Two area golf professionals and high school golf coaches earned high praise from the Northeastern New York Section of the PGA of America this week.
NENY PGA announced Friday that Cairo-Durham coach Peter Maassmann, of Blackhead Mountain Lodge & Country Club, was tabbed with the Bill Strausbaugh Club Relations Community Services award while Hudson coach Lucas Cohen, of New York Golf Park, won the Player Development award.
“It means a tremendous amount,” Maassmann said. “I’ve been at Blackhead for 25 years and we’re kind of separated from the Albany area and fly a little under the radar over here. Just to be nominated was extremely satisfying and rewarding. To be the recipient, especially when it’s voted upon by my peers, means a lot.”
Maassmann said the award recognizes a golf pro for their work in community relations and community service and is not based solely on what they do related to golf. Over time, he has been a chairman of the town planning board, a member of the Greene County legislature’s tourism advisory committee and has been heavily involved in various youth programs.
Maassmann also coaches the Columbia-Greene Community College golf team.
Both he and Cohen plan on attending the annual NENY PGA spring membership meeting at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs on March 24, when award winners will be honored in front of their peers as well as the president and the CEO of the PGA of America.
“I’m super stoked,” Cohen said of winning. “It’s great to see my peers in the PGA, that I have known for many years, notice the work that I’m doing and acknowledge it with this award. I’m really excited about the future of the golf park.”
Cohen is busy working on a number of new programs at the Hudson-based park, which will re-open at the end of this month with instruction beginning in mid-April.
“I love teaching. I’m so passionate about it,” he said. “I’m always thinking about different ways to improve the golf park and make it a better place so I can do new things for players.”
In addition to the coaches receiving high praise, former Columbia-Greene Community College head coach and former Columbia Golf & Country Club head professional, Tom Philion, was named the NENY PGA Golf Professional of the Year — the highest award handed out.
Philion served as the head golf pro in Claverack from 1991-2005 and is currently the director of the professional golf management program at SUNY Delhi.