Right about now, golf professional and TV commentator Peter Jacobsen is scheduled to jump on a private jet and head to Los Angeles to film commercials tomorrow morning for Cleveland Golf.
But only a couple of hours ago here in Las Vegas, Jacobsen was all about the GCSAA.
"I'm still overwhelmed that I'm being honored by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America because its high praise," Jacobsen said just minutes before he officially was presented the 2012 Old Tom Morris Award during Celebrate GCSAA! presented in partnership with Syngenta at the Las Vegas Hotel, a key part of the annual Golf Industry Show. "I've always tried to be the best I could be on and off the golf course."
Jacobsen joined a list of familar names, including Bob Hope, President Gerald R. Ford, and Gene Sarazen who have received the honor, given annually by GCSAA to an individual who through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped mold the welfare of the game as exemplified by Old Tom Morris.
What made this night even more special for Jacobsen was who also had the spotlight shining on them. He is very familiar with David Phipps, recipient of the President's Award for Environmental Stewardship, and Michael Stieler, who won the GCSAA national championship tournament Sunday.
"David was on the staff at Oregon Golf Club when we started the Fred Meyer Challenge there," Jacobsen said of the annual charity event he launched in 1986, which eventually ended and was reborn in 2011 as the Umpqua Bank Challenge, events that have raised more than $13 million for charity. "I love Dave, I love the kind of guy that he is because he has the same passion for his craft as I do for mine. When I built Stone Creek (Golf Club) in Portland, there was only one guy I wanted to be our construction foreman and to help navigate us through the construction from the superintendent's side, and that was Dave Phipps."
"Mike Stiehler is one of the most fun people I've ever met. He's so energetic and so positive and so fun," Jacobsen said.
The fact that all three of them were in the house tonight made Jacobsen beam.
"It doesn't matter if you're a superintendent, architect or player. If you're concerned about what goes on in the ground, then we all have a kinship," Jacobsen said.
Later, as he spoke to a full house inside a hotel ballroom, Jacobsen received a rousing ovation for one of his many memorable lines.
"Ladders in bunkers and Stimpmeters are the two worst inventions in golf," he told a room packed with superintendents.
Others who were honored included Peter H. Dernoeden, Ph.D., the Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award recipient; Timothy J. Anderson, CGCS, MG, the Leo Feser Award winner; Jay Nalls, recipient of the Excellence in Government Relations Award; and GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Award winners Timothy Powers, CGCS, Stephen Marsden, Thomas Lively and Thomas Brodeur.
There also was a video tribute to GCSAA President Robert M. Randquist, CGCS, who is nearing the conclusion of his time in office.