Kenneth Dube was announced as the 2018 PGA of South Africa Professional of the Year at the association’s annual awards at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, making him the first Black South African professional to achieve this honour.
Dube, the Golf Director at the Royal Oak Golf Club and also the winner of the PGA Club Professional Award for 2018, was along with four other PGA Professionals who were award winners in the categories of Club Management, Coaching, Grow Golf and Entrepreneur in line for the overall PGA Professional of the Year Award and the grand prize of a Mercedes Benz C-180 for a year.
The awards evening was also highlighted by Denis Hutchinson being named as the PGA Ambassador of the Year in recognition of his 58 years as a member of the association, of which he is also a Master Professional Member, Honorary Life Member and Honorary Life President of the PGA.
‘Kenneth has been a member of the PGA for 18 years and has been involved in a number of facets of the PGA of South Africa, making an invaluable contribution to the game,’ said Ivano Ficalbi, Chief Executive of the PGA of South Africa.
‘He was a member of the PGA’s Board of Directors from 2003-2004 and has served for many years on the Gauteng Central PGA Committee. Kenneth is a very active member of the association, playing in every national and regional pro-am that he is able to and has been the winner of the national Order of Merit on a few occasions.
‘He is also a past PGA National Champion and in addition to his Golf Director responsibilities at Royal Oak he opened the Kenneth Dube Golf Academy which has grown to 70 students.’
Ficalbi also made special mention of Hutchinson.
‘It is also a pleasure to recognise the immense value Denis Hutchinson adds to the PGA of South Africa. Through his commentary of televised golf, Denis, with his knowledgeable and kind style has epitomised what it means to be a true PGA professional who promotes the game he loves and the spirit in which it should be played. All golfers hold him in high esteem.’
The awards evening recognized a wide range of excellence within South Africa’s oldest association of professional golfers who work at the forefront of the golf industry in South Africa.
List of award winners:
PGA Management Award – Meyer du Toit (San Lameer Country Club)
– recognizing in particular his work in the region with the Mark McNulty Junior Golf Foundation and the hosting of several junior events at San Lameer.
Coach of the Year – John Dickson (now based at The Els Club Copperleaf)
– recognition of his passion and over 20 years of teaching the game.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Michael Balderstone
– for the phenomenal growth of The Golf School of Excellence, which has grown from seven fulltime students when it opened in 2004 to 125 today. With franchises in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, they offer a PGA Diploma as well as greenkeeping and club management qualifications.
Grow Golf – Peter Berman
– recognized for his work in growing the game. As the owner of Scratch Golf, Berman has helped grow the game in the Knysna area and now employs five PGA coaches to run a junior academy for over 40 children as well as introducing over 3 000 schoolchildren to the game of golf at their schools.
Credit: PGA of SA