Missoula Country Club general manager Chris Nowlen won the 2016 Pacific Northwest PGA Professional of the Year award (MTN Sports photo).

MISSOULA and POLSON – Our Athletes of the Week don’t get to spend much time on their own golf game. They make sure us weekend hackers keep playing.

The Pacific Northwest Section of the PGA recently announced their 2016 awards. Missoula Country Club general manager Chris Nowlen wins the highest honor, golf professional of the year. Nowlen became a pro 20 years ago, and a course general manager five years later, giving him experience in every part of the golf business. He takes great pride in bringing the award back to the Country Club, and to Montana.

“1,200 golf professionals in the Pacific Northwest,” said Nowlen. “It’s not just an honor for me. It’s an honor for Western Montana. We only have about 80 golf professionals in Western Montana. And for me to win this if for us to win this. It’s nice to be recognized.”

Nowlen thanked his family for supporting him through the long hours of work to reach this point.

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Two more pros from Polson Bay Golf Course were honored by the Pacific Northwest PGA. Cameron Milton wins the Youth Player Development Award, largely for his golf in schools program that brought the game to P.E. classes in Polson and St. Ignatius.

And Roger Wallace will become the newest member of the Pacific Northwest PGA Hall of Fame. The 3-time Pro of the Year in the region has spent the last 30 years at Polson Bay, and the last 10 as PGA director of golf. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on April 28th.