ROCKY HILL, Conn. - Connecticut Section PGA President Mike O'Grady, on behalf of the Special Awards Committee, recently named Brad Lusenhop of Fox Hopyard Golf Club as the recipient of the 2013 Connecticut PGA Teacher of the Year Award. The prestigious Teacher of the Year Award is the highest instructional recognition a PGA Professional can receive on the Section level. ?
Lusenhop, a 1999 Broadalbin-Perth graduate, was nominated for the award in March and was selected from a dozen finalists. He will receive his award alongside the other Special Award winners at the 2013 Special Awards Banquet at Lake of Isles on Nov. 17. A healthy contingent of Fox Hopyard members and students of Brad's are expected to be there to see him receive his award, according to a news release.
"It is a tremendous honor," Lusenhop said in the release. "There's a lot of support from the club and the staff that I work with that have enabled me to do a lot of teaching, which I'd certainly like to thank them for."
Lusenhop was born in Hinsdale, Ill. in 1980. His family moved to the Albany, N.Y. area when he was eight years old, which coincided with his introduction to the game of golf. A superb junior and amateur competitive career culminated in a golf scholarship to Florida State University where Brad earned four varsity letters, competed in 40 tournaments and three ACC Championships. He lists winning the 2004 Golden Nole Award as his proudest collegiate accomplishment. The Golden Nole Award honors the individual for contributions they make on the field, in the classroom and in the community - it is the most distinguished award a student athlete can earn at Florida State.
Lusenhop's experience with the game and instruction by several PGA Professionals led to him studying and understanding the swing and an enthusiasm and passion for helping others, the release said.
His commitment to his chosen path includes digesting hundreds of instructional books, attending numerous PGA educational programs - most notably the 2013 National PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit - and his favorite pastime: talking swing theory and breaking down golf swings with his PGA colleagues.
Most instrumental in his development as an outstanding teacher and coach has been Lusenhop's close relationship with five-time Northeastern New York PGA Teacher of the Year, Herb Moreland.
"I try to tailor my instruction to the individual, it's important especially for beginners," Lusenhop said in the release. "There really isn't a cookie cutter approach to learning golf. Everybody has their own style and needs to develop it as they play in order to reach their maximum potential. You have to know yourself and make sure you're with a PGA instructor that allows you to explore your talents in your own way."
Lusenhop's success stories are many. They range from guiding several junior players on to successful collegiate careers, to assisting both LPGA and PGA players on their journeys, to helping members, guests and juniors at Fox Hopyard to be the best they can be, which allows them to enjoy the game more. His students sing his praises and travel far and wide to enlist his services. Lusenhop tells the story of the student he had several years ago in Winter Park, Florida that broke down in tears of joy when he had-after 20 years of frustration trying every swing theory and teaching aid on the market - a breakthrough with Lusenhop. It was that moment that Lusenhop realized how important golf instruction was, and how it can change someone's life. Looking back on it he said in the release, "That lesson may have changed my life more than his."
When asked for a comment on Lusenhop, Director of Golf at Fox Hopyard Ron Beck, said in the the release he learned everything he needed to know about his assistant the very first day of Lusenhop's employment.
"An elderly woman came in the shop on a cold and dreary April day inquiring about an assistant from the previous year that had moved on to a new club on Long Island. She went on to say she had bought a lesson package the previous year but only took two of the six lessons," Beck said in the release. "Before I could even address the situation, Brad jumped in and offered to finish the package for free. I knew in that moment that his heart and commitment were in the right place. He was destined for success as a golf professional and as an instructor. I knew it at that moment and with this tremendous recognition the entire golf community now knows it."
"I understand the responsibility that comes with the award and I think it will continue to drive me to learn more and become a better teacher as I spend more years on the lesson tee," Lusenhop said in the release.