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Dale Jones Named 2016 Patriot Award Recipient

November 4, 2016

The 2016 Patriot Award goes to Dale Jones of Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights, Minn. This award bestows recognition and praise upon a PGA Professional who exemplifies patriotism through the game of golf and exhibits an unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.

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Criterion used to determine the award recipient includes: involvement in military programming efforts as a PGA member for a minimum of 10 years total, must have maintained an adequate record of contribution and support to the United States Armed Forces and its Active Duty, Reserved personnel and veterans as well as an interest to teach them the game of golf, and serve as an inspiration to fellow PGA members in the area of service to the military.

Dale has been heavily involved in the Tee It Up for the Troops program, which was started at Mendakota CC in 2004 by one of his members. This particular member, J.B. Ball, had a son in the service who proposed to him how he could help veterans and their families. Thus, Mendakota took matter into their own hands by starting the program at the facility, and it took off from there.

“This tournament was quite the production from the get go and was hosted at Mendakota on the first Friday of September for 10 years,” Jones recalled. “It includes a fantastic luncheon with flyovers, Blackhawks landing on the first tee, eagles, and a memorial service for vets and Gold Star families not to mention 300 golfers. Today, the tournament has outgrown Mendakota, but we still host a version of the event on a Monday in August. We have always donated our course for this special event.”

Mendakota has also donated range balls to soldiers in Iraq, and Dale, personally, has had the privilege to give lessons to many wounded veterans.

“As a smaller community, Mendakota has a tradition of being part of the larger community that is the United States,” said Jones. “We are all proud civilians that truly respect what our veterans have done for us, and the sacrifices they, and their families, have made. It is fantastic to see veterans play golf, even those who have lost limbs, and watching this great game of golf provide an outlet to compete, heal and spread joy.”

“I am extremely humbled and feel the award is for Mendakota’s tradition and support for our veterans and families. This award is for J.B., our members, and staff who have been around since the start of this great tournament. I feel I am receiving this on everyone’s behalf,” he added.

Hopefully everyone can use Dale and Mendakota’s initiatives as an example of how to help re-assimilate veterans and those who have served back into the community through the game of golf.

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

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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