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Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor amateurs who have greatly contributed to the game of golf in the Southern Ohio Section PGA.

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award

Matt Lefferts

The Hudson, OH native currently serves as the Executive Director for the Ohio Golf Association (OGA) and Columbus District Golf Association.  Lefferts has worked for the OGA for over 20 years where he has orchestrated the marquee amateur events throughout the state.


Steve Rentschler

Rentschler has posthumously been awarded with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 1997, Steve began his 25+ year career with Sterling Cut Glass, where he became Vice President of Sales. In this role, he was a leader in the Golf and Sports Merchandising Industry.  A longtime friend and partner of the SOPGA, Rentschler and Sterling Cut Glass formed relationships with golfers throughout Southern Ohio.


  • 2022 – Gail Hauer
  • 2021 – Tim Tilton
  • 2020 – Ed Heimann
  • 2019 – Pete & Alice Dye
  • 2018 – Mike Hartsock
  • 2017 – Jim Cissell, James Stahl, Art Plate, Diana Schwab
  • 2016 – Nick Popa
  • 2015 – Steve Kessler, Ralph Maltby, Bob Purdy, Jimmy Woods
  • 2014 – Jack Sayers
  • 2013 – Bob Brame
  • 2011 – The Gregory Family & Skip Mosic
  • 2010 – MR Jones
  • 2009 – Jim Popa, Bill Rhodenbaugh
  • 2008 – Duke Smith, Dr. Philip C. Hughes
  • 2007 – Tay Baker
  • 2006 – Bucky Albers, Tony Blom, Bob Rickey, Len Wirtz
  • 2005 – Robert J. G. Morton
  • 2004 – J. Robert Kuntz
  • 2003 – Dick Jolly
  • 2002 – Linda Snyder
  • 2001 – Bob Service
  • 2000 – Carl Schlotman Jr.
  • 1999 – Jerry Purdy

Past Champions

The Past Champions’ Honoree Award was created in 1999 and gives the SOPGA and its Members the opportunity to recognize an extraordinary contributor to the game, and to simply say “thanks for being a great friend to golf.”

2004 Past Champions’ Honoree – Mr. J. Robert Kuntz

As part of the Southern Ohio Section Senior’s Championship, it is customary to honor an individual with the Past Champion’s Award.  The tradition is to recognize someone from outside the SOPGA organization, who has exhibited a lifelong commitment to the game, and say “thanks for being a great friend to golf!”

The SOPGA was thrilled to select Robert Kuntz as the 2004 Past Champion’s Honoree.  As a member of the Miami Valley Golf Club since 1952, Kuntz has a lifelong national prominence and involvement with the game of golf.  Robert was the Founder of the National Golf Club Collectors Society, he authored “How to Restore Hickory Shafted Clubs and Wooden Heads”, coordinated the Dayton based Hickory Hackers Golf Show. He is also a Member of the USGA Museum Committee and has played with numerous celebrities and golfers throughout the world.

As part of the Award, Kuntz served as the Honoree Starter at the 2004 SOPGA Seniors & Ladies Championships on August 10-11 at Miami Valley.  It was easy to see Mr. Kuntz was thrilled to speak with all of the players, especially since his home professional, Ray Rash, captured the championship.  According to Bob’s daughter Karen, this honor made his year!

At the young age of 89, Robert Kuntz is a most deserving Past Champion’s Honoree.

2003 Past Champions’ Honoree – Mr. Dick Jolly

Mr. Dick Jolly is the 2003 recipient. Dick has been a faithful supporter of the SOPGA since 1965 when he moved to Ohio to work for Titleist. He served the company as a sales representative until 1979. At that point, Dick took on a similar role with the Dunlop/Maxfli company until he retired in 1990.

Along the way, Dick shared a great camaraderie with the Section’s Golf Professionals. “I never had to motivate myself to go to work,” he states. “It was a business of friendship back then.”Dick recalls one of his first days on the job. He was paying a visit to Terrace Park CC when Kurt Bryant was Head Professional. The Cincinnati Chapter just happened to be having a Pro-Am that day. Without anyone knowing Dick prior to that day, they soon saw his trustworthiness and placed him in charge of collecting entry fees. From that day, Dick has only grown closer to the Members -especially today’s seniors as they were but fledgling Assistant Professionals in the 1960’s.

Dick claims that this award ranks high on his list of lifetime accomplishments. He received another award from the SOPGA in 1978 for being the “Friend of the Section.” However, nothing matches the importance of his 54-year marriage to his lovely wife, Hope, fathering his son and daughter Peter and Melissa, and having two grandsons and a granddaughter to cherish.

There is no way I can ever thank each person I’ve met along the way for the goodness they’ve shown me,” Dick says. “I only wish to let them know how greatly I appreciate their companionship. I look forward to seeing all my old friends again.” Dick still serves the game of golf in Ohio part-time at Blackhawk GC in Galena.

Previous Honorees

2002 – Carl Schlotman Jr.

2001 –Jerry Purdy