The next few years will provide watershed moments for the Wisconsin PGA Section, with the Ryder Cup coming to Wisconsin for the first time in 2020 and the section celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022.
Jeff Ellingson, elected president of the WPGA on Monday, will have his hands full over his two-year term. But he can’t wait to take on the challenges and opportunities that await as he leads the section.
“I don’t know how to put it into words, really,” said Ellingson, the general manager at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club in New Glarus. “I feel so blessed to be where I am. I have such good mentors to thank, not only in golf but my parents have really showed me what it is to volunteer and make sure that I give my time. And it’s important for me to show my kids that it’s important to give their time, too.”
Ellingson was elected president by the WPGA’s board of directors during the annual spring meeting and product showcase at Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Mike O’Reilly, golf operations manager for Kohler Co., was elected vice president of the WPGA and Mark Voeller, head professional at Golf Galaxy in Brookfield, was elected secretary. They also will serve two-year terms.
With 452 members, the WPGA is the 19th-largest of the 42 national sections of the PGA of America.
The 2020 Ryder Cup, to be held at Whistling Straits, is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour. The WPGA will be heavily involved, with its members helping to run the event.
In the meantime, the PGA Junior League and the Drive, Chip and Putt continue to grow in numbers and stature. And the 99th Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open, August 19 through 21 at Geneva National, will expand for the first time from 156 to 204 players.
“There’s going to be plenty to try to tackle in the next two to four years,” Ellingson said.
Later Monday, the WPGA honored its special award winners at a reception at the Glacier Canyon Convention Center.
The winners were:
Jim Buyze, Wild Ridge & Mill Run, WPGA Golf Professional of the Year;
Travis Becker, the Beloit Club, Teacher of the Year;
John Bailey, Maple Bluff Country Club, Assistant Golf Professional of the Year;
Vince Pulizzano, Westmoor Country Club, Horton Smith Award;
Kari Tomash, Butte des Morts Country Club, Youth Player Development Award;
Chuck Wood, Oconomowoc Golf Club, Player Development Award;
Rich Tock, Erin Hills, Bill Strausbaugh Award;
Bob Burns, Bob Burns Golf, Patriot Award;
Skip Simonds, Milwaukee Country Club, Merchandiser of the Year (private);
Matt Boesch, Hawk’s View Golf Club, Merchandiser of the Year (public);
Pat Stein, Wild Rock Golf Club, Merchandiser of the Year (resort).