Professional of the Year: Derryfield's Ryan recognizedBy JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader
December 03. 2017 4:47AM
Mike Ryan has earned his share of recognition during his 23 years as head golf professional at Derryfield Country Club in Manchester. However, Ryan did not see his most recent accolade coming as PGA New England named him the 2017 New Hampshire Chapter's Golf Professional of the Year.
"It definitely took me by surprise," Ryan said. The announcement came during the state chapter's recent fall meeting. Ryan is one of 145 golf professionals in the state, according to PGA New England.
"It's humbling because you go to work every day and there's so many people doing as good a job or better at their facility," Ryan said. "There's a lot of good professionals in this state and every one of us is Professional of the Year at some point during the season. It's just very humbling to be that one guy to get a plaque recognizing efforts through the year."
Ryan is a former member of the chapter's awards committee and said all award finalists, including those for Professional of the Year, come based on nominations from the organization's members. Among the criteria the committee looks for when choosing a winner are years of service, past awards, on-course accomplishments.
"This is the most prestigious award a PGA professional can earn at the section or chapter level," PGA New England executive director Mike Higgins said. "It goes to a PGA member that best exemplifies what it means to be a professional, specifically through leadership, growing the game and being a resource to fellow professionals.
"There's not another member more deserving than Mike, who is a consummate professional that has done so much for so many of his peers and the golf community. We're proud and happy for him."
In addition to promoting golf in the state, Ryan has done well in growing Derryfield's brand in recent years. Ryan was heavily involved in course renovations that were completed prior to the 2016 golf season. The club is a regular host to New Hampshire Golf Association and New Hampshire Women's Golf Association events. Derryfield also hosted NHPGA Pro Lady Championships the last two years as well as the annual Red Ryan CYO Golf Tournament.
Mike Ryan pointed to Derryfield's regular patrons, whether it be for golf needs, lessons or pro shop assistance, as a big help towards his award and the reason why he's stuck around. Derryfield's staff was also instrumental in Mike Ryan's efforts.
"We had 15 guys and girls out here with me this season and it's been very helpful having all of them around," Mike Ryan said. "They're picking up the slack and doing all the little things in the background that people think I'm doing. It's been great working with all of them."