PGA Golf Pro of the Year: Erik Haag, Mentor and Role Model

November 23, 2022

Meadow Park Golf Course’s Erik Haag wins the prestigious Western Washington PGA award for

mentoring the next generation, creating inclusivity, and showing what it means to be a golf


Tacoma, WA: Meadow Park Golf Course’s

operations supervisor Erik Haag steps into

the spotlight this month with the prestigious

honor of being named PGA Golf

Professional of the Year for the Western

Washington Chapter.

The award bestows special recognition on a

PGA golfing professional who has performed

outstanding services, and is one of the

highest honors the PGA - America’s leading

golfing organization - can bestow.

Candidates must possess outstanding

qualities of leadership, strong moral

character, and a substantial record of service

to the association and the game of golf. But

for Haag, supporting diversity is just as – or

more – important.

“It is critical that all PGA professionals, regardless of the facility, find ways to support diverse

groups of players” says Haag. “Golf’s future success depends on expanding access to the sport.

Course operators need to stay current - or even slightly ahead of - technology to support and

attract all levels of players.”

Haag doesn’t just enjoy playing golf – he loves the beauty and challenge of the game. To him

there’s nothing better than an early or late round of golf with family or friends, where you can

feel the excitement of competition as you try to beat your best score.

Born in Staten Island New York, Haag moved to Washington at the age of 12, where he and his

family lived on the golf course. Every day in the summer, he would find lost golf balls and sit at a

hole all day selling them to thankful players. He would watch each golfer swing and then try to

imitate the same movements. With his parents’ support, he bought some clubs and started

playing the game. After that, he was hooked.

“We should honor golf’s history, and how far we’ve come - but where we’ve come from may not

be what drives us into the future.” Haag explains. “Players today may not look, dress or act like

traditional golfers of the past. It is important that the course welcomes and adjusts to ensure an

inclusive environment for all players. Mentoring is a key part of that.”

Haag believes in mentoring golfers while they’re still early in their careers. His mission is to grow

the game of golf by bringing in new players, supporting current players, leading staff and

sharing best practices and current trends with fellow golf professionals.

“Haag models the characteristics of a PGA golf professional - a complete understanding of all

aspects of the golf operation, from play to business, to course conditions,” said Chris Goodman,

Meadow Park Golf Course manager. “He is the industry expert on player development, the

business of golf, youth programming, as well as golf trends and current industry climate.”

Haag’s list of accomplishments is impressive. He sits on youth player development committees,

supports sister golf courses by participating in interview panels, launched the PGA Junior

league, manages the First Tee of South Puget Sound partnership, managed the Tacoma Public

Schools golf program, manages specialized recreation programs, hosted Special Olympics of

WA regional tournament, hosted Washington Junior Golf Association events, and many others.

“Erik’s work with the First Tee of South Puget Sound has been a perfect example of how Metro

Parks Tacoma works with partner organizations to serve our youth with high quality, low barrier

programs and experiences” said Metro Parks Tacoma Deputy Director Joe Brady. “The youth of

our community are our future, and the relationship Metro Parks has built with the First Tee at

Meadow Park offers a glimpse into what is possible when we allow our incredible staff like Erik

to focus on our kids. Beyond just golf, these youth are actively learning life skills, building inner-

strength, self-confidence, and resilience.”

Haag is coming up on his 15-year anniversary with Metro Parks Tacoma and 23 years as a

PGA member. He and his wife, Kelly have been married for over 18 years, have a son and

daughter in high school, and three dogs. In his spare time, he loves traveling, camping,

kayaking, spending time with his family, and occasionally getting in a round of golf.

When Haag reflects on what it takes to receive the PGA Golf Professional of the Year award, it

comes down to these simple principles: do more than just show up, get involved in the

community, think strategically and creatively about ways to grow the game, adapt to a

constantly changing environment, focus on the work not the recognition, and lastly, be

intentional about serving the community.

VISIT: Meadow Park Golf Course is open 6:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. daily at 7108 Lakewood Dr W,

Tacoma. Information: