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Ferris State University's PGA Golf Management Player Development Director Mark Wilson earns prestigious Bill Strausbaugh Award

Mark Wilson’s mentorship in developing future golf professionals through Ferris State University’s PGA Golf Management program, the first of its kind sanctioned and accredited by the PGA, has earned him significant acclaim.

At the 2023 Michigan PGA Spring Meeting at Eagle Eye Golf Course in East Lansing, Wilson received the Bill Strausbaugh Award, presented to a PGA professional whose day-to-day work distinguishes them through the mentorship of fellow PGA professionals to improve their employment status through community service. Established in 1979, the award honors Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who died in 1999.

A PGA Master Professional and 2007 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Wilson is the Player Development Director in the PGA Golf Management program, established in 1975. Wilson previously received the PGA of America Horton Smith Award, in 2008, in recognition of his contributions to the PGA Education Program nationally.

“Being recognized by my fellow professionals for mentoring and making a difference in their careers is tremendously gratifying,” Wilson said. “I hope to be able to offer this assistance for many years to come.”

In 2008, Wilson was chosen for the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he became one of the 12 original inductees in the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame.

Before becoming the Player Development Director of Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program, Wilson spent 31 years as the Head Golf Professional at Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids. He remains actively involved in PGA Education and Rules of Golf Activities. Wilson has served as a Rules Official at 30 PGA Championships, 22 Masters Tournaments, seven British Opens, seven U.S. Opens and 11 Ryder Cup Matches. Additionally, Wilson served as the chair of the PGA Rules Committee from 2005 to 2010. During that period, Wilson was rules chair for six PGA Championships and was the chief referee at the 2008 and 2016 Ryder Cup Matches.

Wilson brought his professional experience to leadership roles in Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program in 2013 and served as the program’s interim director from 2020 through the end of 2022. At Ferris, Wilson has classroom responsibilities and delivers PGA Golf Management-specific content covering golf facility management, teaching and coaching in three levels of PGA education. During the fall semester, Wilson teaches a class in private club management for Ferris’ Hospitality Program.

Wilson is also an advisor to the PGAGM Student Association, which conducts tournaments and educational activities for PGA Golf Management students and engages in community service.

Bobby Fleischman, Ferris' provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said this award is also a point of pride for the PGA Golf Management program, in the Ferris College of Business.

“Mark winning the Bill Strausbaugh Award speaks highly of him, his reputation in golf in the state of Michigan and beyond, and the impact he is having on our program, our students, our alumni and many others,” Fleischman said. “Mark truly works daily to train and mentor current and future professionals. Professionals like Mark are critical to the work done in our PGA Golf Management program. We’re pleased that Ferris State University is not alone in recognizing his ongoing contributions.”

Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program, with 2,000-plus alums nationwide, is the original in the country and one of only 18 nationally. PGA Golf Management students have a 100 percent job placement rate as head golf professionals, directors of golf, general managers and golf instructors. In addition, program students benefit from Ferris’ Katke Golf Course and the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf and Learning Center, with over 10,000 square feet of top-notch technology, including six Trackman simulators for year-round golf learning.

Several Ferris alums received recognition at the 2023 Michigan PGA Spring Meeting. Alumnus Doug Bell, class of 1989, received the Golf Professional of the Year; Scott Wilson, class of 1997, received the Teacher and Coach of the Year Award; Ian Ziska, class of 2001, received the Patriot Award; Stefan Niezgoda, class of 2006, was presented the Merchandiser of the Year-Resort Award; and Raquel Bryant, class of 2009, received the Youth Player Development Award.


Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Basketball (Boys)


White Cloud 48 @ Big Rapids 53 (OT)

  -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

Lakeview 46 @ Tri County 54

C Montcalm 55 @ Kent City 52 (OT) 

Chip Hills 48 @ Newaygo 58

Grant 41 @ Reed City 60


Reed City 32 @ Cadillac 54

Morley Stanwood 68 @ Tri County 63

Shepherd 56 @ Chip Hills 39

Lakeview 58 @ St Louis 50


CSAA Tournament

  Big Rapids 48 @ Reed City 46 (CSAA Tourn Champ)

      -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

      -> Big Rapids Wins CSAA Tournament

  Chip Hills 30 @ Kent City 56 (CSAA Tourn)

  C Montcalm 40 @ Newaygo 82 (CSAA Tourn)

  Lakeview 41 @ Morley Stanwood 52 (CSAA Tourn)

2/22/24 - 7:00pm

Montague @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Tri County (CSAA Tourn)

2/23/24 - 7:00pm

C Montcalm @ Midland Calvary Bap

CSAA Basketball (Girls)

2/19/24 - 7:00pm

Hart 45 @ Morley Stanwood 40

Newaygo 38 @ Oakridge 46

2/20/24 - 7:00pm

Chip Hills 33 @ Beal City 67

Big Rapids 39 @ Cadillac 41

Whitehall 44 @ Grant 71

Hesperia 18 @ Tri County 71

Lakeview 55 @ Pine River 41

Reed City 36 @ McBain 40

2/21/24 - 7:00pm

Shelby 41 @ Newaygo 48

2/23/24 - 7:30pm

Tri County @ Big Rapids (7:00p)

Reed City @ C Montcalm

Morley Stanwood @ Grant

Lakeview @ Kent City

Newaygo @ Chip Hills


Big Rapids Ice Hockey (12-12-1)

MHSAA Regional 21: 2/24/24

Big Rapids#4 @ E Grand Rapids#1 (7:15pm)

GR CC#3 @ GR Christian#2 (4:15pm)

CSAA Basketball Standings

CSAA - Boys

  1. Reed City 18-3 (10-0)
  2. White Cloud 16-5 (8-2)
  3. Big Rapids   15-6 (8-2)
  4. Grant   13-6 (8-2)
  5. Newaygo 13-8 (6-4)
  6. Central Montcalm 8-12 (4-6)
  7. Kent City 7-14 (4-6)
  8. Tri County 6-15 (3-7)
  9. Chip Hills 5-16 (3-7)
  10. Morley Stanwood 2-17 (1-9)
  11. Lakeview 5-16 (0-10)

CSAA - Girls

  1. Morley Stanwood 15-3 (8-1)
  2. Grant 13-4 (8-1)
  3. Kent City 15-4 (7-2)
  4. Reed City 11-8 (7-2)
  5. Big Rapids 10-8 (6-3)
  6. Lakeview 10-9 (4-5)
  7. Central Montcalm 8-11 (4-5)
  8. Newaygo 10-9 (3-6)
  9. White Cloud 7-13 (2-8)
  10. Tri County 3-14 (1-8)
  11. Chip Hills 1-18 (0-9)

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