Congratulations to Rick Grayson for being named the recipient of the National 2011 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award!!
October 17th, 2011 12:44pm
Grayson, 57, whose dedication to the next generation of golfers has left an indelible mark upon a generation of youth within the Midwest PGA Section and his local community, is the recipient of the 2011 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award. Grayson is the PGA teaching professional at the Connie Morris Golf Learning Center at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Mo. A 28-year member of The PGA of America, Grayson is the first member of the Midwest PGA Section to be named recipient of the national PGA Junior Golf Leader Award. The award was established in 1988, recognizing the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. Born in Vinita, Okla., and raised in Pryor, Okla., Grayson is a 1976 graduate of Park University in Kansas City, Mo. He declared professional that year, and spent the next four seasons under veteran PGA Professional Dorl Sweet at Grandview Golf Course in Springfield. During that period, Grayson joined Sweet to promote junior golf classes at Grandview. From 1980 to 1988, Grayson served as PGA head professional at Tri-Way Golf Club in Republic, Mo., before returning to Grandview to serve as PGA teaching professional at the Bill & Payne Stewart Golf Course. During the inception of the Clubs for Kids Program in the 1980s, Grayson assisted legend Tom Watson in presenting the program to Kansas City area youth.
In 2000, Grayson arrived at Rivercut Golf Course and its Connie Morris Golf Learning Center, becoming the PGA teaching professional. His commitment to serving juniors, according to the Midwest PGA Section, has earned him the recognition as the "junior golf professional" in his Section, and the junior golf chair for The PGA of America's District 6 region. Grayson launched a High School Golf Coaches' Clinic in 1997 that continues today, and guided the formation of the Heart of the Ozarks Junior Golf Foundation, currently serving as its president. The Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million exclusively for local junior golfers; funded an annual scholarship program that awards $2,500 each to a Payne Stewart Boy and Girl Golfer of the Years; and funded a four-hole course to allow local juniors, including those with disabilities, may play at no charge. Grayson's teaching talents drew such talented adult students as actor Lucas Black of Columbia, Mo., one of the finest Hollywood golfers, whose golf skills are on display in the September nationwide release of "Seven Days in Utopia." In 2008, Grayson began a campaign to bring SNAG Golf to all elementary schools in the Springfield school district and he currently serves on its national advisory board. Today, the SNAG Golf Elementary Program touches more than 9,000 youth in the greater Springfield area. The 2005 Midwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year, Grayson was the 1991, '98, 2000, '02 and '05 Section PGA Teacher of the Year; captured the past four Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Awards since 2008; and was recipient of the 1986, '87, and '88 Section Bill Strausbaugh Awards for his inspirational work in mentoring other professionals.
A member of the Ozarks Golf Hall of Fame, and currently its president, Grayson has been listed since 1996 by GOLF Magazine among its Top 100 Golf Instructors in America. "I feel that the promotion of the game is an inspiration in itself," said Grayson.
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