New & Noteworthy

Ferris PGA Golf Management Alumnus Brendan Locke Recognized With Bill Strausbaugh Award

March 2, 2018


Ferris State University President David Eisler, PGA Hall of Fame Legend Gary Wiren, 2017 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner Brendan Locke, and PGA Golf Management Director Aaron Waltz at 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. 

Ferris PGA Golf Management Alumnus Brendan Locke was recognized with the Bill Strausbaugh Award in January 2018 at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

“Brendan is an industry leader in golf who gets involved and has an impact on the ground and at 30,000 feet. From teaching thousands of lessons directly helping people play better golf to sitting on boards and shaping the direction of various organizations, Brendan is an outstanding representation of the Ferris State PGA Golf Management Program,” said Ian Hughes, (Ferris PGA Management ‘00), Director of Instruction for GOLFTEC.

The Ferris State PGM Alumni Bill Strausbaugh Award is a special recognition given to a PGA Golf Management alumnus or alumna who has performed outstanding service as a golf instructor.  The award, sponsored by Dr. Robert Ewigleben, was established in 1996 to annually recognize a Ferris State University graduate and PGA member who shows leadership ability, performs effectively in his or her role, and inspires fellow professionals in the industry.

Locke graduated from the PGA Golf Management program in May 2004 and is currently a Franchise Owner at GOLFTEC, “The World Leader in Golf Lessons” and one of the fastest growing, most successful companies in the golf industry. In 2010, Locke was the GOLFTEC Regional Manager of the Year. In 2017, he was named one of the Best Teachers in Wisconsin by Golf Digest.

“I try to inspire by showing people that I care,” said Locke. “I feel like I am the best business owner that I can be. I am always active, always available, and I always respond quickly. This is something that I take a lot of pride in.”

In his acceptance speech, Locke honored his wife Melissa, who passed away on September 11, 2017 from synovial sarcoma, a form of soft tissue cancer. Bill Strausbaugh also passed away from cancer on September 11, 18 years prior. Locke believes this parallel is a divine sign that the award is a result of of the hard work they put in together over the 14 years of their marriage.

“I believe I am here because I was chosen to make a difference in others for someone who made a difference in my personal life, but didn’t get a chance to carry it out. I’m doing my best to do that for her,” said Locke in his speech.

Despite the tragedy he has undergone, Locke continues to be successful in his career and to have hope.

“Having hope doesn’t make you naïve. It doesn’t make you oblivious to your situation. Hope simply gives your strength to fight. Hope gives you a reason to believe. You believe that good things happen,” Locke said, quoting his wife.  

The full acceptance speech can be watched below or via Youtube.

The College of Business at Ferris State University provides career-oriented education, responding for over 100 years to the changing needs of the business world. Their PGA Golf Management program, sanctioned by the PGA of America in 1975, was the first of its kind. The curriculum prepares students to manage a club or shop, as well as for many other golf-related careers. More information about the program can be found on their page.


PGA Golf Management