THIS IS THE HIGHEST HONOR PAID TO A PGA PROFESSIONAL. OVERALL PERFORMANCE AS A PGA PROFESSIONAL, LEVEL OF SERVICE TO THE MAPGA AND TO THE ASSOCIATION, LEADERSHIP ABILITY, PROMOTION OF THE GAME OF GOLF, IMAGE AS A PGA PROFESSIONAL AND ABILITY TO INSPIRE FELLOW PGA PROFESSIONALS ARE SOME OF THE CRITERIA CONSIDERED FOR THIS AWARD.
John “J.P.” Lunn has been a member of the Middle Atlantic PGA since 1990 and has volunteered to serve his Chapter and Section in some capacity since 1997, most recently ending his term as the 48th President of the Middle Atlantic PGA. For his unwavering dedication and service in the Middle Atlantic PGA, J.P Lunn has been named the 2020 Professional of the Year, the highest honor paid to an active PGA Professional.
J.P. was born on June 11, 1968 in Buffalo, New York to parents John and Lynda and has a younger brother, Garrett. He began playing golf at age eight when his father introduced him to the game at Orchard Park Country Club in Orchard Park, NY. He enjoyed this special time spent with his Dad and has loved the game ever since.
In addition to his father’s introduction to the game, J.P. learned even more about the game from a few local PGA Professionals. His first lesson was with Jerry Coleman, who was the PGA Assistant Professional at Orchard Park CC. He still remembers some of Jerry’s teaching from a lesson over 40 years ago. Around 1984, a PGA Professional named Lonnie Nielsen allowed J.P. to spend all day, every day throughout the summer, “just hanging around” at Crag Burn Golf Club in East Aurora, New York. He learned about club repair and golf operations and even caddied for Lonnie when he played in Section or National events.
As an amateur, J.P. was the Boys’ Champion of the Buffalo District Golf Association, competed in the International Junior Masters, and was the Junior Club Champion at Orchard Park Country Club. J.P.’s first golf-related job was as a caddie at Orchard Park Country Club when he was 12 years old; earning $8 per bag for a single loop. He completed his BA in English (Media Communications) in 1989 from High Point University in High Point, North Carolina and accepted his first professional job in 1990 under the tutelage of PGA member, Tommy Martty at WestWinds Country Club in New Market, Maryland. Tommy instilled a sense of organization and diligence that J.P. still adheres to today.
J.P. was elected to PGA membership in January 1994, the same year he began working as the Head PGA Professional at Brandermill Country Club in Midlothian, Virginia. In 1995, he became an assistant PGA Professional at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland and in 1998, he went on to be the PGA Director of Golf at Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort in Flintstone, Maryland. He spent only one year at Rocky Gap before accepting the Head PGA Professional position at Holly Hills Country Club where he was promoted to PGA General Manager in 2007. In 2014, J.P. became the President of Sabre Golf, and shortly thereafter purchased a range and became the Head PGA Professional/ Owner of the facility. In 2018 he accepted his current role as Head PGA Professional at Fountain Head Country Club.
With a commitment to serving the Section, J.P. has served as a Board member of the Middle Atlantic PGA for 16 of the last 18 years. He has been involved in many committees within the Section. As a newly elected member, he started working on the Membership Committee reviewing applicants as they presented materials for membership. Since then, he held all of the offices at the Chapter level, as well as maintaining a seat on the Section Board of Directors and served as the Education Chair. In 2011, J.P. was elected as a Director at Large for the Section Board of Directors, then as the Secretary, Vice President and President in subsequent alternating years.
J.P. continues to provide ample opportunities for local PGA Professionals and has hosted over 14 sanctioned Pro-Ams/Invites, as well as another 5 sanctioned Pro- Am’s with allied associations. He has also been the host professional for the Section Pro- Assistant, Section Pro- President, Assistant Professional Championship, Chapter Pro- Junior and a Chapter Spring Meeting. His facility annually supports the programs that benefit both the PGA and Section, such as the Partners Program, Chrysler Championship, the McGladrey Cup event and the PGA Junior League. J.P. has hosted a Town Hall meeting for the Northern Chapter annually for the past 18 years and has attended numerous meetings in all three chapters in addition to his participation at allied association events.
Over the past few years, J.P. has had the privilege to mentor, train and develop a number of new PGA
professionals. He treasures the relationships he had made over the years and continues to talk to his lifelong friends on a regular basis, regardless of the circumstances. He has had three PGA members that have finished their schooling while working under his tutelage and obtained Head Professional positions. As well, he encouraged a fellow employee to register into the PGA program; who has now become a Director of Instruction.
At his current facility, he’s mentoring a young assistant as well as transforming an employee from another
department into the PGA program. His new seasonal assistant has been an employee at Fountain Head Country Club for over 10 years as a Food & Beverage Manger. Through many conversations, J.P. realized the passion this person had for golf and showed him the path to becoming involved with the profession. The new Associate is now in the program and preparing for his Playing Ability Test. This is just an example of his dedication and his passion for golf and the PGA.
Within his community, J.P. represented the PGA badge by reaching out to local groups like the Frederick Lion’s Club, Frederick Rotary, and Frederick Chamber of Commerce. For his past efforts in creating and orchestrating an annual MAPGA sanctioned Pro-Am for the Rotary Club, J.P. was honored with a Paul Harris Fellow (one of the highest honors through Rotary International). He also helped organize, develop, and host a golf event for the Frederick Chamber of Commerce. Since they did not have a PGA Professional on the Board, the members on the committee asked J.P. to be their local “expert in the game of golf.” And if that isn’t enough, he found time to volunteer for Mt. St. Mary’s and the Mission of Mercy of Frederick.
J.P.’s philosophy for golf is the same as it is for his business and personal life: he has and will always try to personalize his relationships with everyone that he meets. Whether it is a student, member, guest, or work colleague, he simply treats them as he would like to be treated and tries to communicate with them to the best of his ability, not to them, in an honest and up front, relaxed and sincere manner. Twice in his career while serving as the Head PGA Professional, he has been promoted to Club General Manager. As a PGA General Manger, his performance was recognized by Golf Inc. Magazine as Golf’s Most Admirable Operator. This national award is given to those who distinguish themselves by demonstrating consistent excellence in directing a successful, profitable golf course operation that upholds the highest standards of quality and customer
service. The recipients were selected by a panel of industry leaders, compiled by Golf, Inc. magazine.
J.P. is married to his best friend and biggest support, Kim. He has two daughters: Nikki (21) and Sydney (25) [with new fiancé, Vinny]; two step-sons Chase (34) and Garrett (30) [with new fiancée, Stephanie]; and four grandsons Wesley (6), Adam (5), Beckett (4) and Theo (3).