New Jersey Section, PGA of America, Announces 2022 Special Award Recipients

Michael Holiday, Director of Golf at Upper Montclair Country Club, named 2022 NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year; Bryan DeMarco, PGA Head Professional at Pine Barrens Golf Club Receives Prestigious National Award

Bedminster, N.J., Sept. 7, 2022…The New Jersey Section of the PGA of America (NJPGA) today announced its 2022 annual award recipients, led by Michael Holiday, Director of Golf at Upper Montclair Country Club, who was named 2022 NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor for a PGA Professional within the Section. Additionally, Holiday was also selected as the recipient of the 2022 Bill Strausbaugh Award, which is given annually to a golf professional who made extraordinary efforts to both mentor and promote others golf professionals within the section.

Now in his 20th season at UMCC, Holiday has continued to display qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the NJPGA, and the game of golf. Holiday is now a two-time recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award having received the honor in 2018, as well.

Holiday is joined by an esteemed list of PGA Professionals who were selected as 2022 NJPGA Special Awards winners thanks in part to their extraordinary efforts during the 2022 season. The New Jersey PGA plans to recognize the award recipients at NJPGA Fall Meeting on Tuesday, October 25th at Deal Golf & Country Club and, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Golf Association, on Thursday, Oct. 27th at the Celebration of Golf at Canoe Brook Country Club.

2022 NJPGA Special Award Winners:

?       Golf Professional of the Year: Michael Holiday – Upper Montclair Country Club - Clifton, N.J.

?       Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Leah Nowicki – The Ridgewood Country Club - Paramus, N.J.

?       Teacher of the Year: Bryan Dougherty – Hollywood Golf Club - Deal, N.J.

?       Club of the Year: Liberty National Golf Club – Jersey City, N.J.

?       Bill Strausbaugh Award: Michael Holiday – Upper Montclair Country Club - Clifton, N.J.

?       Professional Development Award: Reed Lansinger – Canoe Brook Country Club - Summit, N.J.

?       Merchandiser of the Year (Private): Chris Dymek – Manasquan River Golf Club - Brielle, N.J.

?       Merchandiser of the Year (Public): Rylee Plitz – Eagle Ridge Golf Club - Lakewood, N.J.

?       Player Development Award: Juliet Little – LittleGolfPro, LLC. - Livingston, N.J.

?       Youth Player Development Award: Rylee Plitz - Eagle Ridge Golf Club - Lakewood, N.J.

?       Patriot Award: Brian Mackey – North Jersey Country Club - Wayne, N.J.

?       Salesperson of the Year: Joe Testa - Ping

In addition to the Section winners, Bryan DeMarco, PGA Head Professional at Pine Barrens Golf Club received a prestigious National Award, as he was honored with the 2021 Deacon Palmer Award which honors a PGA Professional who displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life. Diagnosed with Cancer at just 21 years old during his junior year at Penn State, DeMarco battled the disease while pursuing his dream to become a PGA Professional. As his career progressed, and after 15 years in remission, while handling his responsibilities at Pine Barrens Golf Club, his Cancer returned in 2016.

The Pine Barrens staff offered full support as Bryan learned to make adjustments and continued to work while fighting off the disease. He worked remotely, visiting the club when possible, giving lessons and club fittings while sitting in a cart when he did not have the strength to stand. Today, Bryan continues to give back, having raised over $30,000 for the New Jersey Golf Foundation through his seven years presiding over the Pine Barrens Member-Guest-Professional Tournament.

DeMarco  is also an active supporter of DetecTogether, a foundation dedicated to early detection of Cancers. He believes that if he is able to help just one person through his endeavors, it is all worth it. DeMarco will be honored on Tuesday, Nov. 1, as part of the 2022 PGA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

About the NJPGA

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. The NJPGA is one of 41 geographic sections throughout the country and has been in operation since 1925. In 2012 and 2015, the NJPGA was the recipient of the Herb Graffis Award, presented annually to a PGA Section that shows extraordinary or exemplary contributions in player development and growth of the game programming. For more information on the NJPGA please visit  To learn more about the NJPGA’s Special Awards please visit


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