by Dan Nailen
Kathy Jensen, golf pro at the City of Spokane's Indian Canyon Golf Course, was recently named the PGA National Teacher of the Year, marking a couple of firsts for the organization. Not only is Jensen the first woman to ever win the award from the historically slow-to-evolve golfers' group, she is also the first pro from the PGA's northwest region to be so honored.
Not too shabby. And if you think the honor is no big deal, consider the fact that there are roughly 28,000 golf pros considered for the award each year, according to a release issued by City of Spokane Parks & Recreation.
Jensen's golf career is inextricably linked to the Northwest, making this award all the sweeter. She's no carpet-bagger with some clubs, she's a Northwesterner through and through. She first started playing as a 9-year-old on a little 9-hole course in Baker City, Ore., and eventually landed a scholarship to play at Oregon State University. Post-college, Jensen became a pro and bounced throughout the Spokane area, first as the Head Golf Professional at the Highlands Golf & Country Club in Post Falls, then as a pro at Deer Park Golf Club.
Currently, Jensen is the Director of Golf Instruction — as well the as the cofounder of the Jensen Lindeblad Impact Golf Academy — at Indian Canyon. When she's not teaching players how to best grip it and rip it, she's on the links herself playing in local Pro-Ams and tournaments.
Being named PGA National Teacher of the Year is hardly Jensen's first noteworthy accomplishment on the course, although it was a wee bit predictable after she was one of three finalists for the award in 2013. She's been highly ranked for years by the PGA's Northwest region, Golf Digest and the Golf Range Association of America.