The Gateway PGA Joe Dodich Golf Professional of the Year Award is one of the highest honors the Association can bestow on a working club professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional. This award embraces a wide range of services executed by the club professional.

The Gateway PGA Section has selected and awarded Paul Leahy, PGA, of Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri as the 2019 Joe Dodich Gateway PGA Professional of the Year.

The Gateway PGA Joe Dodich Golf Professional of the Year Award is one of the highest honors the Association can bestow on a working club professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA Professional. This award embraces a wide range of services executed by the club professional.

Joe Dodich exemplified what it meant to be a working professional in the PGA of America. When asking his peers to describe him, it often gets brought up that Joe was a true gentleman unlike any ever seen in the Gateway PGA. Having this award named for Mr. Dodich is only a small repayment for what he has done for our Section.

Paul Leahy is the Director of Golf at the Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri and has been previously recognized as the Gateway PGA Resort Merchandiser of the Year, Bill Strausbaugh Award winner and Junior Golf Leader. He has a degree in Marketing from Ferris State University, Big Rapids Michigan through the Professional Golf Management program. Paul has been a PGA Member since 1991 and has held various positions at the resort (previously Tan-Tar-A) since 1989 and has been in his current position since 2001.

Paul has been the President of the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Council since 2003. The council is the marketing arm for all of the public golf courses at the Lake of the Ozarks. He attends multiple trade shows annually, promoting the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail and represents the Council on their behalf at numerous functions across the State. Paul was a Board member of the Lake Area Chamber of commerce for six years and was President of the Chamber in 2005.

Paul is the Co-Director of the Lake of the Ozarks Junior Golf Association. Over the past 25 years the association has awarded over $125,000 worth of higher-education scholarships to local youth in the Lake area. He facilitated the merger between the association and the Missouri Golf Association to create the Missouri Junior Tour in 2017. Paul was a Gateway PGA Board member for 18 years and served on many different committees during his time. Paul is a contributing writer for a bi-monthly magazine publication, Lake Lifestyles, since 2007.

Previous winners of the award include: Michael Tucker, Bellerive CC (2018), Brett Moomey, Old Hickory GC (2017), Michael Suhre, Oak Brook GC (2016), Jon DePriest, Sunset Hills CC & Benjiman Kent, Persimmon Woods GC (2015), Jeffrey Field, Fox Run GC (2014), Gideon Smith, Quincy CC (2013), Nathan Charnes, WingHaven CC (2012), Michael Tucker, Bellerive CC (2011) & Joe Schwent, The Country Club of St. Albans (2010).