Grayhawk Golf Club superintendents Ernie Pock and Ed Juba and Director of Golf Joe Shershenovich have been honored by the American Junior Golf Association for their outstanding involvement with the Thunderbird International Junior, which took place in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 25-28, 2012.
Pock and Juba have earned the Superintendent of the Year Award, which honors the superintendent that shares the AJGA’s vision and expertly prepares and maintains a golf course for a world-class tournament experience. Shershenovich was named the Golf Professional of the Year, which honors a PGA professional whose selfless commitment makes the championship special for the players, families and staff.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual media coverage, Junior-Am fundraising tournament, charitable giving, volunteer base and hospitality. The AJGA also recognizes the year’s most outstanding general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year.
“It is such an honor to receive this award along with Ernie (Pock),” Juba said. “The AJGA is such a great organization to work with and they support us in everything we do with golf course set-up for the event. It is really an honor for us to work with the AJGA and we love seeing the juniors out year after year.”
As host of PGA TOUR’s Frys.com event from 2007-2009 and host of the Thunderbird International Junior since 2000, Grayhawk Golf Club has seen its fair share of great competition. Throughout the years, the course has been a favorite stop on the AJGA schedule and each year at the annual event over Memorial Day weekend, both Pock and Juba work hard to make the course PGA TOUR ready, even for the AJGA.
“I put the Thunderbird International Junior in the same category as the PGA TOUR events we have hosted, especially with how we set the course up,” Pock said. “We set up the course about the same yardage as the TOUR event, but we normally have the greens rolling about a foot faster for the AJGA event and it is really cool to see the level of talent these juniors have and how they play the course.”
While Grayhawk Golf Club and Shershenovich have achieved great things for the AJGA through the Thunderbird International Junior, he has continually gone out of his way to help the AJGA even more. Whether he contacts other golf professionals to spread the AJGA mission and purpose or helps secure venues for future AJGA events, Shershenovich is completely invested in fostering the goals and mission of the AJGA.
“While my name is on this award, I am accepting it on behalf of Grayhawk Golf Club,” Shershenovich said. “We embrace the importance of junior golf whole heartedly at Grayhawk. It is really neat because now after 13 years of history at this event we are seeing, not only past champions, but even past participants, on the PGA and LPGA Tours.”
Past champions of the event include Ryan Moore (2001), Brittany Lang (2002), Brian Harman (2003) and Morgan Pressel (2005). In 2012, England’s Max Orrin became the first international boy to hoist the trophy.
“I did not really know about the AJGA growing up as junior golf was very different from where it is today,” Shershenovich said. “To see how the AJGA has grown and to be able to share it is truly amazing. It has to be the right ownership, golf professional and venue to host an AJGA tournament. They have to embrace the event and junior golf. However with the AJGA and its reputation, it is an easy sell for anyone.”
In its 14th year, the tournament returns to the AJGA schedule in 2013 and will be played May 24-27, at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Complete of list of 2012 Tournament Awards.