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Tom Sorensen Given UGA’s Top Award at Annual Meeting

At the UGA Annual Meeting last night at Hidden Valley Country Club the Utah Golf Association honored three outgoing board members who served nine years on the board, formally elected three new board members to fill the vacancies, presented the UGA Gold Club Award to Tom Sorenson, and announced three players of the year.

The three board members leaving after nine years of service are Judy Allem, Bill Probst, and Dave Dorton, and replacing them are Amy Mayberry, Stew Walz, and Randy Hadfield.

The highlight of the night is always the presentation of the UGA Gold Club and this year it was given to long time golf professional Tommy Sorensen.  He began working for Salt Lake City at Nibley Park on the grounds crew in 1958 and Salt Lake City became his lifetime employer. He became head pro at Nibley and then at Mountain Dell and retired at the end of 2001. Many of his former work mates and Mountain Dell golfers were on hand to honor him.

Mike Brimley, one of his former assistants, gave the traditional tribute speech recognizing Sorensen’s achievements, and highlighted his dedication to his job, the happy and healthy environment he created both for the employees and the public, and his ongoing support of golf in new capacities.

In his acceptance remarks Sorenson was his typical, kind, thankful, and humorous self, especially thanking his wife and children, his staff, and singling out longtime superintendent Mark Ruff, who served with him both at Nibley and Mountain Dell, for special thanks.

Judy Allem, a former president of the Mountain Dell women’s association, presented the award to him on behalf of the UGA. It was an emotional moment for her as she spent much of her golfing life at Mountain Dell.

Zac Blair was recognized as the UGA Player of the Year for the fourth straight season and Bill Probst was named Senior Player of the Year for the second time. For the first time ever the UGA created a Player of the Year award category for women and Sirene Blair was the first recipient of that award. However, Sue Nyhus and Annie Thurman were women who won the UGA Player of the Year Award before it became gender specific this year. Separate stories on the UGA Players of the Year are posted on this web site.

In the annual President’s Report Judy Allem reviewed the year’s accomplishments, the most significant being responsible for hosting of the first ever USGA National Championship at Soldier Hollow. The tournament came off beautifully and received genuine praise from USGA officials.

“Our entire golf community came together for this event and we are appreciative and thankful for all the volunteers and organizations that helped make it a success,” Allem said. “She also praised Executive Director Bill Walker and the staff for the outstanding job they did while carrying a bigger load than usual.”

An informative video clip reviewing most of the tournaments and champions was presented including major moments in the Utah State Amateur Championship held at the Country Club for the first time in 37 years and won by Jon Wright, the club champion at the club. UGA 8-Man Team champions were also recognized.

John Taylor, UGA Treasurer, presented the financial report and as per-ever the UGA remains financially stable.

Hidden Valley did a wonderful job of hosting the event and the dinner matched the program—outstanding.