Photo: Michael Henderson with son Colt, E.J. Pfister.
By Ken MacLeod
In an age when the golf industry is contracting, Michael Henderson has demonstrated his faith in the game.
Expanding his base from a contract to run Lakeside Golf Course in Stillwater, he built a club consulting firm to help manage other facilities, then put his own skin in the game with the purchase of Fairfax Golf Course in Edmond, now renamed and rebranded as The Golf Club of Edmond.
Henderson, who has also served as president of the PGA South Central Section the past two years, was honored Sunday night as PGA South Central Section Professional of the Year at the section’s annual awards banquet at the Doubletree Hotel in Tulsa.
He was presented the award in an interview format by host John Holcomb, sports director for KOTV (Channel 6) in Tulsa. Also honored was E.J. Pfister, director of instruction at Oak Tree National in Edmond, as Teacher of the Year.
Both Henderson and Pfister are sons of PGA professionals and have carried on the family tradition honorably. Pfister’s father Ed was known as one as one of the top teaching professionals in western New York from his base at East Aurora Country Club in Buffalo, while Henderson’s father Jim is one of the top section pros in Texas and longtime operator at Stevens Park in Dallas. Both pros paid tribute to their father’s in their acceptance remarks.
Pat McCrate, who operates LaFortune Park Golf Course in Tulsa and South Lakes Golf Course in Jenks, spoke glowingly in a tribute to PGA South Central Section Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Jones, his mentor and former boss. Six members of Jones’ family, including daughter Kelli and her husband John Killam of Stillwater and their three sons, were present.
In addition, Michael Boyd was named Section Player of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. Boyd, who recently announced he is leaving the golf business for a job in the insurance business, won the Section Championship and placed fifth in the Section Professional National Championship. Boyd, a former University of Tulsa All-American who worked his way on to the PGA Tour for a season, ran his own golf school based at The Club at Indian Springs in Broken Arrow.
Following is a list of all section award winners for 2017.
Golf Professional of the Year
Michael Henderson, Lakeside Memorial Golf Course & The Golf Club of Edmond
Hall of Fame Inductee
Jerry Jones, (1938-2018), LaFortune Park Golf Course
Teacher of the Year
EJ Pfister, Oak Tree National
Trent Rommann, Crestview Country Club
Youth Player Development
Scott Karpe, Southern Hills Country Club
Horton Smith (Education)
Tim Jenkins, Country Club of Arkansas
Bill Strausbaugh (Club Relations)
Greg Bray, Terradyne Country Club
Madison Pope, Diamante Country Club
Private Merchandiser of the Year
Matt Fraser, The Alotion Club
Public Merchandiser of the Year
Rodney Young, Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club
Resort Merchandiser of the Year
Rob Yanovitch, Shangri La Golf Club and Resort
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
Daniel Byrd, Southern Hills Country Club
Salesperson of the Year
Cimarron Grubb, Cutter & Buck
Omega Player of the Year
Michael Boyd, PGA
Omega Senior Player of the Year
Mark Fuller, The Golf Club at Surrey Hills
Omega Assistant Player of the Year
Taylor Owens, Cedar Ridge Country Club