5 RI Golf Pros Receive High Honors

Five Rhode Island golf pros recently received high honors from the PGA of America’s RI Chapter (RIPGA). 

Potowomut’s Seth Force was named Golf Professional of the Year. 

Force has been at Potowomut since 2002 and Head Golf Professional since 2010.

“It’s awesome. I really appreciate all of the golf professionals in the RI chapter for nominating me and presenting me with the award. It was a difficult year, but we made it through and the golf industry was booming. Play was up at Potowomout and from what I understand up significantly across the country. It’s great to see golf making a comeback,” said Force.

Shelter Harbor’s Dan Guidarelli was named the Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. 

“It was a large team effort by the staff at Shelter Harbor Golf Club to have a successful golf season, operate effectively and produce a memorable experience for our members and guests during these times. It starts with great leadership and experience from the top. Our General Manager, Gerry O’ Callaghan, Head Professional, Dave Tiedemann plus fantastic membership support all the way around gave us direction. This in-turn empowered the golf staff to never stray from our performance standards and showcase a top lever experience every day. This is a team award and all involved deserve a piece of the pie,” Guidarelli told GolfNewsRI. 

Kirkbrae’s Nick Maresca won the award for Youth Player Development. 

Maresca is not only the Assistant pro at Kirkbrae, he also coaches the club’s Junior League team and holds numerous clinics per week. This is his second time winning the award.

Maresca is also the golf coach at Lincoln High School.

Nick Maresca

“Working with the juniors at Kirkbrae is certainly one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Nothing is better than seeing our juniors advance though our instructions programs and become competitive golfers (and champions) in our club tournaments,” said Maresca. 

The Teacher of the Year was awarded to Swansea’s Shane Drury. 

Drury is also the head coach of the Wheeler golf team. 

Shane Drury

“It is an honor to be recognized as the regions top PGA instructor by my peers and students- The 2020 golf season , dealing with many COVID -19 restrictions actually proved to be one of the busiest ever with more novice golfers taking lessons and all of my ladies instructional leagues and junior camps selling out to capacity – I am looking forward to the 2021 golf instruction season and coaching my Wheeler Warriors golf team and attempting to defend our Rhode Island Interscholastic High School Golf Championship…Hope vaccinations and testing gets COVID 19 under control in 2021- As we all experienced during this pandemic golf was the top recreational activity for our area and the local courses were as busy as ever,” Drury told GolfNewsRI. 

Al Vallante of Harbor Lights was named Merchandiser of the Year. 

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