Wilson, PGAGM Alumni Receive Michigan PGA Special Awards

Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson

The interim director of Ferris State University’s PGA Golf Management program is one of 10 recipients of special awards recently announced by the Michigan PGA. Mark Wilson, who has been with Ferris’ PGAGM program for seven years, has received the Bill Strausbaugh Award in recognition of his continuous efforts to mentor fellow PGA professionals during their career advancement and community service.

“This is a great honor, by its nature, being acknowledged for the support and assistance that I offer to my peers,” Wilson said. “I have been the interim PGAGM director for just over a half year, and my time with the program, along with 31 years as the head golf professional at Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids. It is a rewarding aspect of my career, to advise and advocate for my associates, fellow professionals and students in the program.”

The Bill Strausbaugh Award, established in 1979, is presented to a PGA professionals who, by their day-to-day efforts, have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community. The award reflects the characteristics and qualities of Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional, who died in 1999.

“An important part of being a PGA professional is making yourself available when a peer is making a career choice, considering another job or working through contract negotiation,” Wilson said. “It is nice to be recognized for what I would happily do, regardless.”

Wilson’s contributions to golf are augmented by his 30 years of service with the PGA’s Rules of Golf Committee. He served as a rules official at 64 major golf championships, including duty as the chief referee at the 2008 and 2016 Ryder Cup matches. Wilson said he has already heard from peers about the Strausbaugh Award.

“I have received some calls since the Michigan PGA release is making the rounds,” Wilson said. “I am certainly looking forward to the opportunity to gather with my peers and celebrate this honor.”

Four other Ferris PGAGM alumni received Michigan PGA special awards for 2020.
Mark Bayer, a 1992 graduate and head golf professional at Sugar Springs Country Club in Gladwin, has been named the 2020 Merchandiser of the Year for Public Golf Facilities by the Michigan Section PGA. The award recognizes excellence in business and merchandising at public golf facilities and innovation in displays, merchandising techniques, staff training, and overall success and growth.

Doug Bell, a 1989 graduate, and general manager at American Dunes Golf Club in Grand Haven, was given the 2020 Patriot Award. Bell was honored for patriotism through golf and for an unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have bravely served and protected the United States of America. The Patriot Award originated in 2008 following the inspiration of Patriot Day founder Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Jason Guss, a 2000 alumnus, and director of instruction at Jason Guss Golf Academy in Bath Township, was selected to receive the 2020 Professional Development Award. The award is given to a PGA member annually for his outstanding contributions to professional education, leadership, networking ability, and contributions made by the candidate to grow and strengthen the image of a PGA professional.

Finally, Glenn Pulice, a 1985 graduate and general manager of the Royal Oak Golf Center and director of golf for the Midnight Golf program, was named the winner of the Distinguished Service Award. This award honors outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for golf.

Pulice is recognized for his work with the Midnight Golf program, where he has worked over 1,500 hours mentoring students. He also helped launch the Frank Pulice Memorial Scholarship, which his family created after the passing of his father and the PGA Professionals Scholarship, funded by PGA professionals who teach at the Midnight Golf program and the Michigan PGA matches all funds. Together, the two scholarship programs have benefited 50 graduates of the Midnight Golf Program over the last 12 years.

The Michigan Section PGA will honor its 2020 Special Award Winners at the President’s Dinner this fall.