Lance Olson Wins 2020 CIPGA Professional of the Year
GLENVIEW, Ill. – February 23, 2021
– The Illinois PGA Section has announced its slate of 2020 Special Award winners for the Central Illinois Chapter (CIPGA). The boundaries of the CIPGA are defined by Interstate 80 to the north and the Section boundaries to the south, east and west. Lance Olson (Champaign Country Club) has been selected as the 2020 CIPGA Professional of the Year and highlights the six (6) Illinois PGA Members who won CIPGA awards in 2020.
Following are the 2020 CIPGA Special Award Winners:
Lance Olson, PGA (Champaign Country Club)
– Professional of the Year
Bill Abrams, PGA (Balmoral Woods)
– Teacher of the Year
Glenn Prout, PGA (Mt. Hawley Country Club
) – Assistant Professional of the Year
Tim Krouse, PGA (Effingham Country Club)
– Youth Player Development Award/Bill Strausbaugh Award
Dave Lundy, PGA (Mt. Hawley Country Club)
– Merchandiser of the Year – Private
Steve Orrick Jr., PGA (Country Club of Decatur) –
Richie Hammel Distinguished Service Award
“We have a tremendous group of professionals that live and work in the Central Illinois Chapter,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois Section. “This year’s Special Award winners exemplify all that PGA Professionals have to offer as experts in the business and game of golf and show how dedicated our membership is to the game golf across the entire state of Illinois.”
Professional of the Year
Leading the 2020 class of CIPGA Special Award winners is Lance Olson
, 49, winner of the CIPGA Professional of the Year Award. This award honors the working club professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional. Special emphasis is placed on performance and achievement over the past five years and specifically in the following five categories; overall performance as a PGA Professional at his/her facility, service to the Illinois PGA and the Association, leadership ability, image and ability to inspire fellow PGA Professionals, and the promotion of golf.
Olson is the Head PGA Professional at Champaign Country Club in Champaign, Ill., a position he has held since 2001. After completing the Professional Golf Management Program at Mississippi State University, Olson took his first job at East Lake Golf Club in Georgia as an Associate. In 1997, Olson moved from the Georgia Section to the Illinois Section taking an Associate position at Onwentsia Club. Olson transitioned to an Assistant Golf Professional (A-8) at Onwentsia after earning his PGA membership later that year and remained at this position until taking his first Head Professional job at Champaign in 2001.
Olson served on the CIPGA Executive Committee from 2002-2005 as Secretary/Treasurer and helped coordinate continuing education seminars for members of the Chapter. He has also hosted the Chapter Match Play, Chapter Championship, and the Central Illinois Chapter Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America outing. He has represented the Chapter Professionals in Heartland Cup matches and the Illinois Section Professionals in the Radix Cup Matches. In 2011, Olson represented the Illinois PGA competing in the PGA Professional National Championship. He is an active supporter of the Chapter through avid participation in Section and Chapter programming.
Teacher of the Year
, 54, of Balmoral Woods Golf Club in Crete, Ill. has won the 2020 CIPGA Teacher of the Year Award. The CIPGA Teacher of the Year Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who is an outstanding teacher of golf among the ranks of the PGA membership. This award is based on a professional’s overall performance in teaching, innovative and special teaching programs initiated or implemented, articles published, as well as outstanding golfers the professional has instructed.
Abrams runs a number of golf instruction programs that support all levels of golfers. He has had articles published in PGA Magazine and the Proponent Group newsletter, and contributes to GolfNow, Chicago Magazine and Eyeline Golf with articles and videos. Abrams has built a very successful coaching business through his Golf Solutions Academy over the past 22 years. He has been able to market worldwide via his website, app, social media and has added a winter teaching location in Florida. He has students nationwide and is able to reach them through the platform he developed. Abrams has built a reputation as a holistic coach who gets results. This marks the fourth CIPGA Teacher of the Year honor for Abrams (2004, 2017, 2018, 2020). He won his first Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year Award in 2019, the Illinois PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2010, the Illinois PGA Horton Smith Award in 2005 and was the Illinois PGA Professional of the Year in 2015.
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
, 37, of Mount Hawley Country Club in Peoria, Ill. is the 2020 CIPGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. The CIPGA Assistant Professional of the Year Award bestows special recognition to a PGA Member Assistant Professional. Special emphasis is placed on leadership qualities, moral character, the individual’s record of service to the Illinois PGA and the game of golf and is considered a well-regarded and model PGA Professional. Prout’s service to the Illinois PGA, Central Illinois PGA Chapter and the PGA of America is rooted in his passion to promote and grow the game of golf. His greatest service to these organizations is his ability to help coach and mentor golfers to develop a long-lasting passion for the sport. Prout believes that channeling his passion for the game will better the golf experience not only for the golfers he interacts with but also the golf community as a whole. Prout showcases himself as a leader in many facets at Mt. Hawley, including outside service, the golf shop, junior golf and more. This marks the first Special Award in Prout’s career.
Youth Player Development and Bill Strausbaugh Awards
, 49, of Effingham Country Club in Effingham Ill. is the recipient of the 2020 CIPGA Youth Player Development Award and the CIPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award. The CIPGA Youth Player Development Award recognizes the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth golfers. The CIPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award is designed to recognize PGA Professionals who by their day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community.
Krouse has been the Head PGA Professional at Effingham Country Club since 2009 and has been the CIPGA President since fall of 2019. In that time, he has developed a junior golf program that has roughly 125 kids from ages 5-14 every year. Effingham Country Club was also host to one of the inaugural sites for the then called “Ryder Cup Youth Skills Challenge,” now known as the Drive, Chip and Putt. It had the second-highest participation of all the sites leading up to the Finals, which were held during the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah. Effingham then became a recurring site for Illinois PGA Drive, Chip, and Putt competitions, regularly filling the field of competition.
Krouse takes pride in mentoring a new assistant every season. His first Assistant Professional position is filled on average every two seasons. During his time at Effingham for the last 12 years, Krouse has had four Assistants get their PGA membership, with three more currently in the program. Those four individuals have gone on to take Teaching Professional Jobs or Head Professional jobs elsewhere in the country. Krouse has won several CIPGA Special Awards in his career, most recently he was the CIPGA Professional of the Year in 2019.
Private Merchandiser of the Year
, 35, Head PGA Professional of Mt. Hawley Country Club in Peoria, Ill. is the 2020 CIPGA Private Merchandiser of the Year. The CIPGA Private Merchandiser of the Year Award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who has excelled as a businessperson/merchandiser in the promotion of golf at a private facility. Lundy was elected to PGA membership in 2012. Prior to that, he served as an Associate Professional in the Illinois Section at both Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club (2007-2009) and Peoria Country Club (2009-2012) as well as in the Southwest Section at Mirabel Country Club (2009). Lundy views merchandising as more than just maintaining a well-stocked and clean golf shop. He sees it as a vital component of a golf operation that compliments all other facets of the club. Having a merchandise plan that compliments and strengthens the tournament program, teaching & club fitting, and customer service goals is essential to the success of the entire operation at Mt. Hawley Country Club. As a merchandiser, Lundy adds value through customer service and branding with the Mt. Hawley logo. He also promotes sales around holidays, change of seasons, club events and other large golf events (Olympics, Masters, Ryder Cup, etc.). Lundy succeeds in displaying merchandise in a way that not only appeals to the eye but also encourages members to walk right up and engage with the merchandise. Lundy has been the recipient of multiple CIPGA awards in the past. In 2019 he was the recipient of the CIPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award.
Richie Hammel Distinguished Service Award
Steve Orrick, Jr.
, 44, of Country Club of Decatur, has been selected as the 2020 CIPGA Richie Hammel Distinguished Service Award winner. Named after the PGA Professional who spent a career of almost 40 years at Faries Park Golf Club, the CIPGA Richie Hammel Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who displays leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.
Orrick is the General Manager at Country Club of Decatur in Decatur, Ill., Prior to this position, he was the Head Professional at Country Club of Decatur from 2007-2020. Orrick’s leadership and humanitarian efforts as a PGA Professional came full circle in November 2013. A tornado ripped through Washington, Ill. which wiped out certain areas of the small town. Orrick helped organize a group of PGA Professionals from Central Illinois and Chicago to go help with the clean-up efforts in the town. His charitable involvement can be highlighted by his participation in the Illinois PGA Foundation’s Birdies for Charity Fundraiser. Orrick participated in the Section fundraising event for each of the first seven years, before creating the CIPGA Birdies for Charity event in 2018. In three years, the Chapter event has raised over $90,000 for local children’s charities.
Orrick has been deeply involved in leadership roles for both the Section and Chapter. He was the CIPGA President for two terms from 2013-2016, the CIPGA Assistants Chair from 2009-2010 and the CIPGA Education Chair from 2011-2013. Orrick also served on the Illinois PGA Board of Directors for seven years where he was on the Finance Committee (2018-2019), the Opens Committee (2018-2019) and was the Illinois PGA Tournament Chair (2016-2019). He is a two-time CIPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award Winner (2011, 2018), a CIPGA Horton Smith Award winner (2011) and was the 2017 CIPGA Professional of the Year. Orrick was the recipient of the 2019 Illinois PGA Professional of the Year Award and he was also the Don Drasler Illinois PGA Assistant Player of the Year in 2005.
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
# # #
Illinois PGA Communications