During the Southern Chapter PGA Annual Awards dinner, hosted by Skyline Country Club, Rick Price was announced as the recipient of the 2011 Professional of the Year. As the Operations Coordinator for the Southern Chapter PGA, Price was recognized for his significant contribution to the PGA as well as his unrelenting promotion of the game of golf.
This prestigious award is given to the individual whose contributions to the game of golf best exemplify the complete PGA member, based on service to the Southern Chapter, the Southwest Section PGA and the Association. It recognizes individuals who are dedicated to the promotion of the game, show leadership ability, and inspire fellow golf professionals.
“I can’t think of a more deserving individual for professional of the year,” states Jacqueline McAbee, former Publisher of Southern Arizona Tee Times. “I’ve been working with Rick closely since our magazine partnership began in 2009, and I have truly seen an individual worthy of recognition. Not only does Rick work tirelessly on multiple projects in support of the golf industry, he clearly has a passion for junior golf. Although his position with the SWSPGA Southern Chapter obviously calls for interaction with the junior golfers of Ricki Rarick, it is certainly not ‘just a job’ for him. When I see the kids stop by his office at the City Golf Complex, they are almost always making it a point to stop in and see him. These kids clearly like and respect Rick, and these days, that’s a great thing to say about any individual.”
“It’s also my understanding that the overall mission of the PGA of America is to grow the game of golf,” she continues. “I think it’s quite appropriate to recognize an individual who is dedicated to growing the game through a dedication to junior golf,” she states. “Additionally, Rick is always thinking ‘outside the box’ with creative ideas on how to help the industry. It is an obvious indication of his dedication to the golf industry as a whole.”
His work ethic and dedication to the industry are truly amazing. He participates in numerous other Boards and Committees within the Chapter, and throughout the community. He was influential in launching the Ping Junior Interclub in Southern Arizona this year. Organizing and coordinating Tucson area golf clubs in creating another opportunity for kids to play competitive golf in a team format.
He personally took on the role as coach for five of the ten teams to ensure the success of getting the program off the ground. “The leadership and dedication of Rick Price were instrumental in the PING Junior Interclub’s growth in the Tucson golf market. His enthusiasm for junior golf not only makes the PING Junior Interclub more successful. It motivates Tucson youth to be better golfers and better kids.” Said, John Souza, Executive Director, of Junior Golf University.
Price has made an overwhelming impact within the community to increase public awareness of the game of golf, and recognize both professionals and amateurs within Southern Arizona. In addition to implementing the BlueGolf tournament program to run Chapter events, Price coordinates the Ricki Rarick Junior golf program and has heavily participated in its fund-raising efforts. He is passionate about juniors learning the game of golf, was a huge part of the High School State Championships success the past few years, and connects so well with the junior golfers.
Price is no stranger to this award, being honored now for the fifth time in the Southern Chapter and once for the entire Southwest Section PGA. However, it is obvious to most members of the Southern Chapter that the overall success of the Chapter can be accredited to the continued dedication, determination and drive that he continues to display.
Upon receiving the award, Price was clearly grateful to be acknowledged once again. “What an honor, first of all, to be associated with so many outstanding professionals. To have the opportunity to serve you, and the association, is something I thank God and my wife for daily. I love what I do, and to receive recognition for my efforts is certainly appreciated.” Price said.