PGA TOUR Champions presents five awards at annual Tournament Meetings
American Family Insurance Championship earns second straight President’s Award
November 21, 2019
- November 21, 2019
- Steve Stricker at the American Family Insurance Championship. (Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The American Family Insurance Championship was named 2019 President’s Award winner at the PGA TOUR’s annual Tournament Meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at TPC Sawgrass. In all, five awards were presented to three tournaments and two individuals on PGA TOUR Champions.
• President’s Award – American Family Insurance Championship
• Players Award – Dominion Energy Charity Classic
• Sales Award – The Ally Challenge
• Volunteer of the Year – Master Sergeant Kenneth Gestring (Rapiscan Systems Classic)
• Bruno Award – Brian Goin
For a second consecutive year, the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, was named the recipient of the prestigious President’s Award, which captures the criteria of all PGA TOUR Champions awards, as well as the intangibles that make the tournament stand out.
“Since 2016, the American Family Insurance Championship has established a reputation with our players, partners and fans as one of the premier events on the annual PGA TOUR Champions schedule,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Miller Brady. “American Family Insurance, along with Steve and Nicki Stricker, have spearheaded the tremendous community impact this tournament creates, and I’m honored to present the 2019 President’s Award to their event.”
The 2019 American Family Insurance Championship delivered on a number of key fronts, including:
• Over 70,000 fans in attendance and a sold-out Toby Keith concert.
• A record $2.4 million in charitable giving, impacting over 100 local charities.
• An estimated $14 million in local economic impact.
• Over 1,200 volunteers representing 15 different states.
• Generation of $3.9 million in onsite revenue from over 185 different sponsors.
• Tremendous engagement from American Family Insurance and tournament host Steve Stricker, as well as year-round excitement from fans and media.
• Celebrity Foursome on Saturday of tournament week featuring Jack Nicklaus, Brett Favre, Toby Keith and Andy North.
For the third time in the tournament’s four-year history, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic in Richmond, Virginia, was voted by PGA TOUR Champions players as their favorite event, marking the tournament’s fourth consecutive year earning one of the Tour’s season-ending awards. The Players Award represents recognition for a tournament that goes above and beyond in the experience they provide to PGA TOUR Champions players. Specifically, players noted the unprecedented engagement from title sponsor Dominion Energy, including representation on all volunteer committees, a grounds admission program available to all 20,000 employees and a guest hospitality program for caddies and spouses. The hospitality and course conditioning delivered by The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course membership and staff was exceptional. The tournament team created an expansive buildout of grandstands and hospitality marquees to present an exciting atmosphere for a Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs event, while the community support from Richmond’s fans and media members keeps the tournament top of mind year-round. On Friday night of tournament week, the event held it’s first live-onsite concert with country music star Chase Rice.
The Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Michigan, was recognized with the Sales Award, which is presented annually to the PGA TOUR Champions event which shows tremendous sales growth year over year, while establishing high sales marks in all areas. The event, which announced a five-year extension during tournament week, saw a 16 percent increase in year over year revenue, while competing with a new PGA TOUR event in the Detroit market. The HNS Sports Group-led event outpaced their peers by 61 percent in total clients, 12 percent in multi-year revenue and 23 percent in new business revenue, subsequently increasing their ability to provide charitable donations to the community.
Volunteer of the Year
MSgt (Retired) Kenneth Gestring, who has volunteered at the Rapiscan Systems Classic in Biloxi, Mississippi, for the past nine years, retired in November 2011 after serving nearly 26 years as a medic in the United States Air Force. During his 2009-2010 deployment with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Master Sergeant Gestring provided life-saving treatment to injured coalition force members when their teams were hit with a grenade. For his actions that day, he received the Purple Heart, U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Army Achievement Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal and the Army Combat Field Medic Badge.
In 2019, Gestring took on additional responsibilities at the Rapiscan Systems Classic, taking over as chairman of the Patriots Pavilion and Caddie Hospitality Pavilion, while also orchestrating the 2019 Military Caddie Program – which provided over 30 military members the unique opportunity to caddie for a PGA TOUR Champions player during the Pro-Am.
Longtime PGA TOUR staff member Brian Goin was named the 2019 Bruno Award recipient. The PGA TOUR Champions Advisory Council presents the Bruno Award annually to an individual or company judged to have made special and outstanding contributions to PGA TOUR Champions. The award is named in honor of Brian ‘Bruno’ Henning, the Tour’s former Vice President and Southern Africa Golf Hall of Fame member. Goin, who will retire at the end of 2019 after 32 years and 344 tournaments with the PGA TOUR, is the Senior Vice President and Chief of Operations for the TOUR’s Championship Management division. In his role, he oversees all aspects of Championship Management and its events, including five tournaments on PGA TOUR Champions. Prior to joining Championship Management, Goin served as the Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Championship for 10 years and spent five years as Executive Director of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.