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the HSBC International Golf Forum and the 2019 Southwest PGA PING Anser Award for advancing and promoting the game of golf throughout Arizona. He serves on the Advisory Board of McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.
“This year’s National Awards winners are proven leaders and innovators in the game and business of golf, and the PGA of America salutes their accomplishments and passion for the sport,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley. “These 2020 recipients represent the best of the Association and inspire our nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals to reach new heights every day, as they strive to grow the game and drive our profession to a new standard of excellence.”
Full List of 2020 PGA of America National Awards Recipients
- PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Ronny Glanton, PGA,Sherrill Park Golf Course – Richardson, Texas
- PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year: Mark Blackburn, PGA, Greystone Golf & Country Club – Birmingham, Ala.
- PGA Golf Executive Of The Year: Dana Garmany, PGA, Troon – Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Bill Strausbaugh Award: Larry Dornisch, PGA, Muirfield Village Golf Club – Dublin, Ohio
- PGA Professional Development Award*: Jim McLean, PGA, Jim McLean Golf School – Coral Gables, Fla.
- Deacon Palmer Award: P. Lunn, PGA, Fountain Head Country Club – Hagerstown, Md.
- PGA Patriot Award: Christopher Runyan, PGA, GOLFTEC – Spokane, Wash.
- PGA Player Development Award: Rich Jones, PGA, Pine Ridge Golf Club – Coram, N.Y./Golf Galaxy – Bayshore, N.Y.
- PGA Youth Player Development Award: Chris Thomson, PGA, Wilderness Ridge Golf Club – Lincoln, Neb.
- Herb Graffis Award: Nebraska PGA Section
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year–Resort Category: Josué Reyes, PGA, DestinationKohler – Whistling Straits/Black Wolf Run – Kohler, Wis.
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Category: Jacob Lippold, PGA, Chambers Bay Golf Course – Tacoma, Wash.
- PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Category:Jason Ballard, PGA, Oak Hill Country Club – Rochester, N.Y.
The awards are currently scheduled to be presented Oct. 27, as part of the 2020 PGA Annual Meeting in Hartford, Conn. The 2019 OMEGA PGA Professional Player of the Year, Ryan Vermeer, PGA; 2019 OMEGA Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Joanna Coe, PGA; and 2019 OMEGA Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year Bob Sowards, PGA will also be honored.
By Alabama Golf News staff
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Featured image: PGA of America