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Aronimink Golf Club’s Jeff Kiddie is named PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the latest accolade in his 23-year career.
Among the many accolades Jeff Kiddie has earned over his 23-year career, none has been more prestigious than the latest—the 2023 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, which recognizes leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf. The head pro at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Kiddie has won numerous PGA awards in every facet of the game, from pro shop merchandising and retail to service and development. He’s also been a leader in the Philadelphia PGA Section, having held numerous positions over the years. In 2019, he was elected its 43rd president, serving a two-year stint.
During his 15-year tenure at Aronimink, Kiddie has been an integral part of many high-profile events, including the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National, the 2018 BMW Championship, the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and a 2017 Gil Hanse course restoration. “It’s always rewarding for me to see the membership proud when one of these events or projects goes as planned or better,” Kiddie says. “I think the club has been extremely happy with how well their course showed during the big tournaments we’ve hosted, and they’re extremely proud of the work that Gil and his team did.”
Since Kiddie became a PGA head professional in 2001, 13 of his assistant pros have become head pros across the country. Samuel Ambrose worked for Kiddie from 2015 to 2018. He notes that what sets his former boss apart as a mentor is his attention to detail. “We call it the ‘Kiddie effect.’ You can’t just get the big things right—you have to nail all the little things too,” says Ambrose, who’s now the head pro at Chester Valley Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania. “He taught us all how to do things the right way.”
Longtime Aronimink member David Penske has been at the club since 1967, long enough to witness the tenure of eight head pros. He places Kiddie at the top of the list. “His commitment to the game is unmatched, and we’re fortunate to have him,” says Penske. “He loves playing golf with members and their guests, whether they’re low or high handicappers.”
Kiddie has found a way to maintain his childhood passion for golf—and a competitiveness honed during his collegiate days at Erie, Pennsylvania’s Gannon University—and channel it into his day-to-day work at the club. “My old boss, Jim Mrva, won the 2010 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. He always told us that if we weren’t playing golf, we weren’t managing our time well,” says Kiddie. “I tell the same thing to our team. Playing golf with our members is an integral part of our jobs. To be honest, I’m not sure I would’ve stayed in the industry if I didn’t get to play golf as much as I do.”
Dave McNabb is the head pro at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern—a position Kiddie held before Aronimink. “Despite all he’s got going on and how much is on his plate, I can still call him up and we can bounce ideas off of one another,” McNabb says. “He does so much for the game.”
With his latest award now in the rearview mirror, Kiddie is happy to return the spotlight to his golf club and its members, as Aronimink prepares for a few new chapters in its 127-year history. “We’re just breaking ground on a golf performance center,” he shares. “It will be an incredible addition to our operation and a great tool to remain engaged with our core golfers throughout the entire year.”
In addition, he’s getting geared up for the 2026 PGA Championship, which Aronimink last hosted in 1962. “That will be an incredible year in Philadelphia, with celebrations to honor the 250th anniversary of our country, along with the US Amateur at Merion Golf Club and World Cup Soccer,” Kiddie says. “We’re excited to kickstart the celebrations with a May PGA Championship.”