Several members of the Northeast Florida golf community were honored Dec. 15 at Deerwood Country Club as recipients of the 2021 Jacksonville Area Golf Association Awards. The honorees are:
CLUB EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Hyde Park Golf Course
Melanie Bevill and husband Tommy have been longtime supporters of JAGA as tournament hosts and other events and activities for many years. The same holds true for other organizations in town such as the North Florida Junior Golf Tour and the Northern Chapter PGA.
Over the last year, as owners and operators, the Bevills have invested in several important golf course renovations at Hyde Park, with many more enhancements in the works. Hyde Park will celebrate its 100th year in 2025.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Dr. Justine Redding and Richard Blackston
Moore-Myers Children’s Fund
In just one year as a member organization of JAGA, the Moore-Myers Children’s Fund has demonstrated remarkable outreach to the golf community and an ability to meet their mission of allowing “children to flourish in an environment that allows them to be healthy, safe and successful.”
Co-founders Dr. Justine and husband Richard Blackston are non-stop in their support and promotion of the fund, which was launched in 2014.
EARL & ELEANOR KELLY LONG-TERM SERVICE AWARD
Chester Stokes and Family
Marsh Landing Country Club
Chester Stokes, a real estate developer, has been influential on a broad scale since arriving in Jacksonville in 1965. His projects include Marsh Landing, Marsh Creek, Summer Beach (now the Golf Club of Amelia Island), Orange Park Country Club, Deercreek and others. Professional success has allowed him to support numerous philanthropic endeavors that have advanced causes for the needy throughout Northeast Florida.
This award was named after the late Earl Kelly and his wife, Eleanor. Earl was a dedicated JAGA director for five decades and served as president in 1973 and 1974. Eleanor was an equally dedicated promoter of golf in Northeast Florida and was president of the Jacksonville Women’s Golf Association in 1974.
JAGA DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Cimarrone Golf Course
Billy Walker has served as JAGA treasurer since 2019. The Montreal, Canada, native has totally revamped the methods and approach JAGA takes towards its accounting practices, upgrading and enhancing everything JAGA does in this area.
PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Deerwood Country Club
As tournament chair for the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA the last two years, Mike Broderick has been a tireless promoter, communicator and facilitator in organizing and running tournaments on behalf of the chapter, particularly as it pertains to the chapter’s dealings with JAGA. The relationship between the chapter and JAGA has benefited as a result. A Massachusetts native and former member of the Methodist University (North Carolina) golf team, Broderick became head golf professional at Deerwood earlier this year after a seven-year stint on the Sawgrass Country Club golf staff and one at Palencia.
SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR
The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach
Since becoming The Plantation’s superintendent in late 2020, Shannon Wheeler has significantly enhanced the golf course conditions and playability, much to the satisfaction of the club’s golf membership. The North Carolina State University business and turf management graduate performed similar excellence in his previous role overseeing TPC Sawgrass/Dye’s Valley just up the road from his new club. Wheeler has held superintendent positions at a number of other clubs in Florida, including Fernandina Beach Golf Club and several in Palm Beach County.
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