Huy Dang Elected SCGA President

October 26, 2023


Huy Dang, an SCGA member through Griffith Park GC, was selected President of the Association at its Annual Meeting, held Thursday at Rose Bowl Stadium. He succeeds Mike Ortega.

Since joining the SCGA Board in 2015, Dang, 52, has demonstrated his dedication to the game through his work on several committees, including Board Development, Championships & Golf Operations, Member Services, Membership Development, Strategic Planning and the Women/DEI committee.

At the club level, Dang has been actively involved in numerous leadership positions of Griffith Park GC, one of the SCGA’s largest public golf clubs.

“Being Asian American and the first immigrant to become an SCGA President is an honor and I am truly humbled,” said Dang. “My family came to this wonderful country from Vietnam, seeking a new beginning, during the end of the war. Like many families, my parents gave up everything in pursuit of that American Dream. I doubt they imagined that my journey, and my American dream, would be so heavily influenced by golf.”

Joining Dang on the 2023-24 SCGA Executive Committee are Vice President Zack Moran, Golf Course Superintendents Club & Olivas Links GC, Secretary Lynne Haraway, Valencia CC and Treasurer Tom Reul, Briarwood GC. Dang will lead a diverse board representing a cross-section of clubs, backgrounds, skills and geography. Also serving on the 2023-24 board are:

Jorge Badel, PGA, South Bay Pub Links GC

John Fischer, The Los Angeles CC

John Kobara, Screaming Eagles GC

Kathy Kurata, Friendly Hills CC and Mission Hills Ladies

Azucena Maldonado, Latina Golfers GC

George Mallory, PGA West Private

Bob Osborn, Meadowlark GC and Old Ranch CC

Larry Stein, Brentwood CC

and Immediate Past President Mike Ortega, Skylinks Men's GC & Gauchos and Gringos

During the Meeting, officers acknowledged the Association’s strong financial position, highlighted by the achievement of a major membership milestone; 200,000 active memberships. In addition, the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation reported record participation in youth programming.

Prior to the Annual Meeting, Mike Kelly, SCGA Executive Director, led a morning session where he unveiled the Association’s Vision 2028 program, a strategic roadmap that will guide the Association over the next five years.

Honored at the Annual Meeting were:

John Morello, who received the Jim House Award, recognizing the work of an exceptional SCGA volunteer. Morello has been a Rules Official and Course Rater since 2000, was elected SCGA President in 2016, and remains an active officer for the California Golf Association helping conduct the California Amateur Championship. He also oversaw the CIF San Diego Section “golf club” for some 1,300 high school golfers – connecting them to the SCGA.

Bob Fischer, who received the Lynn Smith Award, was honored for his outstanding contributions and service to amateur golf in Southern California. Among many other things, Bob arranged for the inaugural Southern California Women’s Amateur Championship to be played at The Los Angeles Country Club and was a key advocate in the unification between the SCGA and Women’s Southern California Golf Association in 2017. He also established the Bob and Mary Fischer Equipment Endowment in 2018 to support families that could not afford properly fitted equipment and supports up to 100 families/sets of clubs annually.  His son, John, accepted the award on his behalf.

The Los Angeles Country Club received the John Argue Founder’s Award, established to honor SCGA Junior Golf Foundation Founder and former SCGA President John C. Argue for their continued commitment to the Foundation’s mission and its partnership in supporting the FORE Youth Community Legacy campaign.

Bob Veeh was honored with the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation President’s Award, annually given to an SCGA member or member club who’s dedicated to furthering the mission of the Foundation.

Gerardo Lopez was named the winner of the Newell Pinch Delegate of the Year Award for his service as an active Club Delegate who has demonstrated exceptional ability in working as a liaison between his club and the SCGA. Lopez co-founded and serves as the current President/Handicap Chair of the Gammas and Compas Golf Club. 

Larry Kavanaugh was awarded the Don Carlson Handicap Chair of the Year Award, recognizing his tireless work and effort put in at their club in the promotion and maintenance of the World Handicap System. Kavanaugh has served in virtually every capacity for San Dimas Canyon Men’s Golf Club since 1986. He’s also been the Handicap Chairman for the Aerojet/Northrup-Grumman Azusa Golf Club, and for the last three years, the Handicap Chairman for the Marshall Canyon Men's Golf Club. 

Mark Strickland became the oldest to ever be named the SCGA Player of the Year after a remarkable season. Most notable, he made the cut at the U.S. Senior Open Championship. Strickland was also part of the winning side at this year’s SCGA Foursomes Championship and finished top-10 at the SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship.

Kate Villegas won the SCGA Women’s Player of the Year Award in historic fashion. The UCLA senior kicked off the year with a runner-up finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship before capturing the SCGA Women’s Match Play Championship at Goose Creek, becoming the first repeat winner in the Women’s Division. She followed that up promptly with a win at the California Women’s Amateur Championship and rounded out her summer with a top-5 finish at the SCGA Women’s Amateur Championship. Overall, Villegas set a point total record in the Women’s Player of the Year race.

Randy Haag earned the SCGA Senior Player of the Year honors. The highlight of his season was successfully defending his California Senior Amateur crown, as he became the first to repeat winner in over a decade. He also reached the Round of 16 at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship and picked up another top-10 at this year’s SCGA Senior Amateur Championship.

Shelly Haywood was honored as the Senior Women’s Player of the Year after winning the 2023 California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. She qualified for the 2023 U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship and finished top-10 at both the SCGA Women’s Mid-Amateur and Women’s Four-Ball Championships. Haywood was also a semifinalist at the SCGA Women’s Match Play Championship and reached the Round of 32 at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.

Additionally, the SCGA recognized four volunteers for reaching very significant milestones; 20 years of volunteer service in their respective fields to help build the programs and fulfill the mission of the SCGA: Gary Albin, Andy Anderson, Dick Beckman and Len Santoro

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