BOYNE Golf’s Bernie Friedrich Named 2023 PGA Golf Executive of the Year
Harbor Springs, MI – Boyne Resorts announces Bernie Friedrich, longtime Senior Vice President of Golf Operations, has been named 2023 PGA Golf Executive of The Year by PGA of America. The honor recognizes outstanding services in an executive management position, leadership, vision, courage, moral character, and a substantial record of service to the Association and the game.
Friedrich, who recently transitioned into the Director of Golf Course Renovations and Development role, has been a PGA member for nearly 40 years. He started his career as a golf professional at Boyne Mountain Resort in 1976. He has led the Company’s growing golf division, overseeing its 13 resort courses and semi-private clubs in Michigan, Maine, and Montana. This included oversight of all staff, course agronomy, and marketing nationwide, plus two golf membership groups — Bay Harbor Golf Club and Country Club of Boyne.
“I’m honored and humbled to have my name on this award and be associated with the likes of previous winners,” says Friedrich. “I’m excited for our staff, PGA Professionals, and superintendents. Collectively, they are the winners of this award along with Boyne Resorts, for their dedication to golf and helping us continue to improve our product.”
A multi-award-winning PGA member at the Section level, Friedrich has been recognized as Golf Professional of the Year twice (1998, 2001), a Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient (2019) for outstanding integrity and character of a top PGA member, PGA Golf Executive of the Year (2021) and five times as Merchandiser of the Year (1990-’92, 1995-’96). In 2019, he was inducted into both the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. Friedrich also received the Lyle Leeke Distinguished Service Award (2018) from the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association (MGCOA) and was recognized by the American Junior Golf Association as Golf Course Executive of the Year in 2018.
Friedrich sets the best-in-class standard for up-and-coming PGA Professionals who want to excel at their profession. This has included mentoring many PGA professional and resort employees within and from outside of Boyne Resorts’ operations. He is also credited with numerous programs and practices influencing and positively impacting the golf industry.
“Aside from having a love for the game, you need to be skilled in all aspects of golf operations – including accounting, food and beverage, course agronomy practices, and inventories,” he says. “When building a great team, you need to teach and empower them to make decisions – to hold them accountable and to empower them to hold you accountable. Giving them the tools to grow and continue to expand their careers, it’s more than just a job. To become a great PGA Professional, it’s important to have a written mission statement that belongs to everyone. The staff will appreciate this, as they know what’s expected and will hold each other accountable. It’s also important to have team-building functions and getting everyone involved in community engagement. Everyone’s responsible for growing the game and developing programs for youth participation.”
Friedrich continues to serve in various capacities for the Michigan PGA, including the Michigan PGA Employment Committee. His most rewarding achievement has been the charitable efforts he has implemented, which continue to be made by BOYNE Golf’s professionals. He is a founding member and board member of The First Tee of Northern Michigan and is a co-founder of Harbor Cup Fund, a Michigan-based charitable fund that has raised more than $700,000 since its inception in 1997.
This past year, Team BOYNE, led by Friedrich, raised a record-breaking $90,000 for Manna Food Center, a Northern Michigan food bank, and The First Tee of Northern Michigan. The donation to Manna provided 240,000 meals to local families in need.
The Schondorf, Germany native, moved to Michigan as a young boy. He attended Northern Michigan University and has also been involved in course development during his 46 years with Boyne Resorts.