The 18th annual Central New York PGA Special Awards Banquet was held at Drumlins Country Club on Dec. 2. The banquet celebrated the 2021 award winners as well as formally honoring the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees: Jon Fowler, Steve Nacewicz and Stan Lisk.


Awards were handed out in a number of categories that were announced last month. Many award winners acknowledged their gratitude and offer healing thoughts to past section president Richard Winstead, who is battling cancer.


Winners included:

*Merchandisers of the Year: Ryan Evans (Public), Eric Lorenzetti (Resort) and Chris Krause (Private).


*Jason Gosney, Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. Gosney (Binghamton CC) is expecting the birth of his second daughter at any moment so he was unable to attend. Mike Discenza spoke on his behalf.


*Scott Webster (Tuscarora GC) received the Patriot Award and is the section’s first veteran to win the award.


*Cavalry Club’s Brian Smith received the Youth Player Development Award Winner for actively promoting both the Section’s Junior Tour and Drive, Chip and Putt Qualifiers. His Junior League Golf Team had 31 players which was second-most in the section.


*Bill Straushbaugh Award went to hall of famer Stan Gorman (Pompey Club). Gorman introduced and implemented many ideas to the section, including a permanent home site for the section and the table for the unknown soldier at every awards banquet.


*Section board member Mike Discenza (SUNY Cortland), who champions lifelong learning and continuing education, earned the Professional Development Award for his work the past season.


*The Teacher and Coach of the Year Award went to hall of famer highly-decorated Michael Doctor, Master Professional. Doctor, who has been teaching for over 47 years.


*Martha Wells (Skaneateles CC), a member of the National Player Development Committee and the Section Board of Directors, won the Player Development Award based on her dedication to grow the game in her section and golf club.


*Jeff Kleinman (Turning Stone) took home the Section’s top honor, Golf Professional of the Year. Section Executive Director Alan Seamans introduction highlighted the traits that Kleinman possesses: “He respects all those on his team, he is approachable and leads by example.  Because of his leadership style there is very little turnover within the golf department.  He is honest, displays integrity, respect and empathy always.”


The evening concluded with the speeches from the newest hall of famers. Jon Fowler and Steve Nacewicz (Crestwood GC) shared stories and acknowledged peers, friends and family who had an impact on their careers.


Stan Lisk (Endwell Greens Golf Club), who established himself as an esteemed PGA golf professional throughout his 49-year career, was unable to attend.


Members of this year’s Special Awards Committee include: Chairman Rick Frederick; Steve Campanaro, Teugega CC; Jack Conger, Links at Erie Village; Mike Discenza, SUNY Cortland and Stan Gorman, Pompey Club.


The CNY PGA is also grateful to the banquet’s sponsors: Turning Stone Resort Casino, Bernie Jorgensen – Satch Sales/Club Car, Frank Costello – New Penn Golf Cart Rentals and Brad and Valeria Ozinski – Bradley’s Jewelers. Other special guests included: Pat Carli – PING, Jeff Kelley – Titleist and Jim Wheeler, Tuscarora Golf Course in support of the Folds of Honor Foundation.