Five prominent members of the Northeast Florida golf community were recognized as winners of 2020 Jacksonville Area Golf Association awards at the organization’s opening meeting of 2021 at San Jose Country Club.
The winners were:
■ Community Service Award: Jared Rice, Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Championship
Rice was recognized for his outreach and impact in the community on behalf of the PGA TOUR’s showcase championship.
■ JAGA Director of the Year: Randy Nader, Sawgrass CC
Nader was recognized for his support of JAGA events and programs. In addition to chairing the Men's Senior Amateur, he was the major sponsor of the annual JAGA Scholarship Trust benefit golf tournament, and also funded JAGA’s application for an IRS tax exemption. It was the first time an outgoing JAGA president has been named Director of the Year.
■ Pro of the Year: Tim Cooper, Deerwood CC
Cooper cemented the JAGA/PGA relationship as president of the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA by encouraging stronger communication and involvement between the two organizations. He also gave very freely of his time to assist and promote amateur golf in the area.
Club Executive of the Year: C.W. Cook, Sawgrass CC
Cook's leadership brought national recognition to Sawgrass Country Club, which was recognized with membership in an organization that includes the nation's top clubs. He has been instrumental in the planning and construction of the new Sawgrass clubhouse, which will open its doors in the very near future, and also was at the forefront of the major donation Sawgrass made to the JAGA Scholarship Trust.
■ Earl and Eleanor Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award: George Halvorsen, Marsh Landing CC
Halvorsen, a former banker, has been a JAGA director for over 20 years and been active in numerous projects over the years, providing valuable counsel and contributions on every level. He has also been an active participant and volunteer at JAGA tournaments. In 2020, he took the lead on a key association initiative, JAGA’s application to the IRS for tax-exempt status.
All but Rice were in attendance at San Jose. Rice and PLAYERS’ Redcoats will be recognized at next month’s JAGA directors meeting at Eagle Harbor Golf Club.
“2020 was clearly a year like no other,” said recently elected JAGA president Jeff Adams. “Despite all the turmoil, tragedy and disruption many people faced, our wonderful sport of golf was a bright and positive exception. People who manage and promote golf truly persevered.
“Our five award recipients are shining examples of that perseverance,” added Adams. “Each made valuable contributions to JAGA and golf in North Florida in 2021 under unique and often challenging circumstances. We thank them for giving so much of themselves to golf in our area and are proud to recognize them as our 2020 JAGA award recipients.”
The award selection is a two-step process. The Nominating Committee compiles a list of three nominees for each position, and then the Executive Committee makes the decision.