In golf, champions are often referred to as those who win tournaments on the biggest stages. However, it’s the champions behind the scenes who were the focal point at the recent PGA Southwest Section awards and the Vegas valley had a strong showing. DragonRidge’s Mike Davis, UNLV PGM director Dr. Christopher Cain, and TPC Las Vegas’s Matt Henderson each took hardware home for exceptional performance in their respective fields. Cascata’s Ryan Darland and DragonRidge’s David Heavner, also earned awards. –Luc Grenier, UNLV Professional Golf Management, Freshman.
Each are members of the PGA of America, Southwest Section, Southern Nevada Chapter.
Davis was rewarded for his contributions to growing the game over the past year. Winning the Youth Player Development Award was a great honor for Davis.
“I’ve always wanted to explore junior golf and expand the options to be able to grow the game, it’s something I truly love to do,” said Davis.
DragonRidge Country Club is the site of various youth programs that are flexible and focus solely on building proper fundamentals and follow the PGA’s mission of growing the game. With over 51 years of teaching experience across several facilities, Davis, who has been inducted into several halls of fame, continues to grow the pool of talent in the valley as he works with junior to high school golfers.
If you’re a golf professional in the Valley, then you’ve most likely had an encounter with Cain, who took home the Bill Strausbaugh Award for displaying exemplary character, leadership, and integrity. UNLV’s top ranked golf program has been a staple for decades, and Dr. Cain has been at the forefront since day one and also an integral part of the Las Vegas golf community.
“Sharing the excitement and growth of the industry with students is what inspired me to get into this industry,” said Cain, who has helped produce hundreds of accredited PGA professionals for over 20 years. “Our alumni are doing amazing things both here in the valley and globally. I am very proud of what our program has accomplished and am looking forward to continuously upholding our standards of excellence.”
Henderson earned the section teacher of the year award to go along with his recent inclusion on Golf Digest’s 2022-23 list of best teachers in Nevada.
“What an absolutely incredible honor,” Henderson posted on his Facebook page. “It is proof that hard work and the grind make dreams come true. Congratulations to all of this years’ section winners. I am proud to represent the Southern Nevada Chapter and TPC Las Vegas.”
Darland and DragonRidge’s David Heavner earned Public and Private Merchandiser of the Year recognition.
PGA of America, Southwest Section, Southern Nevada Chapter statement:
“Five Section Awards this year showcases how hard the Southern Nevada Chapter PGA Members strive to make golf a better game every day Take a moment to reach out to these five superstars to congratulate them on the huge honor.”
Photo courtesy SN Chapter Facebook.