7 RI Golf Pros Receive High Honors

Seven Rhode Island Golf pros have received high honors from the PGA of America’s RI Chapter (RIPGA). 

“The 2022 awards are headlined by the Professional of the Year from each of our six chapters: Glenn Kelly (Cape Cod), Dan Venezio (Maine), Peter Hulbert (Massachusetts), Jason Malcolm (New Hampshire), John Rainone (Rhode Island) and John Cleanthes (Vermont),” writes the New England PGA in their announcement. 

Award Winners

North Kingstown Golf Club’s John Rainone was named the Rhode Island Professional of the Year.

John Rainone

“I’m both humbled an honored to be recognized by my peers. The RIPGA is blessed to have an amazing collection of dedicated and talented professionals,” Rainone told GolfNewsRI.

Kirkbrae Country Club’s Nick Maresca was recognized as the Assistant Professional of the Year.

“There’s nothing more meaningful to me than when your peers recognize your talent and dedication to the golf business. I appreciate my fellow RIPGA professionals for nominating me for this award and I thank the awards committee for selecting me as the 2022 RIPGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year,” said Maresca. 

Nick Maresca

He added, “I’d also like to thank the entire Kirkbrae membership for always supporting me in any endeavor that I commit myself to. Without the support for the membership and my family I wouldn’t be the golf professional I am today.” 

As GolfNewsRI reported, Maresca was elected President of the RI PGA.

He is also the head coach of the Lincoln High School Golf Team.

Lincoln Country Club’s Bruce MacDonald was named the Merchandiser of the Year. 

MacDonald has been at Lincoln Country Club since 2003. 

Prior to that, he served as an assistant at Alpine and Quidnessett. 

Cranston Country Club’s Todd Campbell was recognized as the RI PGA Teacher of the Year. 

As GolfNewsRI reported back in November, Campbell is leading a brand new teaching facility at Cranston CC that opened this past November. 

Button Hole’s Shane Drury won Youth Player Development Award. 

“It is an honor to be chosen RIPGA Youth Golf Instructor of the Year. We had such a fun year at Button Hole Golf Course as myself and staff could not have been busier teaching golf and life lessons such as patience, honesty, integrity, and perseverance to our Providence and vicinity junior golfers,” Drury told GolfNewsRI.

He adds, “The 2021 golf season proved to be the busiest on the range, course and youth golfer instruction participation in Button Holes history.”

Along with working at Button Hole, Drury is also the head golf coach at Wheeler.  

The Les Kennedy Player of the Year Award was split between the Aquidneck Club’s Ed Kirby and North Kingstown’s Brian Owens. 

“All I can say about the award is that I am humbled and honored to win and award with Les Kennedy’s name on it. Mr. Kennedy was a legend in New England golf and I was fortunate to have met him on several occasions,’ Kirby told GolfNewsRI.

Ed Kirby

Both players have had successful years on the course, making runs in the NEPGA tournaments. 

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