Tom Johnson, a teaching pro at Meadow Club in Fairfax, has been honored as the 2023 Northern California PGA Section Player of the Year for the second time in a row.
The 42-year-old Johnson captured the NCPGA Section Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City and the NCPGA Pro Series No. 2 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, in addition to making the cut in the PGA Tour’s Fortinet Championship on the North Course at Silverado Golf Resort in Napa.
Johnson hit rock bottom in his life when he was arrested for driving under the influence in 2013, but on her birthday on July 4 that year, his mother asked him to get sober, and he has been drug- and alcohol-free since that day.
“Hence the non-alcoholic brewery sponsor,” Johnson said, pointing to the Athletic Brewery logo on the sleeve of his shirt. “That was a major turning point in my life. I went to meetings every day for three years because I knew I couldn’t keep sober on my own.
“That’s where I learned the 12 steps and the tools to deal with it. I needed a new operating system. With the help of a lot of people on that same path of sobriety, I no longer feel that way. My life is good.
“It’s so gratifying to teach, and to give back, and to basically share the gift of golf.”
Other 2023 NCPGA Tour awards went to Louise Hall, head pro at Saratoga Golf Club, NCPGA Women’s Player of the Year; Steve Hummel of Wolf Run Golf Club in Reno, NCPGA Senior Player of the Year; Scott Hoyt, general manager at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, NCPGA Super Senior Player of the Year, and Chelso Bennett of CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, NCPGA Associate Player of the Year.
The 2023 award winners were honored during a banquet at Green Valley Country Club in Fairfield.