Surrey resident just Philip Jonas added another prestigious award to his hardware collection.
The PGA of B.C. recently awarded Jonas the “Stan Leonard Player of the Year Award”
This is the fourth time Jonas has picked up the award. When he received the phone call from the PGA of B.C. this time around, he was caught off-guard.
“I was kind of surprised,” said Jonas. “I’m 55-years-old, and a lot of the guys competing are all young. Last time I won, I was 45.”
“I’m very honoured, mainly because of my age. I’ve had better years, but to have a decent year like I had at 55 is pretty good considering my body doesn’t feel as good as it used to.”
The PGA of B.C. decides the winner of the award on merit instead of voting based on their opinion of the best player. Merit points are awarded based on who performs best in both provincial and national events.
“Of the four times I’ve won, this is definitely the most satisfying,” Jonas said.
Jonas won the PGA of B.C. Club Professional Championship last month in Victoria. Other highlights of his season included top-five finishes in both the PGA of B.C. Championship and PGA Seniors Championship of Canada.
Throughout the year, Jonas competed in about 30 different tournaments.
Golf was in Jonas’ destiny from a young age. His father was a manager of a golf course when Jonas was growing up in South Africa. From that point on, Jonas always had a passion for golf.
“I really liked it when I was growing up, and I still love playing golf now,” he said.
“The best thing about it is you’re just battling yourself. Anybody can play with anybody. The best player in the world can play with an average person, unlike other sports where you have to play with someone at your level.”
Jonas has golfed around the world, and he was a previous member of the PGA Tour back in 1987. He was also a part of the Latin American PGA Tour in the 1990’s. During his career, he’s golfed alongside notables such as Gary Player, Ernie Els, and John Daly.
In 2003, Jonas opened up the Philip Jonas Golf Academy, which is based out of Hazelmere Golf Course in South Surrey. He’s been teaching there ever since while also competing in golf events around North America.
Golf has been a passion for him all his life, and he tries to emulate that when he teaches up and coming golfers.
“It doesn’t matter if someone is young or old, but if I can make them enjoy the game enough to play for the rest of their lives, that’s the best reward,” Jonas said.
“I know people that are still playing in their 90s. That’s the beauty of golf.”
Jonas doesn’t know if he will be golfing into his 90s, but he doesn’t want to stop anytime soon.
“It would nice play forever,” he said.
The PGA of B.C. Awards Celebration is taking place on Oct. 11th at the River Rock Casino in Richmond.