PRESENTED TO A PGA PROFESSIONAL FOR OUTSTANDING INVOLVEMENT IN CHARITABLE AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES; UNTIRING AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MENTORING PGA PROFESSIONALS, ESPECIALLY IN THE AREA OF EMPLOYMENT AND CLUB RELATIONS, INTEGRITY AND CHARACTER REFLECTING POSITIVITY UPON THE PROFESSION. THESE CRITERIA REFLECT THE CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALITIES THAT BILL STRAUSBAUGH POSSESSED DURING HIS LIFETIME – SERVICE TO HIS ASSOCIATION AND HIS COMMUNITY AND MENTORING TO HIS FELLOW PGA PROFESSIONALS.
Lynne Hunter has made significant contributions to mentoring PGA Professionals, especially in the area of employment and club relations. For her never-ending dedication to her fellow PGA members and LPGA members and unwavering commitment to her community, Lynne has been awarded the 2019 Bill Strausbaugh Award.
Lynne Hunter was born in Baltimore, Md. to parents Frank and Maureen. She is joined by siblings Mimi, Jim, and Bob. She started playing golf at the age of 12 when her parents signed her up for a junior camp at Turf Valley Country Club in Ellicott City, Md. Lynne graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s in business management with her first golf-related job as an intern in the accounting department at TPC Avenel. Lynne became a golf professional in 1997 when she joined the staff at Kenwood Country Club where she then earned her membership in 2007 and has been the Head PGA Professional since 2012.
Throughout her career, Lynne has found that one of the most rewarding aspects of her job has been the opportunity to mentor many younger Professionals. In her role as Head Golf Professional, she strives to be a role model and a mentor to many of her current and former Assistant Professionals, Associates and interns. With her current staff, she conducts annual assessments to keep a focus on their career goals.
She believes in preparing her staff for their future jobs and ensuring that they attain the skills necessary to accomplish their goals. Lynne’s former interns and assistants have moved on to become Head Golf Professionals, First Assistants, or attain their first career position as an Assistant Professionals. Each year, Lynne hires PGM interns in all levels of the program and ensures their work is designed to help them in their education process. Many of Lynne’s interns have returned to work as Assistant Professionals upon graduation
One of her most recent success stories includes Lynne becoming a champion for an associate who had a difficult time passing the PAT due to a medical condition. This warranted an extension of time to complete the test and Lynne wrote letters of support and helped him to appeal to the board of control, upon which the extension was granted. This associate ultimately passed his PAT, earned his PGA membership and obtained his first full-time Assistant Professional position this season.
Lynne has provided guidance to many other individuals that have become either PGA or LPGA members, or both. In her LPGA Section, her contributions have been centered on member growth, professional networking, and promoting jobs for women Professionals. Recognizing that women Professionals were spread out throughout the Section and rarely working at the same facilities or near each other, Lynne saw a need to create more opportunities for female Professionals to network and share ideas. She and a colleague have been successfully hosting quarterly get-togethers at locations across the Section for the past three years and bring together between 4-12 Professionals at each session.
Lynne is often called when her colleagues within the PGA are looking to hire women Professionals and will often assist them in posting jobs on several private professional networking pages. Her efforts have successfully connected many Professionals within the Middle Atlantic section and East Coast with full time or seasonal jobs.
Lynne has spent the majority of her professional career at Kenwood and is known as coach, mentor, friend, and many times treated as part of the family by her membership. She believes in making her members feel at home and welcome, and providing an escape from the stresses of life for her members. Her staff is given the “ownership” to create that environment for the membership and go the extra mile when the opportunity arises. Her success is recognized most recently in a club-wide survey, where the golf staff and golf services were given an above average score (97 Percent!). The Kenwood membership also recognized her long-term contributions to their golf programs with the Jack Weber Club award in 2006.
Lynne’s commitment to the Section is unwavering. Starting out as Central Chapter Secretary in 2013, she then moved through the ranks from Secretary, Vice President, and President. She was recently elected as MAPGA Director-at-Large in 2017. She’s also served on many committees including Membership, Player Development, and Awards.
Lynne is the co-founder and chair of the Bob Hunter Memorial Golf Tournament, which has successfully raised $18,000 in its first two years for the Center for Urban Families in Baltimore, Md., inspired by her brothers’ dedication to this organization. Lynne is responsible for all aspects of the tournament from booking the event, planning, acquisition of all donations and management of entries, and execution of the event on the day of the tournament. She also serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the board of directors of the Foundation. Lynne is also a consultant for The Perfect Game Foundation golf tournament and is a mentor to interns from this foundation, which helps college students find jobs in the sports industry.
Lynne’s dedication to help all PGA Professionals and grow the game is best defined by her continued efforts to share successful ideas, host MAPGA, and LPGA events and to find ways to bring Professionals together to share ideas. Lynne has submitted multiple best practices for publication in PGA Magazine. She has attended local Player Development seminars and received recognition for one of her best practices that were added to the national Player Development presentation. She hosts town hall sessions and LPGA networking events in an effort to encourage her colleagues to share their stories as well.
Though this is Lynne’s first Section award, she has been honored with several LPGA Section awards: 2010 Northeast Section Professional of the Year, 2012 NE Section Junior Golf Leader Award and 2017 Northeast Section Professional of the Year.