Humboldt native among Gateway PGA section award winners
Humboldt native Mark Christensen received special honors by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.
Christensen, a 1980 Humboldt High School graduate, was named Teacher of the Year by the PGA’s Gateway Section. He was among the award winners recognized at the Gateway PGA Awards Dinner on Sunday, Nov. 4, at Old Hickory Golf Club in Chesterfield, MO.
Christensen, who operates Christensen Golf Academy in Quincy, IL, was appreciative of the honor during an interview with the Independent.
“It is a neat honor. It is selected by my peers in the Gateway Section of the PGA. Hopefully it is a reflection of my growing business and the students I’ve had sine I started the academy in 2006,” Christensen said.
“The award usually follows when you have had students with tremendous success and I’ve had a good run lately,” Christensen said. “My number one, Luke Guthrie, is No. 2 on the web.com money list this year.”
“He turned pro after he graduated coming out of the University of Illinois in June,” Christensen said. “He recently finished 19th in the FedEx Classic. He finished fifth in the John Deere Classic where he was tied with Steve Stricker. He’s basically made $280,000 on the PGA tour. He won twice during the web.com tour and finished in the top 10 in 10 tournaments this past summer. He’s pretty good and I’m pretty proud of him.”
“We have a good academy going down here right now. We have an indoor facility where we can teach students year around. We’ve got a lot of students enrolled. The entire Quincy Notre Dame High girls team finished third in the state recently,” Christensen said.
“In addition to a lot of students competing in high school, I have a lot of students who are competing at the collegiate level,” Christensen said. “We’ve got good representation in the area.”
“Our indoor building has a driving range and simulator training. Our winter program begins on Monday (Nov. 5) and runs for five months,” Christensen said.
“I really enjoy what I do. Not a lot of people can say that they enjoy their work every day,” Christensen said.
Christensen’s wife, Mary is a literacy teacher in an area school district. They have one child, a daughter, Anne Marie, who is a junior at St. Louis University. Anne Marie is on the swim team at St. Louis and has been accepted to the St. Louis University Medical School.
Christensen is the son of Russ Christensen of Humboldt and the late Audrey Christensen.
Gateway PGA is called home for 335 PGA professionals and apprentices who teach, administer and grow the game of golf. The mission of the Gateway PGA, which is comprised of over 150 facilities in eastern and central Missouri and southern Illinois, is to provide its members with meaningful playing, educational and financial opportunities while promoting golf at all levels in the geographical confines of the organization.