Mike Antonio of the Happy Hollow Club received his 2021 Nebraska PGA Golf Professional of the Year award at the association’s recent spring meeting.
It’s the second time Antonio, Happy’s director of golf since 2001, has been so honored. He was also the 2014 recipient.
A PGA member since 1984, Antonio started at the then-Lakeshore Country Club (now Council Bluffs Country Club), then was an Assistant to the late John Frillman at Happy before Hired as a head PGA pro at Norfolk Country Club. He returned to Happy upon Frillman’s retirement.
Antonio is a Bellevue West Graduate whose late father, Anthony, was a Retired Air Force senior master sergeant who had worked for Fred Guerrero in the Capehart (now Willow Lakes) golf shop at Offutt Air Force Base.
His most recent contributions to the association have been through the PGA REACH Nebraska, its charitable arm since 2013 that serves more than 25,000 youth annual through the Golf N Schools program; PGA HOPE Nebraska that introduces golf to military Veterans; and, last year, Clubs FORE Youth that provided new equipment to every Omaha Public School girls high school team.
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Other 2021 Nebraska PGA honors went to Jon Petersen of Tiburon in Omaha as teacher of the year; Dawn Neujahr of Champions Run in Omaha for PGA Professional Development; Bob Baber of Omaha’s city courses for club relations; Rodd Slater of Two Rivers at Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, for Youth Player Development; Clay Stevens of Grand Falls Casino and Resort at Brandon, South Dakota, for public-course merchandiser of the year; Joe Wiegand of Benson Park in Omaha for player development; Maxwell Hadenfeldt of Scotts Bluff County Club for private-course merchandiser of the year; Lochland Country Club in Hastings as facility of the year; Tyler Schaaf of Mizuno as sales representative of the year; Nickolaus St. Onge of Country Club of Lincoln as Assistant professional of the year; and Joe Canny of UNL’s PGA Golf Management with the Patriot Award.
Also, Sarah Pravecek of Wilderness Ridge is one of 10 new members in the PGA of America’s PGA LEAD class for leadership training for over two years.
State tourney schedule
Lincoln will host the state men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships in the back-to-back weeks, with the men July 25-28 at the Firethorn and the women’s Aug. 1-3 at Wilderness Ridge.
Also on the Nebraska Golf Association’s season schedule are the Women’s Top Prize, the state match-play tournament, at Elks Country Club in Columbus from May 31-June 2 and the men’s match-play on June 20-24 at Riverside in Grand Island. The US Open local Qualifier will be on May 11 at Omaha Country Club.
NGA tournaments: Men’s Four-Ball, April 23-24, Players Club, Omaha; Women’s match play, May 31-June 2, Elks, Columbus; Girls match play, June 6-8, Platteview, Bellevue; Boys match play, June 6-9, Platteview; Nebraska Cup pro-am matches, June 9, Omaha CC; Men’s match play, June 20-24, Riverside, Grand Island; Senior Amateur, June 29-30, Champions Run, Omaha; Boys and Girls Amateurs, July 6-8, Wayne; Nebraska Amateur, July 25-28, Firethorn, Lincoln; Nebraska Women’s Amateur, Aug. 1-3, Wilderness Ridge, Lincoln; Mid-Amateur, Aug. 27-28, Landmand, Homer; Interclub Team, Sept. 19, Wild Horse, Gothenburg; Senior Match Play, Sept. 20-22, Wild Horse; Women’s Mid-Amateur, Sept. 24-25, Fremont; Nebraska Intercollegiate, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Norfolk CC.
USGA Qualifiers: US Open local, May 11, Omaha CC; US Girls Junior and (boys) Junior Amateur, June 14, Awarii Dunes, Axtell; US Amateur, July 18, Beatrice CC; US Senior Amateur, Aug. 2, Oak Hills, Omaha; US Mid-Amateur, Aug. 16, Shadow Ridge, Omaha; US Amateur Four Ball (2023), Oct. 7, Landmand, Homer.
First Tee adds Tiburon
Tiburon Golf Club will join the family of Omaha-area courses hosting Hogan’s Junior Golf Heroes Foundation / First Tee Omaha summer programming.
Other First Tee Omaha locations are the Steve Hogan par-3 in Miller Park, Spring Lake Park, Indian Creek, Pacific Springs, Elkhorn Ridge, Eagle Hills in Papillion, and Platteview in Bellevue.
Besides its instructional series, First Tee Omaha is offering a new adult-child league and access to the PGA Junior League. Go to www.firstteeomaha.org for information.
Starting his second year as Hogan’s Heroes board chairman is Steve Hogan Jr., whose late father started the youth program in the 1990s at Miller Park.
Youth forecad program
The First Tee of Omaha, with the collaboration of the Nebraska Golf Association, is instituting a forecaddie program focused on recruiting underserved youth ages 10-15.
Designed as an introduction to aspects of Championship golf and to identify career options in golf, the program will use the forecaddies as ball spotters or, for the Pinnacle Bank Championship in August, standard bearers at four events during the summer. There will be $ 6,000 in Scholarships available based on commitment and performance. Go to www.firstteeomaha.org for more information.
Pinnacle Bank pro-ams
The Pinnacle Bank Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour, set for Aug. 11-14 at Indian Creek, has added a few spots in its GolfStatus Monday pro-am that has been sold out. The Dormie Network Wednesday pro-am has also been long sold out.
Monday foursomes are $ 5,650. Contact Tracy Fisher at the tournament office, 402-991-2525.
Omahan’s new project
Omaha Burke Graduate Blake Conant has teamed up with one of golf architect Tom Doak’s top associates, Blake Schneider, to design an 18-hole course in Old Barnwell near Aiken, South Carolina, that is to open in 2023.
Course Developer Nick Schreiber told Golfweek Magazine he was trying to expand the “second golden age of golf architecture” beyond the likes of Doak, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner (all designers of Nebraska courses).
“The preeminent architects of the last 20-30 years have helped create such a remarkable crop of young talent,” Schreiber said. “When Old Barnwell was just an idea, I knew I wanted to not just find a great site but to also give an opportunity to someone who has earned the chance to do something great.”
Conant’s first experience in golf construction was a summer internship with Doak building on Dismal River’s second course. He is the owner of Omaha-based Dundee Golf.
Golf courses in the Omaha metro area
Bay Hills Golf Club
Benson Park Golf Course
Bent Tree Golf Club
Dodge Riverside Golf Club
Eagle Run Golf Course
Elkhorn Ridge Golf Course
Elmwood Park Golf Course
Field Club of Omaha
Happy Hollow Club
Indian Creek Golf Course
Johnny Goodman Golf Course
Miracle Hill Golf & Tennis Center
Omaha Country Club
Platteview Country Club
Shadow Ridge Country Club
Spring Lake Golf Course
Steve Hogan Golf Course
Stone Creek Golf Course
Tara Hills Golf Course
Tiburon Golf Club
Tregaron Golf Course
Warren Swigart Golf Course
Westwood Heights Golf Course
Willow Lakes Golf Course