Princeville’s Murphy Is Isle’s Top Pro

The 18th hole at The Prince Course at Princeville

I have to admit, golfing nearly 27 holes in a day at the Princeville Golf Course a few years back was by far the best experience I’ve ever had on the green stuff.

The trek out to the North Shore was well worth it, especially since the weather cooperated.

It’s a day Steve Murphy would be proud of. In fact, the Princeville Prince Course director of golf would probably be ecstatic if he only knew how much I hyped up the place ever since that amazing day.

But Murphy has his own news to talk about. The Aloha Section of the PGA named him the 2010 Professional and Merchandiser of the Year.

“I’m really humbled by it. It’s a great honor, something I’ve always set as a goal to win for our section,” Murphy says. “I’m very thankful and excited. It means a lot to me, something I’ll cherish for a long time, and hopefully it’ll motivate others to win a sectional award as well.”

The “Professional” award recognizes professionals based on their entire record with an emphasis on their achievements during the last five years. Criteria include career-enhancement qualities, leadership abilities, strengths as a player, teacher, merchandiser and businessperson, as well as contributions to the facility’s success and the game of golf at the section level.

Winners of the “Merchandise” award are acknowledged for their display techniques, inventory mix, merchandising philosophy and the success of their operation.

Murphy’s great work is not going unnoticed throughout the community.

“Steve’s leadership and expertise, along with his staff’s commitment to excellence, are why the Prince Course shines, and what golf visitors to Kauai can expect at our island courses,” Kauai Visitors Bureau executive director Sue Kanoho says.

Murphy, who started at the Prince Course in 2004 as head professional, serves on the board of directors of both the Aloha PGA Section and the Kauai Junior Golf Association.

He was the driving force behind the inaugural PGA amateur event on Kaua’i this past summer, The Prince Invitational, which drew a field of many top professionals and leading amateur golfers from the state.

He also is a regular volunteer and supporter of the Get Ready Golf program, Play Golf America and the various Bring Your Family to the Course promotions.

In 2009, Murphy was awarded the Horton Smith Trophy, which is presented annually to the golf pro who contributes to building the PGA image via leadership, networking and promotion of the game from within the local community.

Murphy will be recognized Dec. 5 with his fellow award-winners at the 2010 Aloha Section PGA annual meeting at Pearl Country Club on Oahu.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 18-hole Prince Course is ranked by Golf Digest as Hawaii’s top course, and is the only one in Hawaii to be included on Golf Digest’s 2009/2010 list of America’s 100 Greatest Courses.

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