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Lynne Hunter Named LPGA Professional of the Year

MAPGA Assistant Championship

MAPGA Women’s Championship

5 Qualify for Drive Chip & Putt Finals

Championship Season

MAPGA Senior Championship

Senior Open of Virginia

Maryland Comes From Behind to Win Capital Cup

The Professional


Dear MAPGA Professionals,


We are well into the back nine of the 2021 Golf Season and I hope it has been a prosperous one for all of you. It is hard to believe that my two years as your Section President is rapidly coming to an end. Chapter elections have now occurred and it is an exciting time with our new leadership coming into focus. Thank you to everyone who ran for a position and for those of you who attended these Chapter meetings to be a part of our governance process.

Josh Tremblay, PGA Section President

The tournament season has been very busy and we have seen some great play from our Professionals. Larkin Gross, PGA has continued his winning ways most notably claiming both the MAPGA Assistants Championship at the Federal Club as well as winning the MAPGA Professional Championship recently. Westwood and River Bend were fantastic host venues for this premier event and it was my honor to present the trophy to one of my own assistants! Congratulations as well to Shannon McKew, PGA on her first MAPGA Women’s Championship at Renditions Golf Club and Tim Lewis, PGA on his first MAPGA Senior Championship at CC of Petersburg.

From The

We still have a few tournaments yet to play including The Players Cup, Team Championship, and the return of the Chapter Challenge thanks to our sponsor Global Golf Sales. If your Chapter President reaches out to you to represent your Chapter, please make every effort to say yes. This is a fantastic event to get in some friendly competition and build camaraderie with your fellow PGA Professionals. I have very fond memories of my years captaining the Central Chapter to victory in 2012 and 2013.

The Professional

Volume VI, Issue III

Editor: Ben Smith

Contributing Writers: Ben Smith Jon Guhl Nick Kerver LPGA Communications

Our MAPGA Fall Section Meeting will be held at the Fredericksburg Nats Stadium on Monday, November 15th. This location shares the parking lot with the Fredericksburg Expo Center, our usual spot. Please make it a priority to attend as we have an important election for Section Secretary with two passionate candidates: Daniel Bengtson, PGA and Mark Russo, PGA. I know the Section will be in good hands as my fellow officers Andy Weissinger, PGA and Lynne Hunter, PGA have been outstanding to serve with. Speaking of Lynne, I would be remiss if I did not congratulate her on her recent recognition as the LPGA’s Golf Professional of the Year. Well earned, Lynne! Warm regards, Joshua Tremblay, PGA MAPGA President


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The Professional Dear MAPGA Professional, Before we get into the tournament theme for this issue, I do want to recognize and thank you all for your service to our game. We have seen unprecedented growth in rounds, number of lessons, and number of new people coming into the game. While that is great for the industry and our collective future, it has been your sweat equity that his built this success. While I hope and pray that you are able to take some time for yourself and your family during these busy times, I know that in many cases, you are not. Let me say again, we all appreciate you and your efforts for our game and your facility. Let’s make sure it leads to increased compensation in one way or another.


From The


In this issue, we celebrate some of our tournament winners. Last year, we doubted if we would have an issue like this. But with some lessons learned, a vaccine, and good precautions in an outdoor sport, we were able to run a successful season so far. Congratulations to all our winners of events this year, both Professional and Junior Golf. Thank you also to all of you who participated in an event this year, and all we ask is that you participate in one more than you did this year!

Jon Guhl This is our meeting & election season. At the time of this writing, the chapter meetings Executive Director and elections are happening. On November 15th, we will hold our Section Meeting at Fredericksburg Nationals Stadium (it shares a parking lot with our usual spot at the Fredericksburg Expo Center). I hope you can join us (wearing a mask), as we will conclude our Section Election process and gather as a Section for the first time since March 2020. We are planning to have access to the FredNats hitting cages and field for a fun experience. Looking ahead to 2022, we are again planning a “Super Meeting” at Lansdowne Resort from February 27-March 1, 2022. We plan to have our HOF/Awards Banquet on Sunday night (Feb 27), our Section Meeting on Monday morning (Feb 28) and our Teaching Summit on Monday afternoon and all-day Tuesday (March 1). We hope this collection of activities will attract you to come stay for a few days, share in the camaraderie of our Section, and both honor award winners and learn some more nuggets about teaching along the way. We also are planning to have an official or unofficial event at TopGolf Loudoun. Please save these dates on your calendar! Again, I can see and feel how busy you all are at your facilities. I humbly ask that you MAKE THE TIME for yourself (play golf, you deserve it) and your family. It is important to keep your mind and body right and have balance in your life in these unique times. We know that your Association is further down the list of your priorities, but keep us in mind, too. I hope you have a strong finish to your season and please continue to do your part for your Association and our game! Sincerely, Jon Guhl Executive Director


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The Professional

BETTER CONDITIONS - BETTER BOTTOM LINE How were your course conditions this year? How about your golf maintenance budget? If either were a concern, we should talk!

Ron Stepanek, PGA BrightView Golf Maintenance 267-804-5473

Written By: LPGA Communications

The LPGA Professional of the Year was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professional member primarily engaged in a golf operation, golf association or industry position, promoting the game through player development, growth of the game initiatives and other golf-related activities. Hunter has been an LPGA Professional Class A member since 2007 and currently serves as the LPGA/PGA Head

Professional for the Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda, Md. With an impressive background as a golf instructor, this is the third time Hunter has been awarded the Northeast Section Professional of the Year and her first national honor. Throughout her career, she has also received the LPGA Northeast Section Junior Golf Leadership Award (2012), was named a U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher (2008, 2009, 2011), given the Middle Atlantic PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award (2019) and granted the Kenwood Golf and Country Club Jack Weber Award for long-term commitment to the improvement of golf programs (2006).


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The Professional Her career began in 1987 when she was a Summer Intern at the TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm before becoming the Golf Shop Assistant in 1990 at Hobbit’s Glen Golf Course in Columbia, Md. From there, she worked her way up to Assistant Manager at Jay Perkins Golf Shop (1993-1996) and Merchandise Manager at Westwinds Country Club (1996-1997). Her next career move would be to Kenwood Golf and Country Club where she had a lengthy tenure as the Assistant Golf Professional (1997-2011) before settling into the Head Golf Professional role in 2012.

intern to help her learn the ropes for her future career. “I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award and to represent this outstanding organization,” said Hunter. “I could not have had this success without the support of a strong team behind me, so this award is also a thank you to my family, friends, staff, and Kenwood ‘family’ that have supported me as I follow my passion for helping others to enjoy the game of golf.”

Outside of her responsibilities as Kenwood’s Head Professional, Hunter is also the Secretary of the Middle Atlantic PGA, Middle Atlantic Representative for the Though the past year was challenging for her and her PGA Magazine Women Leaders platform and was club, Hunter was able to successfully lead her team a Rules Official and Host for a 2021 U.S. Women’s through a surge in member growth and an increase Amateur Qualifier. in overall number of rounds being played. She created safety guidelines for her course to ensure staff and members were staying healthy and trained the staff regarding new protocols and procedures. She did this all while spearheading a membership outreach program and mentoring a female Professional Golf Management

The Professional


to a golf professional must also feel like dog days. The blistering heat, constant lessons, and members asking the hottest new clubs takes its toll.

The most important tournaments of the MAPGA season generally fall during these summer The dog days of summer generally refer to ball months, to go along with the hectic schedules parks and baseball. The grind of the summer at their facility. Finding time to practice has to months through a long season often seems to be done strategically. Since July, there have been drag on like a bad movie. The summer months


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The Professional Players have to be sharp, and in control to compete at a high level. They can’t be distracted by what is going on at their facility. Focus can be tough to come by when you have other responsibilities lingering in the back of your mind. These PGA Professionals have the ability to turn all that off as best they can and compete among the best in our Section. On top of that, being in the mix to win, or qualify for a bigger tournament adds even more pressure. Knowing you have to make a putt just accentuates the mind rushing and thinking about everything besides the task at hand. It makes it all the more impressive for these players that compete throughout our tournament season. Their ability to make the putts when they need to, then go back to their facility and make the game of golf more enjoyable for others is a skill not many have. To make it even more impressive, none of our champions had prior experience in winning a MAPGA major championship. Larkin Gross (Springfield G&CC) won his first Assistant and Section Championships, Tim Lewis (Eaglewood GC) won his first Senior Championship, Shannon McKew (TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm) won her first Women’s Championship, and Brendan McGrath (Hidden Creek CC) won his first Senior Open of Virginia. We want to acknowledge our PGA Professionals 9 MAPGA tournaments and 5 of those were that make our events possible. Thank you for Majors in our Section. Several of those majors showing up even when you have 200 unread emails, had national qualifying spots up for grabs. members asking preposterous questions, and even kids at home waking you up in the morning. The National Car Rental MAPGA Assistant The MAPGA had a fantastic tournament season Championship, MAPGA Senior Championship, because of you, and we look forward to doing it MAPGA Women’s Championship, Senior again next year. Congratulations to all our winners Open of Virginia, and the MAPGA Professional and qualifiers from this season! Championship were all played in the “dog days.”


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The Professional

LARKIN GROSS ASSISTANT CHAMPIONSHIP Glen Allen, VA – The National Car Rental MAPGA Assistant Championship brings the matches up the best assistant professionals in our area over a two-day period. The Federal Club played host this year to 53 of those assistants that were vying to be the best. The best had been reserved for Steve Delmar (Columbia Country Club), the champion the last two years but one had his sights set on having a new winner in 2021. Larkin Gross (Springfield G&CC) had a bad taste in his mouth after last year’s event at Woodholme Country Club. The event was shortened to 27 holes due to weather and he was on Delmar’s tail with what should have been nine holes to play. The Assistant Professional at Springfield Golf & Country Club came out firing in

the first round, making six birdies to one bogey to shoot 5-under 67. However, that wouldn’t be enough for the fist round lead. Newcomer Kyle Fuller (Country Club of Virginia) birdied his last three holes of the day to shoot 6-under to hold the overnight lead headed to the final round.

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The Professional Gross watches his lay-up on the Par-5 10th hole at The Federal Club

were all within 2 shots of Fuller. Day two played tough as nobody got off to the start they were looking for. The nerves got the best of Fuller to start, bogeying 2 of his first 3 holes then double bogeying the 5th hole. Gross was able to right the ship the best, birdieing the second hole but bogeying the 5th. Birdies on 7 and 9 jump started his round. He needed it as Ritter had a similar finish to his front 9 with birdies on 8 and 9 to make him only 2 shots back with 9 to play. Gross made two long putts for birdie on 11 and 12 and it looked like he was going to run away with it. Ritter was able to make it interesting with three consecutive birdies on 15, 16, and 17 to get to within 2 shots. Gross made two easy pars coming in and won his first National Car Rental MAPGA Assistant Championship by 2 shots.

Gross hits a lay up out of a There wason a tight leaderboard bunker the Par-5 10th atto begin the final round. Tim Ritter (Army Navy CC), Ian McConnell (Springfield G&CC), Jay Newcomb (The Suburban Club), and Gross

Four Assistants punched their ticket to the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship: Larkin Gross, Tim Ritter, Kyle Fuller, and Alex Hoffman. They will travel to Port St. Lucie, Florida to play in November.

The Professional

TIM LEWIS SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP Petersburg, VA – Tim Lewis, PGA of Eaglewood Golf Course knew what it would take to win the MAPGA Senior Championship this year after being in contention in 2020. He was tied for the lead going into last year’s final round but was unable to keep pace with David Hutsell and eventual champion Dick Mast. But he watched and learned. Lewis put himself in the same position this year at Country Club of Petersburg by shooting a first round 2-under par 70, tied for 4th and only one shot back of the leaders after 18 holes.

Lewis hits his tee shot on the Par-4 14th during the 2nd Round at CC of Petersburg

He didn’t get off to the fast start he wanted to in round two, parring the first seven holes. However, he made his move by making birdie on four of the next five and saw himself with the lead after his two on the par-3 12th. A bogey on 14 put him back into a tie for the lead with Brendan McGrath (Hidden Creek CC). But Lewis wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip this time. He birdied the tough par-3 16th and the par-4 17th to go up by two shots. An easy par on 18 gave Tim Lewis his first MAPGA Senior Championship. Seven MAPGA Seniors ultimately qualified for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship on October 21-24 at PGA Golf Club: Tim Lewis, Brendan McGrath, Kenny Clark, David Hutsell, Jim Estes, Jeff Combe, and Dirk Schultz.


her par putt and the 26-year-old McKew buried hers to win the championship on the 2nd playoff hole.

Thank you to Dave Long and his staff at Renditions Golf Davidsonville, MD – Shannon McKew of TPC at Course for hosting the event. Avenel Farm captured her first professional victory in the MAPGA Women’s Professional Championship at Renditions GC. The Assistant Professional shot a fourover-par 76 at the difficult Renditions Golf Course to get into a playoff with Cathy Kim, PGA (1757 Golf Club). Both competitors hit good drives on the first playoff hole, but Kim did not hit her best approach, leaving it in the fringe just short of the green. McKew had a good look at birdie after her approach shot spun back towards the hole. However, she barely missed the putt and Kim was able to get up and down to tie the hole with pars. The second playoff hole saw each player in the fairway but neither of them were able to find the green in regulation. Kim had a difficult angle for her chip shot and left herself 20 feet to save par, while McKew hit a tremendous chip inside five feet. Kim couldn’t convert

McKew hits her approach to the Par-3 13th at Renditions Golf Course


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The Professional McGrath hits his tee shot on the Par-5 13th at Independence Golf Club

BRENDAN McGRATH SENIOR OPEN of VIRGINIA Midlothian, VA – Good rounds of golf are often predicated by one’s ability to avoid the big number. That big number will often tear a round, and tournament aspirations down with a single hole. The ability to come back from a big number and persevere may be more impressive than winning a golf tournament itself. That was the case of Brendan McGrath, PGA in the Senior Open of Virginia at Independence Golf Club. The Director of Instruction at Hidden Creek Country Club was playing a fantastic round in the first round of the tournament. Through 14 holes, he was 5-under par and tied for the lead. Then came the 15th hole. McGrath drove his ball right into the penalty area then proceeded to hit his 2nd shot into a tree and further into the penalty area. After a drop, he hit his 4th back into the penalty area and proceeded to make a quadruple bogey and drop to 1-under par. He finished the day there and was 4 shots back going into the final round.

McGrath’s final round got off to a hot start by birdieing his first hole. His fantastic approach play led him to a front nine 33. After a birdie on the par-3 11th and knocking it to within inches on 12th for the 2nd day in a row, he jokingly said “this is a mirror image of yesterday’s round, I can’t wait to get to 15.” Another birdie on 13 put him in the lead by two shots. He conquered the 15th on this day, making a par to stay in the lead. Several players were chasing and within striking distance of his lead. McGrath didn’t waiver as he made a 30-footer for birdie on the par-5 17th and another birdie on the 18th to secure the Senior Open of Virginia by two shots. This is McGrath’s first Senior Open win and the first for a PGA Professional since Ricky Touma in 2016.

The Professional

LARKIN GROSS SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP Great Falls, VA – The MAPGA Professional Championship brings the best Middle Atlantic PGA Professionals together year after year. One hundred and nineteen players descended upon River Bend Club and Westwood Country Club in northern Virginia. Each player played one round at Westwood and one at River Bend before the cut (top 40% of the field). Forty-eight players made the cut for the final round at River Bend. The only thing the courses had in common was par of 71. River Bend played soft but played to a Gross tees off on the Par-4 13th during his 2nd Round at Westwood Country Club.

78 average the first two days while Westwood played to a 77.5 average and was hard and fast. The greens were rolling fast at each course and the wind gusted to 15 mph each day, adding some indecision for the players. After the first round, only 3 players were under par. Sean English (Elkridge Club) got out to an early lead with an impressive 4-under 67 at River Bend. His six birdies and two bogies gave him the lead over Larkin Gross (Springfield Golf & Country Club) by one shot going in to the second round. Defending champion, Yong Joo (TopGolf – Loudon) also put himself in contention again by shooting a 70 at Westwood. The tournament had two clear front runners after the second round. Larkin Gross and Josh Speight (The Club at Viniterra) were now the only players under par. Gross followed up his 68 with a 2-under 69 at Westwood to have the solo lead at 5 under par. The twenty-four-yearold enjoyed a 3-shot lead through eleven holes but Speight wasn’t going to let him run away with it. Speight was paired with Gross and birdied 17 and 18 to get within one shot of the lead at the end of the round. His 5-under par 66 is the tournament course record at Westwood Country Club (since its redesign in 2010). The final round was a back-andforth affair all day. Gross and Speight, fellow Methodist University alums, teed off in essentially a match play situation, five shots separating

them and the field. Gross got off to a good start with a birdie on the first hole while Speight made bogey. They were back to where they started after Speight birdied and Gross bogied the par-4 4th hole. A birdie on the par-5 9th hole by Speight tied them up at sixunder as they made the turn. Speight hit his approach on eleven to 15 feet and made the putt for birdie, giving him his first lead of the tournament.

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Section Josh Gross President hits a lay up outTremblay of a poses with after10th his win bunker onGross the Par-5 at a River Bend Club The Federal Club. The par-4 12th hole was drivable, playing just 290 yards. Both players went for the green but didn’t get the result they were looking for. Speight was in the high grass on the right while Gross hit the cart path and was left with a treacherous downhill chip. They each had some trouble, Speight making a double bogey and Gross making a bogey. A short birdie on the Par-3 13th for Gross gave him a one-shot lead.

biggest turning point. With Speight still within striking distance, Gross drove his ball right and was stymied behind a tree. He chipped out to the fairway, but Speight couldn’t take advantage and missed the green short with his approach. Gross hit his 3rd shot to within 5 feet and Speight’s chip scared the hole but rolled by 15 feet. Speight three-putted from there for double bogey, and Gross missed his putt to make bogey, giving him a 2-shot The 16th hole proved to be the lead going to 17. A long birdie putt

dropped for Gross on 17 and it was smooth sailing for him to victory from there. Larkin is the first to win the MAPGA Assistant and Section Championship since Steve Delmar in 2019. Ten players will join Larkin Gross and David Hutsell (exempt) at the 2022 PGA Professional Championship: Josh Speight, John O’Leary (Trump National-DC), Kyler Fuller (CC of


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The Professional Virginia), Ian McConnell (Springfield CC), Troy Thorne (Hobbs Hole GC), Bill Fedder (Glenmore CC), David Freiss (Musket Ridge GC), Geoff Montross (Farmington CC), Chad Moseley (Belle Haven CC), and Steve Delmar (Columbia CC). The 2022 National Championship will be held in Austin, TX in April 2022.

Larkin Gross talks to Executive Director Jon Guhl about what it took to win his first Section Championship.

The Professional 5 QUALIFY FOR NATIONAL DRIVE, CHIP, & PUTT AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL Advanced from the Oak Hill CC Regional and will compete Sunday before The Masters for the National Championship in their division!


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The Professional

MARYLAND COMPLETES DAY TWO COMEBACK TO WIN 2021 CAPITAL CUP In possibly the tournament’s most dramatic finish to date, Team Maryland took back the MAPGA Capital Cup from Team Virginia by a final score of 12.5-11.5. Maryland took 7.5 of the possible 12 points in the Sunday Singles to win the event. Elizabeth Tucci (New Market, MD) from the Maryland team came back to tie Neil Kulkarni (Ashburn, VA) in the final match to complete the comeback. This was Maryland’s first win since 2018 and Team Maryland leads the overall Cup standings, eight to five. Fourballs: Maryland 3, Virginia 3 Day one’s morning four-ball session featured two wins for each side and two ties. Team Maryland jumped out of the gate with a strong start, and all Maryland sides led at some point during their matches. However, Team Virginia fought their way back in the morning matches, led by a back nine four-hole comeback by Brandon Sipe (Yorktown, VA) and Jackson Obie (Williamsburg, VA). Match 4 featured a long birdie putt by Tucci on 17 to tie the match, before Josh DiZinno (Alexandria, VA) made birdie on 18 to take the match for Virginia. Suneil Peruvemba’s (McLean, VA) clutch birdie on 18 secured the session split for team Virginia.

Foursomes: Maryland 2, Virginia 4 The afternoon foursomes commenced much like the morning, with Team Maryland being the first to win a hole in five of six matches. Four of the six matches went the distance. In Match 9, Team Virginia’s Brandon Sipe and Suneil Peruvemba came back to win from three down with five holes to play by winning holes 14, 15, 17 and 18. The next match featured a comeback from Maryland, as Bennett Espenshade (Baltimore, MD) and Luke Lombardo (Severna Park, MD) won five holes on the back nine to take the match, 2 up. Wins in the final two matches pushed Virginia into a session win and a 7-5 lead after play concluded for day one. Kulkarni (left) watches his tee shot as Burton (right) looks on. Their 3&2 win gave VA a 7-5 lead after Day 1

Sunday Singles: Maryland 7.5, Virginia 4.5

Peruvemba fist pumps after making birdie on 18 to tie the Day 1 morning matches

Maryland took the first three matches and an 8-7 lead as scores began to flow in from the session. A seesaw battle would soon follow as the overall point total would be tied 8-8, 9-9, and 10-10 before Team Maryland took a 12-11 lead as the final match remained on the course. Luke Lombardo and Alex Maloy (Potomac, MD) flipped their respective matches to take full points and give Maryland an opportunity to win. A pair of 8 & 7 victories were posted for the session – Alec Foxen’s (Severna Park, MD) victory for Maryland in Match 18 and Jackson Obie’s win for Virginia in Match 22.

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Tucci watches her tee shot on the Par-4 9th hole during her singles match vs. Kulkarni

Other Notes Bennett Espenshade was the only player in the field to win all three of his matches. Andrew Ludwin (Bethesda, MD) and Julie Shin (Brambleton, VA) picked up 2.5 points for their respective sides.

We would like to thank all staff at the Links at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Md., who helped us put together a great tournament, including helping us get players inside as storms delayed play on Sunday. We would also like to thank Team Maryland captain John Mlynarski, The Final Match PGA and Team Virginia captain Jay Hardwick, PGA Tucci needed a half-point in the final match to clinch for their leadership for both sides this week. The the cup for Maryland, as a full point for Kulkarni would Capital Cup featured not only an impressive Ryder Cup retain the cup for Virginia in an overall tie. Kulkarni style competition from both sides, but some outdoor made a long par putt on 13 to take a 2 up lead, but Tucci camaraderie and fun as well. made a long birdie putt to cut the lead to one on 14, and won 16 to tie the match. Still tied on 18, Tucci’s downhill The 2022 Capital Cup will return to Virginia with dates chip from just behind the green ended a few feet from and location TBD. the hole. Kulkarni hit a great drive and approach shot, and had a good look at birdie, but his putt lipped out. Press Release by Nick Kerver Tucci made the par putt, completing the comeback for team Maryland.


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The Professional

MAPGA Staff Executive Director

Jon Guhl

Assistant Executive Director/ Tournament Director

Bob Heintz, PGA

Kristine Alonso

Collin Elphic

Claire Jansa, PGA

Andrew Gridley

Membership Director

Junior Golf Director

Player Development Coordinator

Director of Business Affairs

Ben Smith

Ana Olaya

Talton Cherry

Communications Manager


Competitions Coordinator

The MIDDLE ATLANTIC PGA The Professional

Volume VI, Issue III

Profile for Middle Atlantic PGA

The Professional - Volume VI, Issue III  

The latest edition of The Professional highlights the MAPGA Championship Season. Five new MAPGA major winners were crowned this year. Other...

The Professional - Volume VI, Issue III  

The latest edition of The Professional highlights the MAPGA Championship Season. Five new MAPGA major winners were crowned this year. Other...

Profile for mapga

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