Tina Tombs is Teacher of the Year, Kelley Brooke is Professional of The Year, Christa Teno is Coach of the Year and Mackenzie Mack is Junior Leader of the Year
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 24, 2018 – The LPGA Professionals membership announced the following members as winners of the 2018 national awards in acknowledgement of their dedication and achievements: Tina Tombs, Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, Phoenix, Arizona, Teacher of the Year; Kelley Brooke, Bethpage Black Golf Course, Farmingdale, New York, Professional of the Year; Christa Teno, Seminole State College of Florida, Stanford, Florida, Coach of the Year; Mackenzie Mack, The First Tee of Tampa Bay, Tampa, Florida, Junior Golf Leader of the Year.
The national award winners were selected by the Executive Committee of the LPGA Professionals from the pool of the section award winners voted on by officers of the six regional sections: Central, International, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Western.
Teacher of the Year, Tina Tombs
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 former LPGA Tour player whose only career win came at the 1990 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, Tombs has been an LPGA Resident Instructor at Arizona Biltmore Golf Club since 2003 and Director of Instruction there since 2009. She has developed a ‘state of the art’ educational system at Arizona Biltmore Golf Club where she implements programs at all levels, ranging from youth to amateurs, and from women and businessmen to professionals.
“I am both completely shocked and totally honored to be the 2018 recipient of the LPGA National Teacher of the Year Award,” said Tombs. “My professional career began on the LPGA Tour, but I have been the most fulfilled by this sport and my career during my time as an instructor and member of the LPGA Professionals. This game has given me so much, and because of this, I will continue to give back to it in any way I can. I can’t think of any profession that I have had that is more rewarding than what I get to do out on the course with my students, mentors, teachers and family each day. Further, I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn from my esteemed colleagues. Thank you for bestowing me with this great honor.”
Tombs was ranked among Golf Digest’s top-10 amateur golfers in 1984 and while a collegiate player at Arizona State University, she won two tournament titles and was a two-time NCAA All-American. She played on the LPGA Tour from 1988-1999, her best results coming with her victory at the 1990 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic and a runner-up spot at the 1993 Sara Lee Classic, where she posted a career-low 64 during the final round before losing to Meg Mallon on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.
A member of the LPGA for more than three decades, she has trained with the best psychologists, coaches and instructors the game can offer and in 2001 she decided to take this wealth of knowledge and share it with the community around her. In 2008, she joined the LPGA Professionals, and in 2010, she gained her Class A through the fast-track Certification process.
During her time in the golf industry, Tombs has been the recipient of several prestigious awards. In 2014, she was voted the LPGA National Teacher of the Year and the LPGA Central Section Teacher of the Year. She was ranked among Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in Arizona for 2017-2018 and was listed in the LPGA’s Top 50 Best Teachers for 2017-2018.
Professional of the Year, Kelley Brooke
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.
A veteran of three decades in the golf industry as a player, golf instructor and businesswoman, Kelley Brooke was awarded a 20-year contract in November of 2017 to operate Bethpage Golf Course and its five 18-hole layouts, winning that contract ahead of the PGA Tour and 10 other male-owned golf management companies. During a varied career in the sport, she has given 40,000 golf lessons, made multiple television appearances, and owned or co-owned several golf and entertainment venues.
“I was in shock when I received the call,” Brooke said of being named Professional of the Year. “The LPGA Professionals is filled with hundreds of talented and revered professionals. Being recognized as the Professional of the Year was not something that I even dreamed about. This is truly the highlight of my 30-year career.”
After moving to New York City in 1992, Brooke began transforming golf programming in that area from a relatively unorganized leisure activity to a highly organized and highly participated sport. Due to her dedication, thousands of women, men, juniors, seniors, children with special needs and economically disadvantaged children have learned the game and participated in leagues and programs.
The highlights of Brooke’s time in NYC include the formation of The Police Athletic League Golf Program for 4,000 economically disadvantaged kids, the NYC Dept of Ed District 75 Golf Programs for children with severe disabilities, the NYC Junior Golf Club for children who seek instruction and tournament play, The Brooklyn Women’s Golf League and the Kelley Brooke/Golf Channel Junior Golf Camp.
In 2004, Brooke was awarded the federal concession of managing Brooklyn Golf Center (the only driving range in Brooklyn) and Riis Park Golf Course. In 2006, she formed North Shore Golf Group and put in a bid to operate the busiest driving range in the country, successfully winning the contract for Alley Pond Golf Center and starting operations there in June 2007.
Brooke has also spent three decades increasing public exposure for women in golf, proving that women can compete in an industry dominated by men. In the early 1990s she created, produced and hosted an instructional golf television program called ‘On the Tee with Kelley Brooke’ which aired in NY. She currently appears as a guest on The Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible”, acting as the golf expert when the show remodels a hotel with a golf course.
Coach of the Year, Christa Teno
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.
A former LPGA Tour player, Christa Teno has been the head women’s golf coach at Seminole State since 2007 and has coached the Raiders to one National Championship (in 2015), four runner-up spots and two third-place finishes. She was named LPGA Southeast Section Coach of the Year in 2008, 2012 and 2015.
“This is an incredible honor for me, my family, my players and Seminole State College of Florida,” said Teno. “Yes, I love what I do, I’ve worked very hard, but this is also a chance for me to say thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. Every day I wake up excited to spend time with my team and my co-workers, so being recognized by the LPGA for simply doing what I love makes me blessed beyond belief!”
Teno went to North Texas State University on a golf scholarship from 1981-1985, graduating from there as a playing professional on the Futures Tour (1985-1997) and the LPGA Tour (1988-1991, 1996). She joined the LPGA Professionals in 1997 and won the LPGA Professionals National Championship in 1998. Teno was an LPGA National Evaluator from 2003-2013 and worked as a certified LPGA Teaching Professional at several locations from 1988-2005.
She was the Head Professional and General Manager at Bainbridge Country Club from 1997-2000, and went on to become the head coach at Seminole State in 2007. Teno was inducted into the Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, and into the NJCAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2017.
Junior Golf Leader of the Year, Mackenzie Mack
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.
A stellar youth player who was recognized as one of GolfWeek’s top 100 junior golfers in the United States, Mackenzie Mack has been working since 2014 as Program Director for the First Tee of Tampa Bay, which reaches more than 60,000 students each year. She has created an affordable junior golf tour, developed curriculum to teach golf to middle school students with clubs in Hillsborough County, and brought a ‘Drive, Chip and Putt’ regional qualifier to Tampa Bay.
“There are so many talented women in the LPGA Professionals,” said Mack. “To be recognized among these women is exciting and is truly an honor.”
As a junior golfer, Mack played for and was a member of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT), Teens on the Green and the Western States Golf Association (WSGA). She was awarded a full golf scholarship to Indiana State University (ISU) where she became the first black woman to compete as a member of the women’s golf team.
During her time at Indiana State, she spent one season as assistant coach with the ISU women’s golf team and co-founded a non-profit organization called Tee it Up – a conduit to grow the game of golf and share her passion with underserved communities. In 2011, Tee it Up was awarded a grant that allowed Mack and her team to teach golf to children in Bitburg, Germany.
Mack has since become a teaching professional member of both the LPGA Professionals and PGA of America. She is TPI certified, US Kids certified, First Tee certified, and High School Coach certified. She is a site director with the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program and has held status as a playing professional on the Suncoast Ladies and LPGA Symetra Tours.
About the LPGA Professionals
The LPGA Professionals membership (formerly the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals), founded in 1959 as an outgrowth of the LPGA Tour, boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world. LPGA Professionals members are certified as golf instructors, coaches and business managers through a comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the changing needs of the golfing public.
More than 1,800 strong, LPGA Professionals members are dedicated to the advancement of golf and serve throughout the golf industry as head professionals, assistant professionals, teaching professionals, directors of golf, owners of golf schools and facilities, golf administrators, college and high school coaches and more.
LPGA Professionals members support the LPGA’s various grassroots programs that were created to involve women and youth in golf as well as contribute to the overall growth of the sport. These programs include LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, LPGA Tour Junior Clinics, the LPGA Lesson Zone presented by Volvik, and LPGA Golf Clinics for Women.
The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information, log onto www.lpga.com.