The highest annual award bestowed on a Section member is that of the Golf Professional of the Year. Overall performance at his/her facility, a high level of service to the PGA at both the national and section level, and a positive image as a golf professional are just some of the criteria considered. This year's honoree is John Bermel, PGA Head Professional at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course for 16 years and Head Coach for the Men's (for 18 years) and Women's (for 11 years) Golf Team at the University of Northern Iowa. John is a 23 year Member of the PGA of America and has been honored with many awards. As part of the Iowa PGA Section, John was named the 1987 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year, the 2000 Teacher of the Year and the 1999 and 2007 Junior Golf Leader.
He was also the winner of the Low Stroke Average Award for the Iowa PGA Section in 2002 and 2008. Other notable awards include the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 and the 2011 Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by Golf Coaches Association of America and E-Z-GO. He served on the Iowa PGA Board of Directors from 2000-2002 and has been the Director of the Iowa PGA Junior Golf Academy, a week-long golf camp, for the last 17 years.
In addition to his numerous awards, Mr. John Bermel is clearly a great player. He won the Iowa PGA Section Championship in 1993, 2000, 2004 and 2006 - earning a spot in the National Club Professional Championship 15 times in the last 20 years and ultimately finishing well enough in this event to participate in the 1994 PGA Championship at Southern Hills and the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla. In 2012 he won the Iowa PGA Senior Section Championship and participated in the United States Senior Open.
John is a great business man managing two golf shops, food and beverage operations and 36-holes of golf. This includes merchandising, customer service, expense management, staffing, financials and working closely with course superintendent and other employees to insure daily play and special events run smoothly. He developed and administers several junior golf programs that provide over 300 kids a year the opportunity to learn and enjoy the game, expanding golf's reach to local area communities that otherwise would not have programs.
Not only is Mr. John Bermel an accomplished player, teacher, coach and businessman, he is also a wonderful husband and father to 5 children, all of which play golf. It is, and will continue to be a privilege to have John Bermel call the Iowa PGA Section home. He is an asset to those both within and outside the realms of the PGA. Congratulations to John Bermel on a well deserved Golf Professional of the Year award.