Brian Tolnar Named PGA Public Merchandiser of the Year


Brian Tolnar, PGA
PGA Member Brian Tolnar in the shop at the Mill Creek Metroparks Golf Course in Boardman.

Northern Ohio PGAMill Creek MetroParks Head Golf Professional Brian Tolnar has been named the PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category by the Professional Golfers Association of America.

Tolnar, a member of the Northern Ohio Section of the PGA since 2015, was recognized today during the opening ceremonies of the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla.

This marks the sixth time a NOPGA member has been selected for one of the PGA of America’s most prestigious awards. Tolnar becomes the second NOPGA member to earn the Merchandiser of the Year – Public Category Award, joining Bob Sprunk in 1982.

Mill Creek MetroParks is located in Boardman, Ohio and consists of two 18-hole championship courses designed by Donald Ross and an 18-hole, par-3 course located about five miles from Mill Creek’s two 18-hole facilities.

A native of Hubbard, Ohio, Tolnar returned to Northeastern Ohio in 2015 after a 12-year stay at two courses near Rochester, N.Y. He attended Youngstown State University and the PGA Professional Golf Management University program in Port St. Lucie.

Tolnar, 44, oversees Mill Creek’s North and South Championship courses, as well as an adjacent 18-hole Par-3 course. The club’s 900-square foot pro shop has drawn rave reviews for many years, reflective of Tolnar being a three-time winner (2016-2018-2020) of the NOPGA’s Merchandiser of the Year Award.

Tolnar learned of his award during a phone call from PGA President Jim Richardson. It was a call Tolnar never expected but a call he’ll never forget.

“When the call came in I was shocked and speechless,” he recalled. “It caught me off guard. Your heart starts pounding immediately. It took me two weeks of totally sleepless nights for it to finally register. Anytime you have the opportunity to win one of these prestigious awards it’s a total honor, whether at the Section level or especially the National level. It’s a career changing opportunity professionally and a game changer for our golf operation at the Mill Creek MetroParks.”

Other NOPGA members to earn national awards include Sprunk and Howard Morrette (1972 PGA Golf Professional of the Year), Don Kotnik (1993 PGA Golf Professional of the Year), Dr. Renee Powell (2003 PGA First Lady of Golf and Dr. William Powell (2009 PGA Distinguished Service Award).

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