Wild Ridge’s Jim Buyze named 2019 WPGA Golf Professional of the Year

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The PGA Wisconsin Section has over 500 members and associates and every year, just one becomes Golf Professional of the Year. Wild Ridge’s Jim Buyze was honored as the 2019 Golf Professional of the Year, just the 2nd from Eau Claire to ever receive the award. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert has more.

“I was completely speechless,” Jim Buyze said when he heard the good news.

Buyze received Wisconsin’s highest honor for a golf pro for his continued efforts bettering the Eau Claire golf community.

“They look at your service to the industry, service to the PGA, service to your community,” Buyze said. “It’s definitely a culmination of things that I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with in the past 25 years in this section.”

During his time as a member of the Wisconsin PGA section, Buyze has looked up to others that were in the position he’s in now.

“When you’re young you pick out who you emulate, who your mentors are, who you want your career to look like as you progress, as you move through the future. I picked out a lot of those guys. One of the things is I’m on the board for the section; they were on the board, so I wanted to be on the board,” Buyze said.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing: mistakes were made along the way.

“I look back at some of the things and the way that I was when I entered the business, and I can’t believe I didn’t get fired from every job I’ve had. So it’s people being patient with me, taking the time to help me develop, force me to recover from my own mistakes,” Buyze said.

In addition to that support, he’s received some even closer.

“It seems like my family is sharing my time with people that I’ve met in the industry no matter where we are. It’s just so neat that they allow me to do that," Buyze said.

The Ryder Cup is on its way to Wisconsin in 2020, and excitement for the game of golf in the dairy state is still growing.

“It’s a really exciting time to be involved in Wisconsin and to have whatever efforts I’ve made recognized in this way is really an honor and something I’m really proud of,” Buyze said.