DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., October 9, 2015—The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) membership has selected the following members for national recognition as a result of their achievements: Alison Curdt, Wood Ranch Golf Club, Simi Valley, California, Teacher of the Year; Sara Doell, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, Coach of the Year; Debby King, Laurelwood Golf Course, Eugene, Oregon, Professional of the Year; and Sheryl Maize, Crystal Lake Golf Course, Lakeville, Minnesota, and Palm Aire Country Club, Sarasota, Florida, Junior Golf Leadership Award.
The national award winners were selected by the LPGA T&CP membership’s Executive Committee from the pool of sectional award winners voted on by members of the five regional sections: Central, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Western.
Teacher of the Year, Alison Curdt
The LPGA established the LPGA National Teacher of the Year Award in 1958. The award is given annually to the female golf professional who has most exemplified her profession during the year.
Alison Curdt is currently the owner and Director of Instruction at Alison Curdt Golf, held at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Los Angeles, California, which includes directing instruction for individuals and groups as well as implementing clinics and camps for golfers of all levels, program development, mental coaching, and coordinating all instructional programming.
“I feel deeply honored to be selected for this award,” said Curdt. “This recognition is complete validation for the countless hours of dedication and self-discipline towards the excellence I vow to uphold each and every day in my craft. To be recognized by my peers for my contributions to the LPGA, my students, and my work is an amazing feeling that leaves me humbled and grateful.”
Curdt has had a very accomplished career since joining the LPGA T&CP in 2006. She has been named Western Section Teacher of the Year in 2012, and she became the youngest female to attain the honor of PGA Master Professional.
As an accomplished golfer with over 26 years of competitive experience, Curdt has been featured in much of the golf industry’s media outlets, recognized as a featured instructor in FORE magazine, writing for Golf Tips magazine, Ventura County Star, and Mulligan Magazine, and earning an instruction feature on the Golf Channel’s Swing Fix and AthleteNation.
What makes Curdt stand out from all the rest is her unique approach to teaching. She does not simply focus on how a golfer swings physically but also psychologically, making good use of her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2013. Using these learned principles, she proudly claims to be “the only golf instructor who can clinically work with golfers on all areas of their life, not just their physical swing.”
Coach of the Year, Sara Doell
The LPGA T&CP Coach of the Year Award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member who is actively engaged in teaching and/or coaching golf at the collegiate or high school level.
Ever since the age of eight, Sara Doell has loved golf. She loved the challenge and wanted to improve her game to eventually play in tournaments. Her passion and determination for competitive golf and golf instruction lead her to become Seton Hall’s first Head Women’s Golf Coach, where she is currently employed in South Orange, New Jersey.
“I am humbled to have been named LPGA T&CP National Coach of the Year,” said Doell. “I sincerely value the LPGA, an organization that provides so many opportunities for girls and women in the sport of golf.”
Beginning at Seton Hall’s women’s golf program, Doell had the very unique opportunity to build a Division 1 women’s golf program from scratch. From all her hard work, she had helped her golf program make a name for itself on a national level on the east coast.
“Creating the Seton Hall women’s golf program has been an extraordinary experience,” Doell continued. “The talented and committed athletes I have worked with have made me the coach I am today and inspire me to be a better coach tomorrow.”
Outside of coaching, Doell has been named the 2015 Big East Women’s Golf Coach of the Year; serves as a member for the Alliance of Women’s Coaches, an organization that encourages the advancement of women in coaching careers; and spearheaded an effort to host a “WeCoachU” seminar at Seton Hall with over fifty regional coaches and fifteen speakers in attendance as well as standing as a speaker herself.
“Doing what I do is a privilege,” Doell concluded, “and to be honored by this organization at this level is nothing short of extraordinary, and I am grateful.”
Professional of the Year, Debby King
The LPGA T&CP Professional of the Year Award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member directly involved in the entire golf operation.
Debby King is General Manager, Head Professional, and Co-operator at Laurelwood Golf Course in Eugene, Oregon, managing the daily operations of a 9-hole public golf course, as well as supervising and training the entire golf staff. She has also served as the Western Section Vice President from 2013 – 2015, the T&CP Education Coordinator in 2012, the Co-director of an LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Program since 2011 among many other notable accomplishments.
“Words can’t express how grateful I am to receive this award,” said King. “This is the one I wanted the most! I want to thank the LPGA staff and members of this great organization for making this possible. It is truly an honor. I have been a part of the LPGA for over 30 years, and I can’t imagine my life without it. It is a part of me. Thank you so much!”
King has been involved in many impressive projects since joining the T&CP in 1982. Tirelessly, she works to improve the Laurelwood Golf Course, the city’s only municipal golf course. She helps grow the game by involving her course and collaborating with local junior programs to encourage girls to take up golf. Included in her business success, she also built her own golf school that concentrates mainly on improving golfers’ short game and fosters the connection between learning golf skills and finding the continued joy of the game.
On top of her business work, King also sets aside time to teach. She enjoys teaching juniors, women, and men of all abilities, but her specialty is helping high school junior golfers to find scholarships to college.
Outside of the T&CP, King has been Tournament Director of the Eugene City Championship, feature contributor to the 2015 Summer Golf Training Tips section in the local newspaper, served as Golf Director for KidsSports Golf and YMCA of Eugene Junior Golf Camps, and received the 2015 PGA Pacific Northwest Player Development Grant and Junior Player Development Grant, which she used to purchase “Family Tees” for Laurelwood Golf Course and SNAG equipment.
Junior Golf Leadership, Sheryl Maize
The LPGA T&CP Junior Golf Leadership Award was established in 2012 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member who excels in the area of teaching and promoting golf for juniors.
Sheryl Maize divides her time between two golf courses in two different states, serving as Director of Instruction at Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville, Minnesota, in the summer and Teaching Professional at Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, Florida, in the winter.
“It is such a great honor to be recognized as the LPGA’s 2015 National Junior Leader of the Year Award winner,” said Maize. “I am truly humbled considering the depth of talent within our LPGA organization, and I’m so thankful for the many people who have poured into my life. I feel truly blessed to be recognized for doing something I love, impacting kids’ lives through golf and having fun doing it!”
Maize has enjoyed much success as a professional golfer, having played on the Futures Tour from 1992 – 1994, the Pacific Coast Tour in 1994, and the Central Florida Challenge Tour from 1991 – 1992.
She has also written various golf tips and articles for the Minnesota Tee Times Press Golf Newspaper/Magazine, filmed and aired eighteen TV golf tips and featured on two live, in-studio episodes of CBS’s WCCO Rosen Sports Sunday Show. Her career has also allowed her to be a guest speaker at several events, including EWGA Women’s Spring Luncheon in 2012, and the Florida Women’s Gulf Coast Luncheon in 2014.
These days, Maize focuses on growing the game with her junior golfers. She offers after school lessons and summer programs that handle instructing junior golfers in putting, short game, long game, and developing their motor skills. In the past 3 years, she has grown her LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program to almost 40 girls, where she is dedicated to ensuring her girls are energized, engaged, empowered, enriched, and exercised! Her involvement in other Junior Golf Programs include assisting in the City of Lakeville Junior Golf Lesson Programs, Youth & Family Golf Day, Symetra Tour Junior Clinics, FCA Junior Golf Camp, and Vision54 Junior & College Workshops.