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Previously elected to state hall of fame

Flanagan tees up another impressive golf accolade

State champion at RDHS, longtime high school, youth athletic coach is 2019 Maine Chapter Golf Professional of Year
By Mark Haskell | May 14, 2020
Courtesy of: Rockland Golf Club Keenan Flanagan, the 2019 Maine Chapter Golf Professional of the Year. He is the longtime PGA pro at the Rockland Golf Club.

Rockland — Having been a golf professional for more than 30 years, there is little Keenan Flanagan had left to accomplish in the world of tees and dimpled balls.

But, to be honored by a group of peers — who often see firsthand one’s hard work on and off the course — often is the cherry on the sundae, as it proved to be for the 58-year-old Flanagan when he was awarded the 2019 Maine Chapter Golf Professional of the Year.

The most recent accolade for Flanagan — who has made a career out of the sport he grew to love as a youngster under the tutelage of his dad, Dan — came mere months after he was inducted into the Maine State Golf Hall of Fame in September.

“It is very humbling that I received this award as it is voted on by other golf professionals in the state,” said Flanagan, PGA Pro at the Rockland Golf Club. “I am very grateful that all my hard work that I have put in over the past few years is being recognized as I have worked hard to keep my favorite golf course up and running through all the hard times and the good times as we proceed through this ever-changing world.”

Yearly awards are presented to the Maine Chapter PGA, including Merchandiser of the Year for public and private courses, Junior Golf Leader of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Golf Professional of the Year.

Prospective award winners are nominated by other PGA pros statewide with nomination papers then submitted to the awards committee. The awards were then announced at the annual spring meeting of the Maine Chapter PGA, which was held virtually this spring due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Flanagan, a Rockland District High School graduate, was a member of the Tigers' 1980 state Class A championship golf team under the tutelage of Peter Hodgkins (who Flanagan replaced as pro at RGC) and never put his clubs down as he has been a golf professional the past 36 years at various golf courses, including the last 22 at the Rockland Golf Club.

Flanagan, while honored by his banner 2019 work year, is not one to rest on his laurels.

“I believe that I do have more to accomplish in the golf industry especially, with all the changes that the golf operations are facing at this time,” he said. “I try to think outside the box on a daily basis in order to accomplish more goals in making golf a special sport to play as it is a game of a lifetime.”

Those changes, of course, are due to the coronavirus, which has infected more 1,500 Mainers since March, more than 1.42 million people nationwide and more than 4.37 million worldwide.

The four-stage plan to reopen the state from Governor Janet Mills is in its first stage, which began May 1 and focuses on resuming business opportunities and activities which can be conducted in a safe manner, including golf courses.

At this point, people can golf only at clubs in which they are members or within the county they reside. Clubhouses are closed with the exception of bathrooms and those using golf carts cannot carry a passenger unless that passenger is immediate family. Raised cups also have been installed so golfers do not have to reach into the same cup to retrieve their balls at the end of each hole. Flagsticks also do not have to be touched or removed.

Through the changes, and challenges, Flanagan focuses on “staying positive and making everyone’s golf experience a fun and happy one.”

“The raised cups have helped a lot of players improve their score by three to four strokes for 18 holes,” he said. “The sanitization of the golf carts is labor intensive, so we have found that this is occupying our time a lot on a daily basis. Most golf courses are not even allowing carts because of this and are just allowing walking only.”

Flanagan, who likes to describe himself as a golf teaching pro and one who promotes and facilitates the enjoyment of the game for others (as opposed to being a playing professional), added business, as expected, has been slow, but “we foresee the summer as getting busier once the state relaxes the restrictions of only being able to play golf in the county you live in as 60 percent of our daily play comes from tourists and people living outside the county.”

Tee times can be made and prepaid online or by telephone as the clubhouse remains closed. Call 207-594-9322 or go to the club's website at rocklandgolf.com.

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Comments (9)
Posted by: Wendy Dewing | May 18, 2020 10:57

Not only do you always have a bright smile and kind word for players and members, I love to watch you mentoring the next generation of golfers with your kids workshops, First Tee Link programs, and coaching the Oceanside High School team. RGC is lucky to have you at the helm. Congratulations Keenan!



Posted by: SHARON HANLEY | May 16, 2020 13:57

Congratulations Keenan. A well-deserved award. We are proud of you.



Posted by: Lynne McAvoy | May 16, 2020 11:26

I remember all that you did for the Midcoast Junior Golf program back in the 1990's.  We were a small group then, and really needed the help of the golf professionals in the area to help our young golf enthusiasts get their start!  Keenan was always someone we could count on, and provided the youth with many golfing opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have had. Thank you!

 



Posted by: Joyce Elaine Cooley | May 16, 2020 08:55

Congratulations on a well deserved honor!



Posted by: Joyce Elaine Cooley | May 16, 2020 08:38

 

 



Posted by: Janice Campbell | May 15, 2020 12:33

Congratulations, Keenan!  You are a diamond in the rough!



Posted by: Russell Lee Worcester Jr. | May 15, 2020 10:31

Congratulations to you Keenan. Well deserved for sure. The things you have done with Rockland Golf course is amazing. Thank you for all your hard work. Its always a pleasure talking with you. See you on the course.   Rusty



Posted by: Helen Plourd | May 15, 2020 09:46

Congratulations, Keenan! Many thanks for all you have done for the golfers! You are one of a kind, and I appreciate all

you have done for me over the years as member of Rockland Golf Club for six-six years.

Fondly,

Helen D. Plourd

Past President

Rockland Golf Club



Posted by: Deborah Clarisse Morrison | May 14, 2020 20:01

What a great honor! Well deserved... a true feather in your cap! Congratulations!!!!



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