Michigan PGA names Brandon Dean Assistant Golf Professional of the Year
July 26, 2021
THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. (July 26, 2021) — Third time’s a charm. For the last two years, the assistant golf professional at Crystal Mountain has been nominated for the Michigan PGA Special Awards. This year, Brandon Dean wasn’t just nominated, he won.
“I was pleased to be nominated again, after being the runner-up the last two years,” said Brandon Dean, assistant golf professional at Crystal Mountain. “It’s very flattering to win this award; to show I am improving my knowledge of the game of golf and the PGA.”
Dean was elected a Class-A PGA Golf Professional in 2017. Since then, he has been active in the Michigan Section under the direction of Greg Babinec, who has been the PGA head professional at Crystal Mountain for 10 years.
“Without Brandon, this place wouldn’t run nearly as good as it does,” said Babinec, who nominated Dean for the award. “He’s done a great job hiring, mentoring his staff, and just seeing to the day-to-day operations of the shop and group outings. I know he’s learned a lot since he’s been here and he’ll continue to learn.”
Since working at the resort, Dean has helped increase the number of golfers in three annual golf leagues, coordinates volunteers for the annual Michigan PGA Women’s Open, and implemented the resort’s dynamic pricing system. He’s also an instructor for the Crystal Mountain Golf School, which perhaps comes naturally to him.
“I didn’t really have any lessons growing up at all,” said Dean. “It was my dad saying, ‘Here, hit these balls out into the field, pick ‘em up, and do it again.’ It was the hardest sport I played.”
Mastering the game of golf is challenging, but doing it with only 10% hearing in one ear and an altered equilibrium is arguably even harder.
“I was born legally deaf, and it lasted about six months of my life,” said Dean. “When I was 14, I’ll never forget, I went to the doctor and they said I was going to be one of the most uncoordinated kids in my life. So, that kind of lit a fire under me and I pushed myself even harder after that.”
Dean has studied abroad in Scotland as part of the Professional Golf Management program at Ferris State University and was the Assistant Golf Professional at Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand. He also received the northern Michigan Assistant Golf Professional of the Year award in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
The 2021 winners will be awarded at the Michigan Section PGA President’s Dinner and fall membership meeting in October.
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About Crystal Mountain:
Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort destination located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City and a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The 1,500-acre resort features lodging, dining, downhill and cross-country skiing, two championship golf courses, shopping, award-winning Crystal Spa, Michigan’s only alpine slide, Peak Fitness, the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park, weddings, a conference center, and real estate options. Visit www.CrystalMountain.com for more resort details or information about Four Seasons Club memberships.
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