In Fore magazine’s “Best of SoCal Golf” issue, the Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) will announce that Canyon Lake Golf Pro Pat Kemball was voted “Favorite PGA Professional.” With several hundred golf courses (and golf professionals) in Southern California, being voted “favorite” clearly is an amazing honor.
Julia Pine, editor of Fore, recently contacted Pat with the news. But rather than asking Pat what he did to receive the honor, The Friday Flyer put it out to the Canyon Lake golfing community, asking “Why is Pat Kemball the best golf pro?” Their answers paint a picture of a very special person:
Jeff Boettcher – “Pat brought the Country Club back to good standing in the community. He is a true professional and genuinely good human to all he comes in contact with.”
Kathy Sanchez – “Not only does Pat have a passion for golf but also wants to see the sport grow. He has a gentle and encouraging spirit. As an instructor, it does not matter what level of golfer you are or how poorly you may hit the ball, he always has an encouraging word. We are privileged to have him as our pro.”
Mark Holtschult – “I have taken several lessons from other pros over the years. Pat is the only pro that has been able to fix my shanking problem and give me an understanding of why it happens. He makes lessons fun and even has my wife now interested in playing. Shanks a lot Pat.”
Diana Castillo – “Pat appreciates the women’s golf clubs and goes out of his way to make weekly play and tournaments professional and well organized.”
Valerie and Travis Montgomery – “What well deserved recognition for Pat Kemball to be selected as the Southern California Golf Association Golf Pro of the Year. Pat provides the golfers in Canyon Lake with the highest level of professionalism and personal integrity.
“He is friendly and outgoing and helpful to all of the golfers and golf organizations in Canyon Lake. He takes great pride in our golf course and works hard to make it a great golf experience for all. From beginners taking lesson to long time players, he has the respect of all. He is a true professional and deserving of this recognition. We should all be honored to have such an outstanding individual as part of our golf community.”
Teresa Roberson – “Pat is an extraordinary man and golf pro! He is truly professional in every sense of the word. He is consistently positive, kind and gracious with every person who plays golf in Canyon Lake. He has an ‘open door’ policy and is always available to help with each club’s events no matter how small the club!
“As a teaching pro, Pat is clear, articulate and has the gift of encouragement! He reinforces what you do well as he instructs in areas of needed improvement.
“Pat is an exceptional human being in his ability to treat all people with respect and dignity. In the face of concerns, when presented with challenges or when members are speaking harshly, Pat remains calm. He treats each person with the same consistent kindness and positive encouragement. He is an amazing man, a wonderful golf pro and a person anyone would choose for their friend!”
Sam Theodora – The SCGA Golf Pro of the Year would be a fitting tribute for Pat Kimball. His professional attitude is reflected in everything he does. His staff also reflects his friendly and helpful demeanor. From lessons with beginners to improving the game of better golfers, Pat maintains the same level of teacher student professionalism.
“His junior golf program is fantastic and continues on a regular schedule throughout the year. He is particularly helpful to the Canyon Lake Men’s Golf Club. He always seems to have the time to extend his expertise whenever asked. Pat is more than a golf pro. He is a man who makes the golfing experience at Canyon Lake a pleasure.”
Ralph Brack – “Pat is the kind of pro who takes what blessings you have and tries to get them functioning at the highest level possible.”
Jim Whipple – “Pat is the rarest of individuals. Of course he is the best golf instructor and player, in this area and beyond. But more impressive is his personal touch that when you are speaking to Pat, he is fully engaged, polite, professional, caring. I see him treat all he speaks to with equal respect.
“He organizes and serves on numerous golf events, again serving evenly. This appears somewhat amazing that he is at ease with these divergent groups; some of these golfers would never play with the other. Pat cuts across all that divides. The entire community is better from his service. I have no idea how Canyon Lake became so lucky to have Pat serving our community but we struck it big time.
Ron Kelley – “Pat is the best thing that has happened to Canyon Lake golf!”
Shannon VanDruff – “I’ve been associated with PGA pros since I was 14 years old, and I’ve never seen a pro who compares to Pat Kemball! He’s one of the most kind people I’ve known, and at the same time very professional.”
Joe and Linda Kamashian – “Pat is a wonderful teacher of the game; he is on the range every day helping beginners and advanced players improve their game. Pat is a big advocate for junior golf. He believes strongly in building the game through the youth of the community and provides programs throughout the year for kids to experience the game and develop their skills.
“Pat is also a great supporter of all the clubs and their events. He is quick to chip in with help planning tournaments and he and his staff do a great job with all the scoring and prize payouts. Most importantly, we feel Pat deserves the honor of “Best Pro” because he cares. He cares about the game of golf. He cares about the care and maintenance of his pro shop, practice area and equipment. He cares about his staff with special training to assure his standards are maintained daily. Pat cares about the quality of our experience at the golf course and works hard to make sure it is the best.”
Sue Hoover – “Pat is the best – he is so personable, helpful and thorough and he knows everyone by name!”
Gary and Sue Sell – “Pat is always happy and the ultimate golf professional in every way. He’s truly a treasure. We are so lucky to have him.”
Jeannette Williams – “Work Ethic: Pat works multiple hours above and beyond his contract. Tournaments: He helps with every golf tournament throughout the year. For these tournaments, he prepares the score card for each tournament. (names, handicaps, hole assignments and pairings). The Women’s’ Golf Club has 15 tournaments a year. Pat does the same thing for every golf club. Teaching Pro: I have taken many golf lessons over the years and Pat is the best teacher I’ve ever had.”
Marlene Cathro – I don’t know anyone who knows this man and does not admire or love him. He is a pro’s pro. He helps in any way he can when one is responsible for a tournament. He takes over all the work regarding handicapping, etc., that normally was left to us in the past.
“He truly likes the Women’s Club golfers and wishes the best for each of us. He has taken interest in the pro shop and keeps it interesting with new items. I have never found his integrity to be lacking and he has made us proud of our club. He is humble and compassionate and kind. What is not to like. We are proud of him and he is indeed the ‘Best Pro.’”
Chef Anton – “Pat makes everything and everyone around him better. He is one of those magical guys who has a positive influence on his surroundings. His calm demeanor is infectious and you just always feel confident he has control of the situation. His interpersonal skills are second to none and you can tell he is someone that cares. He cares about the golf course, but more importantly he cares about the people who come to the golf course.
“As part of being a golf pro, he must oversee the golf course, the shop, his employees and his customers. His ability to maintain balance is truly mind-boggling. I may be a magician, but even I can’t do what Pat can do. In fact, he has been my golf mentor for a couple of years, and took me from a 15 golfer down to as low as a 4.3 handicap in just under 18 months.
“While I am confident people know how great Pat is, I am equally confident they don’t tell him as much as they should. I truly hope Pat gets the honor and recognition he has so richly deserved.”
Barbara Lewis – “Pat makes time in his hectic schedule to compliment the Temescal Canyon High School Girls Golf members on their accomplishments. We have won our league title for the past three years and Pat has given lessons to many of the girls on the team. He is always interested in hearing how each one is doing and stops by practice to give them a tip or just to say hello. Pat’s support of high school golf is very much appreciated.”
Rose Marie Hand – “Pat is honest, fair and fun to work with.”
Gerry Meeks – “Pat is the most personable, passionate person I have met in a long time. He is an honest and true individual. He speaks only good things about everyone including those that have wronged him. We are very lucky to have him at our course and in many of the hearts of those that play here.”
Jim Parsons – “Pat is unique in that he has the ability and patience to work with those that are at the beginning of their golf careers, as well as the knowledge and skills to help better more advanced golfers. He is a real asset to the Canyon Lake Country Club.”
Dianne Seelke – “If you want information, need help, take a lesson or have a concern, Pat looks you straight in the eye and that man has your undivided attention. He is honest, caring and a perfect gentleman at all times.”
Tony Alberoni – “I’ve been playing golf for over 25 years. I was a golf pro and a golf assistant for eight years. I’ve belonged to three private clubs during that time. Pat is my favorite golf pro ever. It’s few and far between when you find a guy who does this job with pride. He’s courteous and humble. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a golf shop and felt like I was intruding or bothering the golf staff. Seems to be a common thing in the industry, which I believe is the lack of pay that is given to the golf pro employees along with the expectations to treat customers as if they are shopping at Nordstrom. I’m very pleased to say that this hasn’t been a problem in our golf shop since Pat took over. Pat is the real deal and I’m proud to have him at our club.”
Linda Helmer – “Pat shows such quiet strength and is very patient, kind and always willing to help.”
Ura Furry – “Pat cares, always friendly, never negative. Helps out with the tournaments and people running them. He always fits you into his schedule, which I’m sure is hectic sometimes. Works with you when you are taking lessons. Great with the junior golfers. Just a fantastic person to have at our golf club.”
Anne Norris – There are many duties of a club professional. They must be a jack of all trades. The club pro must be able to teach golfers of different ages and abilities, manage the operations of the golf course, run the pro shop, market the golf course, work with the greens-keeping crew to maintain the course in tip top shape. No doubt Pat does all of this and he does it well.
“His lesson calendar is full; he just implemented a kids program and annually holds a junior golf program/camp. Pat manages and collects the highest fee income, merchandizes the pro shop with items that all Canyon Lakers can use, and works diligently with Valley Crest, evidenced by the great shape our course is in.
“While Pat does all of the above well, this is what makes Pat a great pro: Pat relates and respects our members and guests. Pat gets to know them on an individual basis. Pat has created a harmonious atmosphere amongst the four golfing groups, TWG and the community. He is a total professional in his actions. He mentors young people that work for him and teaches them how to treat people with respect and dignity!”
Tom Pierick – “He gets my vote for Golf Pro of the Year. He simply runs a better pro shop.”
Linda Kielty – “When we moved to Canyon Lake, I decided to take up golf (after retirement). I signed up with Pat for lessons and am so happy I did! Pat was patient, funny, encouraging and believed that I could learn to play golf, even when I wasn’t so sure! I joined the 9er’s Golf Club and have worked with Pat on numerous tournaments. He is never too busy to lend a hand and welcomes any and all questions. Our grandchildren have thoroughly enjoyed the Junior Golf Camp that Pat and his staff run during the summer. It is hard to imagine a better pro!”
Dennis Pitts – “I have been a resident of Canyon Lake for over 32 years, and have been a part of the golfing community here for most of that time. During all of these years, I have had the opportunity to observe all of the golf pros who have been a part of the Canyon Lake community; and although each of them has done a good job, Pat Kimball is without question our “Gold Standard” against which all past and future golf pros should be measured.
“From the day that Pat arrived at Canyon Lake, he started to make a series of changes that have definitely made our Canyon Lake Golf Course one of the top courses in the area. Pat changed our driving range in multiple ways and has greatly improved both the condition of the range, and the number of people using the range. He added staff to assist the players who use the course, and also brought in a new fleet of golf carts.
“Although most golf pros give golf lessons, Pat raised the bar with respect to his availability to give lessons, and to the degree of knowledge that he was able to pass onto his students. Pat is patient, caring and definitely helps his students improve their games as well as improving their knowledge of the game of golf.
“In addition, Pat has worked extremely hard to help all of the groups associated with the Canyon Lake Golf Course with things like tournament planning and execution. He is there for virtually every event to lend a helping hand with event planning, event check-in, scoring and awards.
“The pro shop that Pat runs is well stocked with a variety of clothing, hats, shoes, balls, clubs, etc., and is always clean and the merchandise well displayed.
For many years, Canyon Lake has had a Junior Golf program, and Pat and his staff have worked hard to put on and excellent summer training program for hundreds of would-be junior golfers. Pat is also involved with Southern California golf in general and does a
great job of keeping the Canyon Lake golfing community up to date on what is going on in the golfing world in general.
“I am not sure what the “perfect” professional would look like and act like, but I can tell you that Pat would be a wonderful example of such a person!”