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Medford’s Horstman collects regional PGA award

Being recognized for his work is nothing new for Noah Horstman, but it is his most recent award that really fills him with pride.

This past week, Horstman was honored with the Pacific Northwest PGA Youth Player Development Award, one that is given to PGA professionals from Alaska, Washington, Western Montana, Northern Idaho and Oregon. He was eligible for the regional honor after winning the same award for the PGA’s Oregon chapter, which was announced last month.

As a result of winning the developmental award for the Pacific Northwest region, the 37-year-old Horstman, a South Medford High School alum, will go into a group of 40 other regional winners from around the country to determine the national award winner.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to win some other national awards, some top 50 awards for teaching and coaching in the country, and I would say that this award of all of them means the most because it’s back home,” said Horstman, who owns and is the director of coaching at West Coast Golf Academy in Medford. “Here in Southern Oregon, growing the game to the youth, it’s something that I’ve always wanted. Growing up, we didn’t have this type of program in Medford … When I had that opportunity in 2019, I jumped on it, and obviously now turning West Coast Golf Academy into what it is and where it’s going to be is super special.”

“I’m not a big awards guy from the standpoint of feeling like I need to go out and get them,” he added, “but, at the same time, it’s pretty humbling to receive it because my team of coaches, they’re phenomenal people. And as their leader, I’m always trying to make them better and they make me better.”

In three years, Horstman has been able to grow West Coast Golf Academy into a program that has a reach of 3,500 people. He joked that the age range is “anywhere from 3 years old all the way up to 98 years old,” but it’s the youth coaching where he has truly found his niche.

And it’s a big reason why he has been given the regional honor, which recognizes his efforts with golfers under the age of 18.

“That’s why I feel like this award is a community award because you have all of these facilities that are allowing you to do it,” said Horstman, noting how he’s been able to establish a rapport with virtually every local golf course in the valley to get more people involved.

Recently, Horstman and his seven West Coast Golf Academy coaches opened an indoor training facility so the golfers he trains can keep warm and still get their work in during the cold Southern Oregon winter.

They’ve been able to keep things going throughout the pandemic, with Horstman noting the ability in golf to naturally allow for social distancing of players as a reason why interest has gone up. Horstman’s group embraced the ability to teach with the aid of technology at their disposal, with some students simply sending in videos from home that Horstman and his coaches can analyze and provide feedback.

It’s all equated to a program that Horstman takes a whole lot of pride in.

And it’s the kind of work that he’s certainly excited to be doing in the same place where he grew up.

“Awards are nice and they help your business, for sure, but at the end of the day bringing it home to Southern Oregon is how I feel about it,” Horstman said. “I just think that it shows we’re making an impact on our area, we’re developing golfers and that was always my passion and my goal when I moved back. I’m glad that other people are seeing that as well.”

Reach reporter Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or dpenza@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.

Noah Horstman