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Merchandiser Extraordinaire

Bear Dance's Pfingston becomes Colorado PGA's 9th national award winner in last 11 years


by Gary Baines - 7/15/2017


The Colorado PGA stands out in many respects, but in at least one regard, its members have particularly moved to the national forefront in recent years.

On Monday, Mark Pfingston, the PGA head professional at The Golf Club at Bear Dance in Larkspur, was named the PGA of America's national 2017 Merchandiser of the Year for public facilities. Pfingston will formally receive the award on Nov. 1 in Austin, Texas at the PGA of America's annual meeting.

This marks the sixth time a Colorado PGA professional has received a PGA of America national honor for merchandising -- and the fourth time since 2012.

Coloradans previously honored nationally for merchandising by the PGA of America:

-- Keith Schneider, 1990 Private Merchandiser of the Year
-- Russ Miller, 2003 Resort Merchandiser of the Year
-- George Kahrhoff, 2012 Private Merchandiser of the Year
-- Dale Smigelsky, 2012 Public Merchandiser of the Year
-- Jim Hajek, 2015 Public Merdhandiser of the Year

Pfingston has been the head pro at Bear Dance since 2006 after previously being an assistant for three years at the club where the Colorado PGA is based. (Pfingston is pictured in a Section photo.)

As the PGA of America noted in its story announcing national award winners, "During Pfingston’s time as head golf professional, golf shop sales have skyrocketed, and they continue to grow. Pfingston, who values creativity in the shop as a way of maintaining an appealing environment and increasing sales, has redefined the shop experience for his customers. In running an aesthetically pleasing, true 'mountain style' course, he and his staff seek to create raving fans by exceeding customer expectations every day."

Pfingston was the Colorado PGA's Public Merchandiser of the Year in 2005, ’15 and ‘16.

With Pfingston's accomplishment, Colorado PGA members continued their roll of the last decade-plus in receiving national recogntion for their work. In the last 11 years (2007 through '17), CPGA members -- or the Section as a whole -- have earned nine national awards from the PGA of America.

Dating back to 1958 -- when Dow Finsterwald won the PGA Championship and took home the PGA of America's Player of the Year honor -- the Colorado PGA have received 18 national PGA annual awards.

Here are all the PGA of America national award winners from the Colorado PGA:

-- Dow Finsterwald, 1958 Player of the Year
-- Warren Smith, 1973 Golf Professional of the Year
-- Jim Bailey, 1976 Horton Smith Award
-- Paul Runyan, 1977 Horton Smith Award
-- Keith Schneider, 1990 Private Merchandiser of the Year
-- Alan Abrams, 1997 Junior Golf Leader
-- Mike McGetrick, 1999 Teacher of the Year
-- Vic Kline, 2000 Golf Professional of the Year
-- Russ Miller, 2003 Resort Merchandiser of the Year
-- Danny Harvanek, 2007 Junior Golf Leader
-- Clayton Cole, 2008 Bill Strausbaugh Award
-- Kyle Heyen, 2009 Presidents Plaque Award
-- Ann Finke, 2010 Junior Golf Leader
-- Colorado Section PGA, 2011 Herb Graffis Award
-- George Kahrhoff, 2012 Private Merchandiser of the Year
-- Dale Smigelsky, 2012 Public Merchandiser of the Year
-- Jim Hajek, 2015 Public Merdhandiser of the Year
-- Mark Pfingston, 2017 Public Merdhandiser of the Year
 




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