Jim McLean, a PGA Master Professional and a 41-year PGA member, is the recipient of the 2020 PGA Professional Development Award. This honor goes to a PGA member who displays commendable contributions to the education of PGA Professionals.
As the CEO of the Jim McLean Golf Schools, headquartered at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, McLean is widely considered as one of the country’s most influential golf minds, having provided decades of instructional education internationally, nationally and at the Section level. More than 260 of his protégés have ascended to either Director of Golf or Director of Instruction positions.
McLean, who has spent the past 26 years as a South Florida PGA member, has taught numerous professional tour players, including major champions Tom Kite, Dave Eichelberger, Cristie Kerr, Liselotte Neumann, Lexi Thompson, Keegan Bradley and Gary Woodland. Eight of his junior players have been ranked No. 1 in the United States.
An accomplished player in his early career, McLean dominated the Pacific Northwest as an amateur, competed as a touring professional for two years and captured several victories at PGA Section events. He qualified for 10 PGA Professional Championships; won the Westchester PGA Championship in the Metropolitan PGA Section, and the National Skins Game in Palm Springs, CA. He competed in the 1972 Masters as an amateur (finishing tied for 43rd); and qualified for two U.S. Opens.
A member of six Halls of Fame, including the World Teachers Hall of Fame, McLean has won numerous awards throughout his career, highlighted by the 1994 National PGA Teacher of the Year, 1987 Horton Smith Award in the Metropolitan Section and the 2019 Horton Smith Award in the South Florida PGA Section; 1996 and 1998 South Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year, and 1986 Metropolitan PGA Section Teacher of the Year.
McLean is ranked as one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers in America and for two decades has been ranked by Golf Digest as the No. 3 Teacher in America. McLean is a graduate of the University of Houston where he majored in economics and was an All-American golfer.
Note: The Horton Smith Award was renamed the PGA Professional Development Award in 2020.