Bernie Friedrich, Vice President of Golf and Resort Sales for Boyne Resorts, was the American Junior Golf Association’s 2018 Golf Course Executive of the Year.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and golf course executive, as well as the most game changing event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best AJGA Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2018 season will be presented on-site at 2019 tournaments.
Friedrich was honored July 4 during the final round of the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands. The resort has hosted an event annually since 2003, with an exception of 2005. The event is held annually around the Independence Day week and features 144 golfers from up to 21 states and 10 countries. The 2018 and 2019 event served 126 Michigander junior golfers and features a list of past champions including Henry Frizzell, Nick Dentino, Isabella Portokalis, and Macy Fox.
Along with receiving AJGA’s award, Friedrich was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame on June 2. He joined Boyne Resorts in 1976 as a golf professional and through the years has become one of the leading golf operators, helping to expand the resort and AJGA events to Maine, Michigan, and Montana.
“Since I’m a huge fan of the AJGA and youth golf, it means a great deal to me to win this award. I look forward to the week the AJGA is here every year,” Friedrich said. “Not only do I enjoy the kids being here and their great talent, but it is the best-run event we host by far. I enjoy watching players interact with one another and the tournament officials, but watching their behavior on the golf course is the reason I believe golf is the greatest sport.”
Each year the event is consistently run by a dedicated tournament committee that aims to deliver the best experience for the junior golfers. In 2018, the tournament included 100 volunteers and a host course that ensured resources such as water and medics were available throughout the competition. Boyne Highland Resort was also recognized in 2006 for its volunteer program, annually a top event on the schedule.
“For many years, Bernie has been an important part of the AJGA’s success due to his incredible dedication to the AJGA and commitment to supporting junior golf," said Gayle Champagne, AJGA Board of Directors Past President. "We are proud to call Bernie a friend of the AJGA and are happy to honor him with this award.”