Jon Earl has gained national recognition by winning the PGA Professional of the Year for his work at Ifield Golf Club.
Having progressed through the junior ranks at Ifield, Jon took the role of head professional at the age of 25.
More than 20 years later he is still there and was described by numerous members in their nominations as the heartbeat of the club.
His work with juniors, ladies and the general development of the club was praised as above and beyond that which should be expected and his service to Ifield recognised by members as outstanding.
American Golf has celebrated the ‘Best of British’ with its inaugural Golf Awards held at the Belfry.
Southwater resident and Wales Seniors international Colin Jones, who is a former Ifield scratch captain, praised Earl’s dedication and customer service skills he provides Ifield’s members.
He said; “Jon continues to have a big influence on my game. I will be seeing him for a lesson before I fly out to Ireland to represent Wales in the Seniors Home Internationals in a fortnight.
“We were juniors together at Ifield in the 1970s. Jon has won this prestigious award for his service to members, he is always helpful and really does go the extra yard, and thoroughly deserves this recognition.
“He is a very good coach, I wouldn’t have had the success I have without him. But it’s how he looks after members at Ifield that is truly outstanding.
“When I broke my driver earlier this season just before a big event, instead of just selling me a new one he instead lent me a brand new replacement from his stock, and spoke direct with the manufacturer on my behalf to somehow persuade them to provide a free replacement.
“It wasn’t even a manufacturing fault that caused the problem, I had stood too close to a metal support in the warm-up net and had hit it on my follow through. I think every golfer at Ifield will have a similar story of how Jon has provided outstanding service.”
Jon said: “I couldn’t be prouder to have been awarded the American Golf PGA Professional of the Year with such a lovely trophy especially in its inaugural year.”
“As I stated in my speech it has always been a huge honour to be a PGA member and I have always tried to conduct myself in a manner accordingly.
“I have worked tirelessly trying to promote the game I love and Ifield Golf Club particularly as they were so good in allowing me the opportunity to be their head pro’ when I was only 25.
“I’ve always tried to be an all encompassing pro’ treating everyone in the same manner rather than specialise in one particular aspect which I think has helped me fulfil my role.
“I was very fortunate to enjoy a successful amateur career particularly in Sussex before turning professional which also gave me an excellent grounding for dealing with all levels of golfers’ abilities.”