Ron Agostini

November 19, 2013

Agostini: Oakdale pro Mike Dowd receives major NorCal PGA honor

Mike Dowd has worked hard to make a difference during his 13 years as head professional at Oakdale Country Club.

Mike Dowd has worked hard to make a difference during his 13 years as head professional at Oakdale Country Club.

The Northern California PGA has taken special note of Dowd’s successful mentoring of young pros both at his club and throughout the section. It’s why Dowd, a Turlock resident, will receive the annual Bill Strausbaugh Award at the organization’s meeting on Dec. 8 at Contra Costa CC in Pleasant Hill.

He’ll be among 19 NCPGA honorees, including Del Rio CC’s Director of Instruction Bill Johnson, at the annual meeting.

Dowd has been more than just a club pro at Oakdale. Consider assistant pro Vance Calton, a former truck driver who’s en route to receiving his full PGA pro status. Or Tim Sands, who jumped from Oakdale earlier this year to head pro at Brookside CC in Stockton.

“He recruited me to the PGA,” Calton said.

Dowd is not exactly an unknown in the NCPGA leadership structure. He’s currently serving his second three-year term on its board of directors, and his counsel to apprentice pros have earned high marks. He’s also written columns over the years for PGA Magazine.

“Whether it is in my weekly staff meetings, my weekly ‘Golf is Life’ column or in organizations outside of the game I’m am involved in, I try to always incorporate ideas and concepts that teach people skills they can use in nearly any endeavor,” Dowd said.

Oakdale CC has benefited from Dowd’s approach. He started Oakdale’s Acorn Club program for the men’s club, women’s club and junior golf. Young standouts such as Oakdale’s Mabel Wong, Johansen High’s Daniel Pena and Kyle Intorf of Modesto Christian have honed their respective games thanks to Dowd’s program.

“We have sold out our junior sessions for two years now,” Oakdale General Manager Rick Schultz said. “We have a great group of kids coming up. You’ll see the fruits of Mike’s labors for the next decade or so.”

Dowd also has taken part in many of the PGA Play Golf America initiatives. Also laudable are his efforts each year on Patriot Golf Day, which raises money for the Folds of Honor Foundation, a scholarship provider for families of wounded or fallen service men and women.

In Turlock, Dowd serves as a commissioner for the city’s parks and recreation and community commission and also is a fundraiser for various children’s charities.

Such outreach shows why the NCPGA will honor Oakdale CC’s golf leader.

NOTES– Modesto’s Jeff Burda tied for fourth at the 22nd California Senior Amateur Championship at San Gabriel CC. Burda, a former three-time winner of the event, shot 75-74-72 – 221 and finished nine strokes behind winner Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale. ... East Union High sophomore Brooke Riley is the only Stanislaus District qualifier to the CIF State Girls Golf Championships today at Quail Lodge in Carmel. Riley extended her season by shooting 77 at Ripon’s Spring Creek CC and placed third at the NorCals. ...

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am has extended its sponsorship of the popular PGA Tour stop through 2024. The announcement was made this week for AT&T, which has been on board at Pebble since 1986. Only one other PGA Tour tournament has enjoyed a longer-lasting sponsorship. Next year’s tournament will be held Feb. 6-9. ... Correction: Modestans Mike Filan and Tod Hansen won the B Flight of the 21st Andy Silva Memorial Tournament last month at Diablo Grande. It was a first-time win for the pair, who’ve competed in all 21 Silva tournaments.

HOLES-IN-ONE– Corbin Clarke, 14, Modesto, 165-yard ninth at Escalon, driver. ...Chuck Brown, Modesto, 173-yard 12th at Creekside, 4-iron. ... William Grimes, Tracy, 130-yard second at Jack Tone Golf, Ripon, 7-iron. ... Rick Davis, Modesto, 100-yard 13th at Jack Tone, 7-iron. ... Lillian Hall, Modesto, 142-yard 14th at Jack Tone, driver.

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