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.
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