LINCOLN, Neb.—Mike Antonio, PGA, Director of Golf at Happy Hollow Club, was selected for the Section’s highest honor bestowed on a PGA Member as the 2021 Nebraska PGA Golf Professional of the Year. Antonio was elected to membership into the PGA of America in September of 1984. Antonio’s professional career began at Council Bluffs Country Club, then to Happy Hollow Club, Norfolk Country Club and back to Happy Hollow Club where he has served as the Director of Golf since 2001. Antonio was the 1990 Nebraska Section PGA Champion and runner-up in 1993, 1994 and 2002. He has also teamed up with numerous of his Assistant Professionals to capture the Pro-Assistants Championship seven times. In addition to his stellar playing career Antonio has been recognized as the Merchandiser of the Year – Private in 1999; the PGA Professional Development Award winner in 2009; Golf Professional of the Year in 2014; the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2020 and Happy Hollow Club was recognized as the Facility of the Year in the Nebraska Section PGA in 2010 and 2020.
Antonio’s contributions to the Nebraska Section PGA span four decades and during this time frame he has served in all four officer roles of the Section as well as on the Junior Golf Committee, Education Committee, Player Development Committee, Finance Committee, Scholarship Committee, Tournament Committee, Membership Committee and Special Awards Committee. Happy Hollow Club has also been the host site on several occasions for the PGA REACH Nebraska Pro Am. During his time as President of the Nebraska Section PGA (2013-2015), Antonio’s desire to see the next generation of golfers come to the game is evident in the Nebraska Section PGA establishing PGA REACH Nebraska, the charitable arm of the Nebraska Section PGA in 2013.
Today, PGA REACH Nebraska serves over 25,000 youth annually through the Golf N Schools program in over 19 Nebraska School Districts. PGA HOPE Nebraska, the flagship military program of PGA REACH Nebraska, recently celebrated over 100 Veterans graduating from this program that introduces golf to Veterans by enhancing their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. In 2021, PGA REACH Nebraska introduced its newest inclusionary program, “Clubs FORE Youth.” Through this program every Omaha Public School female high school team was equipped with new clubs from Callaway Golf, pushcarts and PGA Professional instruction. Antonio embodies the PGA of America’s mission in establishing and elevating the standards of the profession and growing interest and participation in the game of golf and this latest achievement solidifies these accomplishments.
The other Nebraska PGA Award Winners for 2021 are:
Golf Professional of the Year: Mike Antonio, PGA – Happy Hollow Club, Omaha, NE
Teacher of the Year: Jon Petersen, PGA – Tiburon Golf Club, Omaha, NE
PGA Professional Development: Dawn Neujahr, PGA – Champions Run, Omaha, NE
Bill Strausbaugh-Club Relations: Robert Baber, PGA – Omaha Parks & Rec, Omaha, NE
Youth Player Development: Rodd Slater, PGA – Two Rivers Golf Club, Dakota Dunes, SD
Merchandiser of the Year-Public: Clay Stevens, PGA – Grand Falls Casino and Resort, Brandon, SD
Player Development: Joe Wiegand, PGA – Benson Park & Warren Swigart Golf Course, Omaha, NE
Merchandiser of the Year-Private: Maxwell Hadenfeldt, PGA – Scottsbluff Country Club, Scottsbluff, NE
Facility of the Year: Lochland Country Club – Hastings, NE
Sales Representative of the Year: Tyler Schaaf – Mizuno
Assistant Professional of the Year: Nickolaus St. Onge, PGA – Country Club of Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
Patriot Award: Joe Canny, PGA – University of Nebraska, Lincoln PGA Golf Management, Lincoln, NE
In addition to these awards the Nebraska Section PGA would also like to recognize the Players of the Year for 2021:
Nebraska Section PGA Players of the Year for 2021
Nebraska PGA Player of the Year: Ryan Vermeer, PGA – Happy Hollow Club, Lincoln, NE
Nebraska PGA Women’s Player of the Year: Sarah Pravecek, PGA – Wilderness Ridge, Lincoln, NE
Nebraska PGA Senior Player of the Year: Ted DiGiacomo, PGA – Golf Galaxy, Omaha, NE
Apprentice Professional Player of the Year: Andrew Storm, PGA – Shadow Ridge Country Club, Omaha, NE
All of the winners will be recognized at the Nebraska Section PGA Spring Meeting to be held Monday, March 28, 2022 at The Country Club of Club Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
ABOUT THE NEBRASKA SECTION PGA
The Nebraska Section PGA is a non-for-profit organization comprised of nearly 300 PGA Members and Associates who strive to promote the enjoyment and growth of the game of golf. Nebraska Section PGA encompasses the entire State of Nebraska, western fifth of Iowa and a small portion of South Dakota including Dakota Dunes and Yankton. The Section office is located in Lincoln, NE and acts as a resource for local and national golf information for the golf professional and amateur player alike. Our members are often referred to as “Club Professionals”, not to be mistaken as PGA TOUR Professionals.
Each Nebraska Section PGA professional serves as an expert in the ever-changing business of golf. They are the leading expert players and teachers, skilled business managers, community leaders, and superior merchandisers who have dedicated their careers to the local delivery of these services.