New Jersey Section, PGA of America,

Announces 2020 Special Award Recipients

Joe Kelly, PGA Head Professional at Mendham Golf & Tennis Club named 2020 NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year

Bedminster, N.J., August 31, 2020…The New Jersey Section of the PGA of America (NJPGA) today announced its 2020 annual award recipients, led by Joe Kelly, PGA General Manager & Head Professional at Mendham Golf & Tennis Club who was named 2020 NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor for a PGA Professional within the Section. Awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the NJPGA, and the game of golf, Kelly is the current President of the NJPGA who has shown relentless commitment and dedication during these challenging 

times to his membership at Mendham Golf & Tennis Club as well as the New Jersey PGA, its PGA Golf Professionals, and its Staff. Kelly is joined by an esteemed list of PGA Professionals who were honored in several categories as 2020 NJPGA Special Award winners. The New Jersey PGA plans to recognize the award recipients on Thursday, October 22nd at the Celebration of Golf at Canoe Brook Country Club and at the NJPGA Fall Meeting on Monday, October 26th at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club. Please note that dates and/or the format of both the Celebration of Golf and the Fall Meeting are subject to change based on a number of factors.

2020 NJPGA Award Winners:

-Golf Professional of the Year: Joe Kelly - Mendham Golf & Tennis Club - Mendham, NJ

-Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Justin Rohrig - Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Twp, NJ

-Teacher of the Year: Nick Bova - Hamilton Farm Golf Club - Gladstone, NJ

-Club of the Year: Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster - Bedminster, NJ

-Bill Strausbaugh Award: Keith Stewart - Springdale Golf Club - Princeton, NJ

-Professional Development Award: Jason Fiore - Forest Hill Field Club - Bloomfield, NJ 

-Merchandiser of the Year (Private): Matt McKeon - Spring Lake Golf Club -  Spring Lake, NJ

-Merchandiser of the Year (Public): Vaughan Abel - Royce Brook Golf Club - Hillsborough, NJ

-Player Development Award: Brian Dobbie - Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster - Bedminster, NJ 

-Youth Player Development Award: Jeremy Eccles - Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club - Bedminster, NJ

-Patriot Award: Ed Walls - Renaissance Country Club - Manchester, NJ

-Deacon Palmer Award: Bryan DeMarco - Pine Barrens Golf Club -  Jackson Twp, NJ

-Salesperson of the Year: Dave Lewis - Titleist

About the NJPGA
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. The NJPGA is one of 41 geographic sections throughout the country and has been in operation since 1925. In 2012 and 2015, the NJPGA was the recipient of the Herb Graffis Award, presented annually to a PGA Section that shows extraordinary or exemplary contributions in player development and growth of the game programming. For more information on the NJPGA please visit

New Jersey PGA Special Awards

The New Jersey Section Special Awards Committee's mission statement is to ensure that the best individuals in each Special Award category are nominated, given equal consideration and ultimately recognized for their achievement. 

National PGA Special Awards
The New Jersey Section has been well represented at the national level by dozens of PGA Professionals being nominated for their dedication to the game of golf. Over the course of the Sections history, over 13 winners have come from the New Jersey PGA. 

National PGA Award Nomination Forms
To nominate a PGA Professional in the Section, please click here and login with your username and password.


2020 Golf Professional of the Year

Joe Kelly; Mendham Golf & Tennis Club

2020 Deacon Palmer Award

Bryan DeMarco; Pine Barrens Golf Club

2020 Assistant Professional of the Year

Justin Rohrig; Forsgate Country Club

2020 Club of the Year

Trump National Golf Club Bedminster

2020 Teacher of the Year

Nick Bova; Hamiltom Farm Golf Club

2020 Professional Development Award

Jason Fiore; Forest Hill Field Club

2020 Bill Strausbaugh Award

Keith Stewart; Springdale Golf Club

2020 Player Development Award

Brian Dobbie; Trump National Golf Club Bedminster

2020 Youth Player Development Award

Jeremy Eccles; Fiddler's Elbow Country Club

2020 Patriot Award

Ed Walls; Rennaisance

2020 Public Merchandiser of the Year

Vaughan Abel; Royce Brook Golf Club

2020 Private Merchandiser of the Year

Matt McKeon; Spring Lake Golf Club

2020 Salesperson of the Year

Dave Lewis; Titleist

2020 Player of the Year

Danny Lewis; Hollywood Golf Club

2020 Senior Player of the Year

Frank Esposito; Forsgate Country Club

2020 Assistant Player of the Year

Brian Mackey; North Jersey Country Club