Michael Breed received the top award. Two Fellow Metropolitan Section PGA Professionals, Carl Alexander and John Kennedy Jr., also Receive National Awards from The PGA of America.
Michael Breed of Greenwich, Conn., whose telegenic instruction skills through his signature Golf Channel program, “The Golf Fix,” has motivated countless viewers to enjoy the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year Award.
Breed, 50, is in his 12th season as PGA head professional at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y. He will be honored during The PGA of America Awards ceremony Jan. 24, 2013, during the 60th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.
The program also will honor the following recipients:
• Mike Schultz of Eden Prairie, Minn. – PGA Golf Professional of the Year
• Don Law of Boca Raton, Fla. – PGA Junior Golf Leader
• Carl Alexander of Bedford, N.Y. – Horton Smith Award
• Harry Hammond Jr. of West Chester, Pa.– Bill Strausbaugh Award
• Mark Holiday of Bozeman, Mont. – PGA Player Development Award
“Our talented 2012 class of national award winners span more than four decades of service to our Association and to the game of golf,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “They are PGA Professionals of impact to their Section, their respective communities and in many cases they have influenced others throughout the country. We are proud of how they daily go about their business of inspiring young and old, and grow the game through innovation and their passion. By their dedication to serving others, we are proud to declare that they are truly experts in the game and the business of golf.”
Breed follows Michael Hebron (1991) of St. James, N.Y., as the only Metropolitan PGA members to receive The PGA of America’s highest honor for a golf instructor.
“It is so humbling,” said Breed. “It is always what I’ve been doing; what I have been given a gift to do. Golf and The PGA of America have done so much for me. To be recognized in any way is special, but I didn’t get into this business for recognition. I got into this business to try to help people to play the game, to enjoy it. There are a lot of great instructors in The PGA of America, and to be recognized in this way is very humbling.”
A native of Greenwich, Conn., Breed began his athletic career in baseball as a shortstop, and was introduced to golf at age 13 by his father. “My dad was the greatest teacher I ever had,” said Breed. “The greatest memories of golf I have are playing with my Dad and my brothers.”
Breed is a 1985 graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., where he was a standout player for the Yellowjackets, and was a 2004 inductee into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Breed declared professional in 1985, and made a bid in 1991 to earn a berth on the former Ben Hogan (now Web.com Tour). Breed was an assistant PGA Professional at Augusta National Golf Club from 1989 through 1992, before serving as assistant from 1992 to 1995, for former PGA Professional National Champion Darrell Kestner at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. In 1994, Breed competed in the Greater Hartford Open on the PGA Tour.
Breed made his venture into golf broadcasting at Golf Channel in 1999, appearing on numerous “Golf Academy Live” programs as both a guest instructor and host. He also has served as an on-course reporter for the former Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour events, and was a guest on viewer’s forum and “Golf Central.” Breed also contributed numerous golf tips for CBS, Turner Sports, and Cablevision.
In 2009, Breed was selected to host “The Golf Fix,” elevating it into one of golf’s most popular instruction programs on cable television. He also serves as host instructor for the Golf Channel’s “Big Break Academy.”
Breed said that his broadcasting venture would not have been possible without the support of his home facility, Sunningdale Country Club, where he has been the PGA head professional since 2001.
“It never would have been possible if not for Sunningdale Country Club, general manager Ray Corcoran and a wonderful staff, which believe in me and allow me to do what I do,” said Breed. That teamwork, Breed said, gives him the opportunity to fly to Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evenings, host “The Golf Fix,” and return to his home club to teach 35 hours a week and oversee his staff. Breed said his ability to spread his teaching to a national audience evolved from the path set by his peers.
“You just need to look at what teachers like Butch Harmon, Jim McLean, Darrell Kestner, and David Leadbetter did many years ago to highlight instruction, and the value of instruction and what it can do,” he said. “We all have followed in those footsteps, and are privileged to be able to enjoy a lifestyle that was really created by those who came before us.”
Breed served from 2005 to 2010 on the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors and is in his second term on the national PGA Instruction Committee. A past chair of the Metropolitan PGA Education Committee, Breed won two Ely Callaway Awards in 2010 and 2011, recognizing individuals earning the most service hour credits for education recertification. He was the 2000 and 2009 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year, and recipient of the Section’s 2006 and ’07 Horton Smith Award for contributions to PGA education.
For over a decade, Breed has served as a Titleist Leadership Advisory Staff member and is among Golf Digest’s Top 50 instructors in the U.S., and since 2003 has been listed as a top 100 instructor by GOLF Magazine. Breed’s worldwide travels include trips to Canada and China to promote PGA education and has appeared before more than 15 PGA Sections nationwide.
Breed has coached 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel, and past Tour winners Chris Smith and Joe Ogilvie. His current students include five-time Web.com Tour winner Darron Stiles, Ron Whitaker, and LPGA winner Meghan Francella.
Breed also is co-author of “Picture Perfect Golf Swing: The Complete Guide to Golf Swing Video Analysis” (2008) and “The 3-Degree Putting Solution” (2011).
Breed and his wife, Kerri, live in Greenwich, Conn., and are parents of a son, William.
The PGA of America also will bestow two national awards, Saturday, Nov. 10, at the 96th Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor in Baltimore. They are:
• John Kennedy Jr. of New Canaan, Conn. – Patriot Award
• New Jersey PGA Section – Herb Graffis Award
The PGA Merchandisers of the Year will be honored Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Fla. They are:
• Amy Pendergast of Bandon, Ore. – Resort Facilities
• Dale Smigelsky of Fort Collins, Colo. – Public Facilities
• George Kahrhoff of Castle Rock, Colo. – Private Facilities
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