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Met PGA holds 54th Annual Education Forum

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (April 13, 2016) - The Metropolitan PGA held its 54th Annual Educational Forum on Tuesday, April 12 at the Westchester Broadway Theater. Westchester County native and renowned instructor Butch Harmon delivered an insightful presentation revolving around his career and instructional methods, while the program concluded with the presentation of Metropolitan PGA Special Awards to John Kennedy of Westchester Country Club, Matt Dobyns of Fresh Meadow Country Club and Nelson Long of Century Country Club.

The opportunity to speak about his work to Met professionals was special for Harmon, whose late father Claude Harmon served as head professional at Winged Foot. Harmon, voted Golf Digest's top rated instructor for 15 consecutive years, shared stories of his father and brothers (the family was selected by the Met Golf Writers as Family of the Year in 1988), past and present experiences with PGA TOUR players, and work with students at his academies. He also addressed specific instructional components, stressing the importance of being both a coach and instructor, and being wary of becoming too focused on new technologies. He remarked that while its important to be well versed in available technologies, that the eyes and watching ball flight is still what he relies upon the most in his instruction. Harmon also answered questions from attendees and finished his time with a "fireside chat" with Michael Breed, before the program transitioned to awards.

Kennedy was awarded with the Sam Snead Award for his contributions to the game of golf, the PGA and the Metropolitan Section, which have taken place over more than 40 years of service in the area. Kennedy's accomplishments can be seen in a variety of ways, whether through past recognitions (1997 Met Section Professional of the Year, 2010 Horton Smith Award winner, 2012 Patriot Golf Award winner to name a few), success of those he's mentored (18 of his assistants have gone on to become head professionals or directors of golf), or through his activity in leading community programs with youth and veterans.

Nelson Long, John Kennedy & Matt Dobyns.

Dobyns's play in 2015 led to his winning both the 2015 Metropolitan PGA Player of the Year and the National PGA Club Professional Player of the Year awards. His outstanding season included a win at the 2015 PGA Professional Championship, and titles at the Metropolitan PGA Professional Championship and the 2015 Lincoln Met PGA, plus additional top-5 finishes. He also competed on the PGA Cup Team for the second time.

Finally, Long was named as the 2015 Professional of the Year. His level of service as an instructor, educator, mentor and community servant have displayed his great leadership qualities for nearly 40 years. Even while spending his off season as Director of Golf at Tryall in Jamaica for over 30 years, Long remained well in tune with the Met Section. He has mentored Section-awarded teachers, skilled players and a former Section President. Perhaps most telling of his graciousness is his involvement with charitable events and a genuine interest in such a wide variety of organizations including hospitals, colleges, his local church and especially youth foundations.

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