Harry Alexander, PGA

2021 Southern Ohio PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award

Harry Alexander, PGA, General Manager at Clovernook Country Club, is the 2021 recipient of Southern Ohio PGA Section’s Bill Strausbaugh Award. Alexander’s passion for industry was heavily influenced by Hank Wilmes, the PGA Golf Professional in his life when he was a child. Since Wilmes, Alexander has gained knowledge and experience in a variety areas throughout his 34-year career in the golf industry and now proudly shares what he’s learned with his fellow PGA Professionals and new PGA Associates. Alexander refers to the golf network he has built as a “family” there to support its members when they need it most. He gives back to the PGA by helping his peers in whatever ways he can and by introducing the game to the next generation of golfers. Alexander has been previously recognized with the Southern Ohio PGA Youth Player Development Award in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 2003.

Read below to hear Harry’s thoughts on mentoring the next generation of PGA Professionals.


SOPGA: What does being a PGA Professional mean to you? 

HA: It means family, it’s not just work. I’m fortunate to have, what I think of as, three different families – my immediate family, all the members here [at Clovernook Country Club], and my fellow PGA Professionals.  I’ve lost my only two children and if it wasn’t for those three families, I don’t think a person can get through that but the support I received from those three families really helped me get through those tough times. And that’s another reason you want to give back to the community like you’ve received.

SOPGA: Why has mentorship and helping develop your fellow PGA professionals been an important part of your career?

HA: This goes back to a gentleman named Hank Wilms who was a Golf Professional at Newman Golf Course many years ago and my first mentor. When I was 12 years old I got involved in golf. I spent my summers with my grandfather who played in a Friday night league at Newman Golf Course. We’d go up after school on Fridays and I would practice for hours while he played. The Golf Professional, Hank Wilms, would constantly stop and help me with whatever I was working on while he was driving around watching the groups. I remember him always saying to me “if you’re going to practice this much young man, you’re going to practice it with great fundamentals.” And that just stuck. He gave me all this free advice and constant lessons and never, ever asked for a penny. It was something that always stuck with me that in the PGA profession you pay it forward by helping the next generation of golfers who could turn into professionals. 


SOPGA: How important would you say mentorship is specifically in the golf industry?

HA: I think it’s very, very important, especially nowadays, because there’s so many demands on the PGA Professional. It’s always been there, but the PGA Professional wears so many hats and there’s so much you have to know about that you can’t learn it all without having a mentor that you can go to for help.  


SOPGA: What would you say was the best advice you received as a young professional?

HA: Mr. [Marty] Kavanaugh told me when I first got in the business, to listen and to get involved as much as possible. And I think that was the biggest thing right there to just sit back and watch and listen to these experienced professionals like Bob Hauer, Bob Foppe, Bob Harrison, Marty Kavanaugh, Tom Kendrick and so on to learn how they got where they were.


SOPGA: What does it mean to you to receive the 2021 Bill Strausbaugh Award in our Section? 

HA: To be included with names like Geoff Hensley and Bob Foppe and Tim Lindemann who I looked up to when I first got in the business is just wonderful, it’s a special treat.

About the Award: The Bill Straughbaugh Award is presented to a SOPGA member who has shown outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring PGA Professionals and has made a significant impact on the careers of PGA Professionals. The award also considers the member’s service to the Association, and involvement in community and charitable activities.