Andy was instrumental in creating the MGA Rules Official manual and even has a starter's box – The Blau Box - named in his honor. Andy's dedication, enthusiasm, attention to detail and unmatched spirit and commitment to the MGA is celebrated with this award. It is meant to honor volunteers from the MGA who demonstrate outstanding service and who help guide, lead and develop other volunteers.
Arthur Phillips, a longtime resident of Needham, has served as an MGA course rater for more than 20 years and for the past 17 years has been captain of the Greater Boston team. He took over that leadership post in 1999.
Course rating is a critical part of the MGA's mission as all Member Clubs are required by the United States Golf Association (USGA) to be rated in accordance with the USGA Handicap System. Phillips manages a Greater Boston contingent that is part of a state-wide course rating team that rates and marks more than 50 courses per year.
A 1960 graduate of Tufts University, Phillips enjoyed a successful 31-year career at Boston Edison (were he retired as the vice president of information services) and has since dedicated his time and efforts to giving back to the community.
In addition to his work with the MGA, Phillips has been a member of Needham Golf Club for more than 40 years where he has served – over the years – as greens chairman, vice president and president. He currently sits on the club's green committee. A current board member for the New England Senior Golfers Association, Phillips is also an accomplished player who has competed in numerous MGA and New England Golf Association events over the years.
Richard Osborn has served in nearly every capacity when it comes to amateur golf in New England. He is a past president of both the Massachusetts Golf Association (MGA) and the New England Golf Association (NEGA). He has been a longtime rules official for the MGA, NEGA and USGA and currently serves on the USGA Regional Affairs Committee.
What many do not know about Osborn, however, has been his passion and dedication to the MGA Member Days program. Since the program's introduction in 2010, Osborn has served as "official in charge" at nearly every event. Oftentimes the only rules official overseeing fields that number nearly 100 competitors, Osborn has traveled the state to promote and support this important program which aims to bring the unique MGA Championship experience to golfers of all age and skill level.
During his acceptance speech, Osborn noted that the program has impacted nearly 1,000 golfers and the number of MGA Member Days will reach an all-time high of 15 in 2015.
"If you have not participated in a Member Day, you need to check it out," said Osborn. It is a special program, and I have been honored to be a part of it."
It is estimated that Osborn has traveled more than 4,500 miles to MGA Member Days over the four-year period.
Tom Bernier, a longtime fireman in Taunton, has been volunteering for The First Tee of Massachusetts for the past seven years. While he travels the state to work with underprivileged youth, Bernier spends most of his time at the The First Tee of Massachusetts’ home site of MGA Links in Norton.
During his acceptance speech, Bernier spoke about a day when he worked with a 14-year-old participant who after hours of practicing how to chip a ball onto the green leaned over to his mother and said “Mom, that man really understands people with Down’s Syndrome”.
"There is no one more deserving than Tom Bernier for this award," said Joe McCabe, the executive director of The First Tee of Massachusetts. "Tom epitomizes what it means to give back to the game and we are privileged to have him work with our program."
The feeling was mutual for Bernier, who noted that both of his children participated in and progressed through The First Tee of Massachusetts program.
"I always tell people that I have three families," said Bernier, who also volunteers his time with the Taunton Golf Commission and serves as a mentor for the Taunton Area School to Career. "I have my fire department family, my core family and my Mass Golf family."
For more than 10 years, Peter Costello has volunteered in nearly all of the MGA's Departments. A member of the MGA Championship Committee, Costello serves as a rules official and helps to secure championship and qualifying sites on the South Shore.
He is also a dedicated volunteer for The First Tee of Massachusetts, which brings the game of golf and its inherent values to more than 18,000 children in the Bay State through its year-long programming at golf facilities and as part of The First Tee National School Program.
One of Costello's most recent accomplishments has been the creation of the New England Green Section Seminar, an educational seminar which brings together more than 200 green chairs, club officials and club personnel from across New England.
Costello came up with the idea years prior and has since partnered with the USGA Green Section, MGA and Golf Course Superintendents of New England (GCSANE) to make the New England Green Section Seminar a reality.