Sheryl Maize is Teacher of the Year, Carole Clark is Professional of The Year, Lisa Strom is Coach of the Year and Jennifer Bermingham is Junior Leader of the Year
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 24, 2019 – The LPGA Professionals membership today announced the following members as winners of the 2019 national awards in acknowledgement of their dedication and achievements: Sheryl Maize, Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville, Minnesota and Tatum Ridge Golf Course in Sarasota, Florida, Teacher of the Year; Carole Clark, The Club at Grandezza in Estero, Florida, Professional of the Year; Lisa Strom, Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, Coach of the Year; Jennifer Bermingham, Coto De Caza Golf & Racquet Club in Coto De Caza, California, Junior Golf Leader of the Year.
The national award winners were selected by the LPGA Professionals' Executive Committee from the pool of the section award winners voted on by officers of the six regional sections: Central, International, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Western. All four awards will be presented during the LPGA Rolex Awards Reception at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando on Jan. 23.
Teacher of the Year, Sheryl Maize
The LPGA established the National Teacher of the Year Award in 1958. The award is given annually to the female golf professional who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments related to the teaching of golf during the year.
A full-time LPGA Class A member, Sheryl Maize wears multiple hats as a teacher and coach at several facilities in various states throughout the year. During the summer and fall, she serves as Director of Instruction at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville, Minnesota, where she is also the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Site Director, captain of two PGA Junior League teams and a host for multiple LPGA Golf 101 and 201 courses as well as Super Saturday Adult Training and Amaizing Golf Schools. Since 2008, she has worked during the fall season as assistant men's and women's golf coach at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota. During the winter and spring, she serves as a golf teacher in Sarasota, Florida, and volunteers with the First Tee of Sarasota and the local LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Club of Sarasota. Every May since 1998, she has been a guest instructor for Peggy Kirk Bell's Golfari Golf Schools at Pine Needles in North Carolina.
"As a player, I always felt like I left some on the table when my door to competitive golf closed due to an injury and I was determined to not let that happen again when my passion turned to teaching and coaching," said Maize. "I wanted to do everything I could to become the best teacher possible ... that is why I chose to join the LPGA Professionals over 20 years ago. I have loved the education, the development and getting to learn from amazing mentors who I now call friends. I fell in love with teaching, coaching and developing the students I felt God brought to my lesson tee. To be able to impact and bring joy to a person's life through golf is such a blessing!
“And now to be recognized by my peers as the 2019 LPGA Teacher of the Year is absolutely overwhelming. It is our highest honor as a member of the LPGA Professionals and I am truly grateful for this honor! It is incredibly humbling to see my name added to the prestigious list of legendary LPGA Teachers of the Year! My heart is truly full, and I am inspired to continue to grow the game we love!"
Maize was named in the 2017-2018 Golf Digest's Best in State Teacher List (#4 for Minnesota), honored as the 2015 LPGA National Junior Leader of the Year and a recipient of the 2015 LPGA Southeast Section Junior Leadership Award. Recognized as a US Kids Top 50 Junior Coach in 2015 and 2016, she is dedicated to developing youth and developed comprehensive learning programs and schools for adults and juniors of all skill levels. She is a US Kids Certified Coach as well as a Level III TPI Certified Junior Golf Coach, a Level II TPI Certified Golf Pro and a Level II Certified Golf Coach.
She was the golf expert for WCCO-TV Channel 4 and was featured on the Sports Sunday TV show hosted by CBS Minnesota's legendary sportscaster Mark Rosen before he retired in Dec. 2018 after a career of almost 50 years. She has also appeared on ESPN 1500 Radio's Tee to Green Show. Maize has been a guest teacher at various corporate clinics, including the American Airlines Celebrity Golf Weekend events, and a national instructor for LPGA Golf Clinics for Women for nearly two decades.
After spending nine years as a senior instructor at Ben Sutton Golf Schools, Maize taught more than 150 students in her Amaizing Golf Schools in Iceland for several weeks during the summers of 2005-2008. She conducted teaching workshops for golf professionals and coaches in Iceland, and a seminar for top junior golfers and their parents in that country. In 2007, Maize developed the first Icelandic golf instruction manual, sponsored by Icelandair, and she was featured on Icelandic TV and radio.
An accomplished player who became Florida State HS Champion in 1986 and a Junior All-American, Maize was a full scholarship athlete and team captain at the top-ranked University of Miami from 1986-1990. She went on to play professionally on the Futures Tour, Central Florida Challenge Tour and Pacific Coast Tour before injuries curtailed her dream of playing professionally on the LPGA Tour. She was inducted into the Venice Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Professional of the Year, Carole Clark
The LPGA Professional of the Year was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member primarily engaged in a golf operation, golf association or industry position, promoting the game through player development, growth of the game initiatives and other golf related activities.
Carole Clark first entered the golf industry in 1993 as an outside services attendant and then a golf shop attendant at a new public facility in Asheville, North Carolina, and has since worked in every type of facility from public and semi-private to resort and private. She is currently the Director of Golf and Assistant General Manager at The Club at Grandezza in Estero, Florida - an 18-hole privately-owned club with over 990 homes inside a gated community. Her responsibilities span the entire golf operation, including hiring, training and managing the professional staff; developing, implementing and facilitating programs for Player Development within the membership and the community; and overseeing the fiscal financial well-being of the club under the direction of the ownership, Kemper Sports Management, and the General Manager.
"I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be recognized by the LPGA and the industry as the 2019 Golf Professional of the Year," Clark said. "It is truly an honor to be among a group of professionals, all equally as qualified, who give of themselves daily to their members, associations, businesses, and communities, to serve and empower others. I will treasure this moment and represent the LPGA to the best of my abilities. Thank you to everyone who encouraged and mentored me along the way. This is not an individual award, but one with many participants involved. To them I am eternally grateful."
Clark has enjoyed being an instructor at every location where she has worked. Her passion for teaching and introducing people to the game or re-energizing memberships through innovative programs and events has resulted in greater revenues at all those facilities - whether via greens fees, cart fees or food and beverage revenues. Among her various initiatives is a Hall of Fame Golf School where she invites an LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame instructor, along with two other LPGA Professionals members, to host an on-site three-day golf school for members and their guests. Those schools are so successful they typically sell out within an hour of registration being open.
Clark has been a loyal supporter of the LPGA and any event or activity run by the organization. She has served as an officer for over a decade, worked on various committees and the Global Education Team, and participated in championships and pro-ams. As a professional, she has hosted regional seminars and local Meet and Greets. Prior to becoming Director of Golf and Assistant General Manager at The Club at Grandezza, she was First Assistant Golf Professional at Woods Hole Golf Club in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where she successfully ran programs for player development with increased revenues generated for food and beverage as well as for the golf operations and golf shop.
An accomplished softball player, Clark lettered all four years of her high school career in Michigan. She was a starting third baseman for her high school team and recruited at the D1 college level before she opted to stay locally, marry and begin raising a family. She completed her degree in business management at the age of 54, completing 85 credit hours in 18 months while working 60-plus hours per week. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hodges University in 2017 and was a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society.
Coach of the Year, Lisa Strom
The LPGA Professionals Coach of the Year Award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member who is actively engaged in teaching and/or coaching golf at the collegiate or high school level.
Former LPGA Tour player Lisa Strom took over as head women's golf coach at Kent State University in July 2019 - only the third head coach in the 21-year history of the women's golf program - after spending three years as head coach at Texas State. She had led Texas State to a historic 2018-19 season, which included program records for best scoring average (296.70), score vs. par (+10.30), rounds at or below par (5), par-4 scoring (4.24), par-5 scoring (5.04), lowest team round (278, -10), and lowest 54-hole score (850, -14). Texas State also carded 365 birdies on the season to rank second in program history and finished with its highest national ranking to date under Strom after closing the season at No. 84.
"I am honored to be named the LPGA Professionals National Coach of the Year," said Strom. "It wouldn't be possible without the mentors I have in my life, along with the incredibly talented student-athletes and clients I have been able to work alongside. Being recognized by the LPGA is a by-product of putting first things first and making sure the student-athletes are provided with an environment in which they can thrive. Knowing my influence on them during their college years is so important, I have realized my impact goes far beyond a golf score. I appreciate everyone who has trusted me with coaching them and I hope to continue learning and growing for years to come."
While at Texas State, Strom led the Bobcats to a runner-up finish at the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Championship and two team tournament titles, including a victory at the UTRGV Invitational by a 21-stroke margin. In her first season, she guided the Bobcats to a 299.58 scoring average, which ranked as the third-best in program history, along with a final Golfstat ranking of 88th.
Her extensive coaching resume includes a five-and-a-half-year stint as an assistant coach at her alma mater Ohio State, where she was mentored by Hall of Fame head coach Therese Hession. While there, she helped guide the Buckeyes to six straight NCAA Regional appearances and four showings at the NCAA Championships (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016). She was also instrumental in the team's nine tournament victories, including back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. At Ohio State, she played a key role in recruiting, team travel and instruction with the student-athletes on all aspects of their game.
A 2000 graduate at Ohio State with a degree in Exercise Science, Strom was a two-time All-Big Ten and four-time Academic All-Big Ten. In 2000, she earned a first-place finish at the NCAA East Regional Championship and was a member of the 1999 Big Ten Championship team. She turned professional in August 2000 and competed in more than 50 LPGA-sponsored events as a member of the LPGA Tour (2003, 2007-2010). In 2007, she earned a career-best finish of 13th at the Navistar LPGA Classic. She also competed on the Futures Tour for seven seasons.
Junior Golf Leader of the Year, Jennifer Bermingham
The LPGA Professionals Junior Golf Leadership Award was established in 2012 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member who excels in teaching and promoting golf for juniors.
Now firmly established as an LPGA Golf 101 Instructor, Jennifer Bermingham has taught national clinics with the PGA Golf Clinics for Women, LPGA Leadership Academy, Women on Course, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Academy and on both the LPGA Tour and the Symetra Tour. In the fall of 2018, she moved to Coto De Caza Golf & Racquet Club, a large private club with two golf courses in South Orange County, California. In addition to giving private lessons, she has grown the club's golf programing portfolio to include LPGA Golf 101, Coto Golf 201, Birdie Gals, the LPGA's #inviteHER campaign, one-day golf schools, Nike Golf Camps, weekly co-ed junior golf classes, and specialty golf camps. In 2018, she received the Club Corp Rising Star award for the employee who made the biggest impact on the club in the shortest amount of time. In 2019, she was inducted into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame.
"There are so many talented and creative innovators that influence our youth in the LPGA Professionals," said Bermingham. "I am honored and humbled to win the 2019 LPGA Junior Golf Leader of the Year. I am grateful for the support and education the LPGA has provided me at every step of my career and for the opportunity to make lasting, daily impacts on juniors of all ages to excel on and off the golf course. This award is a blend of two of my greatest passions and I am thrilled to be this year's recipient."
Bermingham has had a passion for teaching since she was in eighth grade. As a junior golfer, she spent five summers as a Junior Leader in the 2-week Little Linksters golf program run by LPGA Master Professional Judy Carls. That passion for teaching continued through high school where she single-handedly taught a Junior Golf Clinic as her high school senior project.
At University of California, Riverside, she was the number one player on the golf team for all four years and volunteered in the school's free junior golf program. After college (from 2009-2012), she worked with the SCPGA Junior Tour and helped run local junior golf tournaments, and with the LA County Junior Golf program, which organized week-long summer camps at 18 different golf courses. She was also a lead instructor for LA County’s free program that aimed to expose underprivileged children to golf.
In 2012, Bermingham became an independent contractor and created programs and classes to help juniors become better golfers and more confident people. She especially focused on Skylinks at Long Beach Golf Course in California, where she had been working as a starter. It was there in 2013 that she established a chapter of LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, which is supported by the Skylinks men's and women's club and members of the community. In 2016, she competed in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Seattle where she earned low club professional honors and became the first teaching professional to make the cut in the tournament since 2007.