Atlantic PGA names Ken-Wo staff retailer, assistant of the year

John Decoste
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By John DeCoste


For the second year in a row, the PGA of Canada Atlantic has recognized Rene MacKay, director of golf operations at Ken-Wo in New Minas, with a major award.

This year, MacKay was named retailer of the year in the PGA’s annual awards.

“The award is given to an individual, but it doesn’t happen without a total team effort from all our pros and staff,” MacKay said. “It also doesn’t happen without our suppliers. Everybody plays a part in winning an award like this.”

MacKay explained that Retailer of the Year is an award that recognizes those in the PGA that focus on the business side of the industry, particularly the retail side.

“The pro shop drives the bus on it, but our corporate partners are involved, too,” he said.

The award is voted on by golf suppliers, who rank the top pro shops throughout Atlantic Canada.

“We often hear from our suppliers that we’re doing a good job; something like this confirms it,” MacKay said.

“Building relationships and customer service are the backbone of the golf industry as a whole. We’re serious here, in a business sense, but we have a lot of fun doing it. We enjoy engaging with our members, and having fun with them.”

MacKay said that the award really belongs to all the pro shop staff. He acknowledged the on-going assistance and support he receives from his team of professionals, including head pro Derek MacKinnon, associate pro Dan Fraser and assistant pro Fenwick Zwicker.

“It is an award that recognizes the job we’re doing as a team,” he said.

“We’re not only passionate about what we do, we also care about how our pro shop works. And because the staff buys into it, they take the time to do it right.”


Zwicker named assistant of the year

At the same ceremony, Zwicker was recognized as the Atlantic PGA assistant professional of the year for 2013.

His award citation read, “Fenwick involves himself in as many association activities as possible and constantly strives to improve and develop. His dedication and commitment to his profession does not go unrecognized.”

Zwicker, a Lunenburg native, has worked as Ken-Wo as an assistant pro since 2010. Before that, he worked at Osprey Ridge near Bridgewater. He received his PGA card in 2010 and graduated from Acadia in 2012.

According to Atlantic PGA executive director Lindon Garron, the assistant professional of the year award is scored based on the nominee's continued education, professional development, association participation and playing record.

"Fenwick is passionate about the golf industry and is very committed to evolving and improving as a PGA Professional," Garron says.

This is the fourth major award Ken-Wo has won in the past three years. MacKinnon was named junior leader of the year in 2011 and MacKay was golf professional of the year in 2012.

With two more awards for 2013, “that’s a pretty nice run.”

Organizations: PGA of Canada Atlantic, Retailer of the Year, Acadia

Geographic location: New Minas, Atlantic Canada, Lunenburg Bridgewater

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