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Tom O’Connell Named 2016 Public Facility Promoter of the Year

October 27, 2016

The 2016 Public Facility Promoter of the Year is awarded to Tom O’Connell of Falls Country Club in International Falls, Minn. The Facility Promoter of the Year Award praises a PGA Professional for outstanding contributions to their facility. These contributions include golf programs offered, tournament operations, merchandising, rules, promotion and facility history.

Parameters for this award include but are not limited to: level of service to his or her Facility, Section and Association, leadership ability, contributions to building and growing golf, involvement in civic activities within the community and charitable causes and overall integrity and character.


As the General Manager/Head PGA Professional, Tom wears many hats. From running outside events in the community to managing his membership, he is in the center of it all. Through all of this, Tom has built a reputation and image that his membership and community can be proud of.

“No one believed I would leave Scottsdale for International Falls, but I love it there. We [him and his family] have developed a nice life up there,” emphasized O’Connell.

Despite the lack of numbers within his community, during his tenure, Tom regularly holds ladies’ clinics and weeks with over 100 players, a junior program with over 250 players, and 20 plus corporate events on a yearly basis. On top of these accomplishments, he has restored his local high school program.

His career achievements don’t end there, he has served on many community boards and committees for groups such as the Chambers of Commerce, Rotary and Tourism initiatives. He hosts a weekly radio show and writes a regular article for the local paper.

“I’ve learned from the people that I worked under to always put the facility first, surround myself with the right people and always talk to people in the industry,” said O’Connell regarding his never-ending involvement.

Retiring this year, in more than 25 years as a PGA Professional, Tom has demonstrated the utmost professionalism and is most deserving of this award.

Congratulations and thank you for your services to the Section, Tom.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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