Best in the State: Jim West recognized by peers

By John Cherry, Public Relations Manager

For more than 12 years, Jim West has toured the fairways and greens of Tellico Village’s golf courses. He has worked every job imaginable to better understand what his team members and property owners sense and experience as they work at and enjoy the game of golf.

On Monday, March 2, the Tennessee Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association recognized Jim West as their Professional of the Year for 2014. This comes on the heels of being recognized by the Knoxville Section of the Tennessee PGA as their Professional of the Year. The Tennessee PGA award is the highest honor bestowed upon a PGA Professional and for Jim is a culmination of more than 23 years serving as an outstanding golf professional for Tellico Village and other prestigious golf facilities. Jim is now eligible to compete for the National level PGA Professional of the Year.

“Congratulations, this is a great thing,” said Winston Blazer, General Manager. “I often wondered when you [Jim] would be recognized for your hard work in the golf profession.”

Many Villagers have had the pleasure of working with Jim as members of the Golf Advisory Committee (GAC) or organizing tournaments for one of the many entities in our area. A lot of those Villagers and others have provided congratulations to Jim on his award. These are just a small sample of the congratulations Jim has received.

“Congratulations Jim on this prestigious award. I know Nikki, and your entire staff are so happy for you.” – Dick Parkhill, former GAC chairman.

“Well done sir, and well deserved!!!!!! That’s my Golf Professional” – Brian Whitehead, Tellico Village member.

“Congrats! Proud to say I was once on your staff.” – Greg Neargarth, former assistant professional.

“We are so very proud of your recognition, it is an outstanding achievement! Your leadership and passion is exemplary. Thank you for continuing to make TV a special place.” – Brenda McJunkin, Tellico Village member and former GAC chair.

So what does it take to achieve such a lofty level of recognition? According to the PGA:

The highest honor paid to a PGA Golf Professional

  • Overall Performance as a golf professional at his/her facility
  • Level of service to his/her Chapter, Section and Association
  • Leadership Ability
  • Image and the ability to inspire fellow professionals
  • Promotion of golf

Established in 1967, the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award is the highest honor paid to a PGA golf professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, demonstrated a strong moral character, has maintained a substantial record of service to the Association and game of golf, and is well regarded as a model PGA Professional.

This award truly reflects well on Jim West but also on Tellico Village as a community.

To read and see more about Jim and this award: Tennessee PGA website article on Jim, click here; Video tribute to Jim West, click here.