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PAGA Creates Distinguished Service Award

Pennsylvania Golf Association creates award for Distinguished Service for Volunteering.


Broomall, Pa. - Pennsylvania Golf Association Executive Director Mark Peterson, with the support of the PAGA Executive Committee, introduced the James J. Callaghan Gold Star Award during the organization’s Annual Meeting on Oct. 18 at Pittsburgh Field Club.

The honor is earmarked for volunteers who showcase distinguished service to the game of golf within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was created to recognize those who have given back to the Pennsylvania Golf Association in a tremendous effort.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our Association. We could not conduct our competitions without each and every one of them. With this Volunteer Award, we strive to honor those who serve the game and our players at the highest level,” Peterson said.

The James J. Callaghan Gold Star Award will not be issued on an annual basis. The PAGA Volunteer Committee, part of the organization’s Executive Committee, will do so when it seems fit.

In 2022, the James J. Callaghan Gold Star Award was given to two individuals who have long served the Pennsylvania Golf Association. The first recipient is its namesake: James J. Callaghan.

Callaghan started a volunteer in 2005 and joined the Executive Committee in 2008. His appointment to the committee didn’t stop him from volunteering, as he would often be seen sunrise to sunset at many championships. In 2014, Callaghan was appointed to the role of president.

“Jim quickly became part of our team during his first event and from there a leader on so many levels. Most importantly, he is quick with a smile, a laugh and a welcoming handshake,” Peterson said. “Few have worked more events over the course of a season. Jim and his family will forever be part of the PAGA golf family.”

The second recipient of the James J. Callaghan Gold Star Award is another renowned golf administrator: James Parsons. Since 2009, Parsons has been pivotal for golf in Central Pennsylvania. He was elected PAGA president in 2016 and still serves on the Executive Committee. Parsons continues his tireless work helping promote Junior golf while being a leader among the Tony’s Team Foundation, which raises money through an annual golf outing to support a family that tragically lost its son at the age of 6 months.

“There is no better friend to golf than Jim Parsons,” Peterson said. “Jim has served his club, his community and golf at local and national level. His dedication and love for the game is second to none. He is a role model to anyone that touches him. We are honored to have him call Pennsylvania and the PAGA home.”

The Pennsylvania Golf Association thanks all of the men and women who give up their time as volunteers. Their passion and commitment to the game of golf within the Commonwealth is second to none.


Created in 1909 with the intention of promoting the interests of golf throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Golf Association (PGA) is the authoritative body of amateur golf in the state. The Association’s focus is to promote growth, preserve traditions and protect the integrity of the game through its competitions and member services. The Association’s individual members and 300 Member Clubs are spread across the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.