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Treetops Resort, Gaylord Golf Mecca Leader Kevin McKinley Honored

Kevin McKinley, director of golf at Treetops Resort and past chairman of the Gaylord Golf Mecca, continues to make a positive impact.

“I’ve always felt it is important to give back and help others when you can,” he said.

McKinley was selected by the Michigan Section PGA as the recipient of the 2019 Horton Smith Award for outstanding contributions to professional education.

“Kevin McKinley reflects this commitment through his day-to-day activities in the Michigan Section PGA and at Treetops Resort,” the PGA said in announcing the award.

McKinley, who last year ended his term as the Michigan Section PGA president, recently served two years on the PGA of America’s national inclusion committee and currently serves on the PGA of America’s Special Awards Committee. He also provides education on PGA of America’s partner charity, Folds of Honor Foundation, to PGA professionals across the country.

The Horton Smith Award is named in honor of the late Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame member. Smith was a Detroit Golf Club professional and touring professional who won two of the first three Masters Tournaments and was a national leader in developing the golf professional career path.

McKinley, who is currently serving a term as honorary president of the Michigan PGA, said he was honored to be singled out for his work with the inclusion committee and special awards as well.

“I’m honored and humbled, and like other awards I’ve won, it happens because I have great support from my family, our staff and management at Treetops and my fellow PGA professionals,” he said.

In 2017 McKinley received the PGA Patriot Award from the PGA of America and was also the Michigan Section’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year. The Patriot Award goes to a professional who embodies patriotism and shows dedication to the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

At Treetops, McKinley created the Military Golf League for Veterans, active service members and their spouses. Treetops also offers veterans and military member discounts for golf and ski packages. In support of the Folds of Honor Foundation, the resort has hosted Patriot Golf Day for 12 years and its Patriot Shootout event for nine years. The Shootout offers veterans and military members a free weekend of golf and raises funds for Folds of Honor.

McKinley’s leadership skills have impacted the Gaylord Golf Mecca’s cooperative marketing effort of 20 golf courses and 20 lodging partners. Paul Beachnau, executive director of the Gaylord Golf Mecca, said McKinley is a tireless advocate of the Mecca, Treetops, our veterans and military and the Gaylord golf community.
“He’s one of those people who makes his mark on a community,” he said. “The Mecca is better and Gaylord is better because of him.”

-Greg Johnson

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