Josh Olney’s motivation to never become complacent has spawned his habit of going above and beyond. This motivation inspired Josh to create the Olney Invitational in 2018, with the funds raised supporting local Veterans and their families. That golf tournament generated $3,800 which helped 11 different Veterans and their families with things as basic as heat throughout the winter. While that may be a satisfying result for many, Josh out-did himself the next year, more than doubling that amount with the 2019 tournament, resulting in a $7,700 contribution to Veterans after more than 50 sponsors supported the second iteration of the Olney Invitational. For his efforts supporting our country’s patriots, Josh is the 2020 recipient of the New England PGA Patriot Award.
NEPGA: When did you decide to become a PGA Professional, and why?
Josh Olney: In 1995, when I was a senior in high school. I was very passionate about golf and I was looking at Colleges and what to study, it seemed like an obvious career choice.
NEPGA: Who inspired or mentored you?
JO: My first experience with a PGA Golf Professional was when I was a junior golfer at Newport CC in Vermont. Guy Thompson was the Professional at the time, and he was very supportive and let me hang around as much as I wanted which added to my love of the game. After that, I was fortunate to work for Larry Kelley, (yes that Larry Kelley) at two different facilities, and learned a tremendous amount about the business and most importantly how important it is to develop relationships with your membership, your staff, and fellow Golf Professionals. Larry and I have remained very close, and I continue to learn from Larry.
NEPGA: What other interests do you have outside of golf?
JO: During the offseason. I have coached basketball for 10 years, mostly my son’s team. I now coach JV boys at Harwood Union HS where my son plays on the Varsity team. I have no greater joy than watching my son and my daughter play school sports.
NEPGA: What motivates you as a golf professional?
JO: Not to get complacent. I was at my last facility for 10 years, and now eight at my current facility and it is easy to just do the same things the same way year after year. I’m motivated to keep improving myself and my facility.
NEPGA: What have you accomplished as a PGA Professional that you’re most proud of?
JO: I don’t know if this is an accomplishment, but I would say the countless relationships that I have formed through golf over the years.
NEPGA: What does it mean to you to be recognized with a New England PGA Section Award?
JO: It is a tremendous honor, and honestly came as a big surprise. When you are working on something (in my case, work with the Veterans), you aren’t doing it for an award, but it is certainly rewarding when you are recognized, especially at the level of the NEPGA.
NEPGA: Are there any people who have contributed to your success who you would like to recognize?
JO: Certainly any Golf Professionals that I have worked for, most notably Larry Kelley, but also John Fields, Ron Philo, and Peter Matthews. Most importantly, my family, by supporting me and allowing me to spend as much time as I do at the Club.