Jacksonville Sports Day

Golf: JAGA Recognizes Recipients of Annual Year End Awards at Deerwood

(Left to right) – Chester Stokes (Marsh Landing CC), Shannon Wheeler (The Plantation at PV), Richard Blackston & Dr. Justine Redding (Moore-Myers Children’s Fund), Billy Walker (Cimarrone GC), Melanie Bevill (Hyde Park GC) and Mike Broderick (Deerwood CC).

JACKSONVILLE – Several prominent members of the Northeast Florida golf community were honored as recipients of the 2021 Jacksonville Area Golf Association Awards at the organization’s end-of-year Annual Meeting held at Deerwood Country Club.

A sixth award was added this year, the Golf Course Superintendent of the Year.

The honorees are:

CLUB EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

Melanie Bevill

Hyde Park GC

Presenter: Billy Drake/JAGA Director, Hyde Park GC

Melanie Bevill and her husband, Tommy Bevill, have been longtime supporters of JAGA as tournaments hosts and other events and activities for many years. The same holds true for other organizations in town such as the North Florida Junior Golf Tour and the Northern Chapter PGA. Hyde Park’s approach to offering rates that are affordable to all golfers at what is arguably Jacksonville’s most historic venue serves as Jacksonville’s backbone to public golf. Over the last year, as owners and operators, the Bevills have invested in several important golf course renovations at Hyde Park, with many more enhancements in the works. Hyde Park, which will celebrate its 100th year in 2025, was a founding JAGA member in 1954. Preceding his recent passing, Bevill’s father, Billy Maxwell, was co-owner of Hyde Park since the early 1970s.

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

Dr. Justine Redding & Richard Blackston

Moore-Myers Children’s Fund

Presenter: Duke Butler III/JAGA Director, TPC Sawgrass

In just one year as a member organization of JAGA, the Moore-Myers Children’s Fund has demonstrated remarkable outreach to the golf community and an ability to meet their mission of allowing “children to flourish in an environment that allows them to be healthy, safe and successful.” Co-founders Dr. Justine Redding (daughter of Annie M. Moore) and husband Richard Blackston (son of Jessie M. Myers) are non-stop in their support and promotion of the M-MCF, which was launched in 2014. Not only are they active weekly in partnership with the First Tee at Brentwood Golf Course, “Eagles” (the children supported by M-MCF) have made “field trips” to the Constellation Furyk and Friends, the First Coast Women’s Amateur and TopGolf, among others.

EARL & ELEANOR KELLY LONG-TERM SERVICE AWARD

Chester Stokes & Family

Marsh Landing CC

Presenter: George Halvorsen/JAGA Director, Marsh Landing CC

Chester Stokes, the long-time Jacksonville area real estate developer, has been influential on a broad scale since arriving in Jacksonville in 1965, not long after graduating from Georgia Tech. His projects include Marsh Landing, Marsh Creek, Summer Beach (now the Golf Club of Amelia Island) Orange Park Country Club, Deercreek, and several others. Professional success has allowed the Blakely, Ga. native to support numerous philanthropic endeavors that have advanced needy causes throughout Northeast Florida. Marsh Landing CC has been at the forefront of the area golf scene every year since it opened in 1986. JAGA has benefited many times over the years through its relationship with the Stokes family. The most recent example was this past summer’s 60th Jacksonville Amateur hosted by the club. Chester’s son and the club’s general manager Chet Stokes, III was instrumental in steering the venerable championship to the club and ensuring first-rate conditions and hospitality for the 84 competitors. This award was named after the late Earl Kelly and his wife, Eleanor. Earl was a dedicated JAGA director for five decades and served as president in 1973 and ’74. Eleanor was an equally dedicated promoter of golf in Northeast Florida and was president of the Jacksonville Women’s Golf Association in 1974.

JAGA DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Billy Walker

Cimarrone GC

Presenter: Jeff Adams/Director, TPC Sawgrass

After a lengthy career as an executive in the field of accounting, including a number of years with KPMG, Billy Walker has served in the capacity as JAGA treasurer since 2019. The Montreal, Canada native has totally revamped the methods and approach JAGA takes towards its accounting practices, upgrading and enhancing everything JAGA does in this area. Despite fighting the effects of prostate cancer, Walker has maintained his usual diligent and steadfast efforts in handling his JAGA treasurer responsibilities.

PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Mike Broderick

Deerwood CC

Presenter: Joe Grippi/JAGA Director, Deerwood CC

As Tournament Chair for the Northern Chapter of the North Florida PGA the last two years, Mike Broderick has been a tireless promoter, communicator, and facilitator in organizing and running tournaments on behalf of the Chapter, particularly as it pertains to the Chapter’s dealings with JAGA. The relationship between the Chapter and JAGA has benefited greatly as a result. A Massachusetts native and former member of the Methodist University (N.C.) golf team, Broderick became head golf professional at Deerwood earlier this year after a seven-year stint on the Sawgrass Country Club golf staff and one at Palencia prior to that.

SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR

Shannon Wheeler,

The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach

Presenter: Ron Smith/JAGA Director, The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach

Since becoming The Plantation’s superintendent exactly 53 weeks ago today, Shannon Wheeler has significantly enhanced the golf course conditions and playability, much to the satisfaction of the club’s golf membership. The North Carolina State University business and turf management graduate performed similar excellence in his previous role overseeing TPC Sawgrass/Dye’s Valley just up the road from his new club. Wheeler has held superintendent positions at a number of other clubs in Florida, including Fernandina Beach Golf Club and several in Palm Beach County, Fla.

“Golf in Northeast Florida is truly blessed to have so many wonderful people, facilities and supporters, all with the same basic goals and desires to pull the game in a positive direction,” said JAGA president Jeff Adams. “The JAGA Awards program seeks to recognize key individuals and entities who go above and beyond to make the golf community a stronger and more cohesive entity. The 2021 recipients all shine in their respective areas and we are honored to single them out for their many contributions, particularly over the last 12 months.”

The JAGA Awards Nominating Committee consisted of chairman Adair Roberts (JAGA past president and director, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club), Gregg Deiboldt (director, Sawgrass CC), Barney Poston (director, Hidden Hills) and Fred Seely (JAGA past president, Timuquana CC) and Jeff Adams (JAGA president, TPC Sawgrass).

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