Warren J. Rebholz Distinguished Service Award Winners

Warren J. Rebholz Distinguished Service Award Winners

The Warren J. Rebholz Distinguished Service Award was created in 1994 to honor individuals who through their actions have exemplified the spirit of the game at its highest level. Recipients have made a substantial contribution to the game either in Minnesota or on a national or international level, and may come from any golf-related area or discipline.

Affectionately Known as “Rebbie”, Warren Rebholz was arguably the most influential person in amateur golf in Minnesota for more than 40 years, working tirelessly to “promote the game” well before this became the mission of the golf community at large.

He established the reputation of the MGA as one of the premier state golf associations in the country with the strongest membership, the finest tournaments and the best people, and was influential locally and nationally in many areas of the game as both an administrator and a volunteer.

Rebbie was president of the MGA in 1970-71, MGA Executive Director from 1972-92, served on four USGA Committees during that time including the Rules of Golf, and volunteered the MGA to pilot the adoption of the USGA Course Rating System in 1984. 

And while he was inducted into the MN Golf Hall of Fame in 1991, arguably his signature achievement was returning to the MGA in 1996 and successfully launching the MGA Senior Tour. Today, that program is the largest of its kind in the country. 

Ray J. Sauer

The golfers at Bemidji State University (BSU) will not be surprised by Sauer’s recognition from the MGA: After the untimely death of his twin brother, Ed, he established the BSU Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament in 2008, eventually raising the funds to fully endow the golf team and put it on firm financial footing into the foreseeable future. He is, and remains, an ambassador of the game, not only by the example he sets on the golf course among his fellow competitors, but through years of tirelessly promoting the spirit of the game of golf, its rules, etiquette and traditions over more than five decades of hands-on golf administration in northern Minnesota, particularly in Walker, home to the Tianna 2-Man Best Ball and Tianna Shortstop. He was instrumental in the creation of the Northern Minnesota Indian Classic in 1969, which has evolved from a local fundraiser into an international event, attracting Native American participation from across the U.S. and the Canadian Provinces. Acknowledged by indigenous leaders, Sauer is credited with growing the game among the area’s Native American population through his selfless support as a tournament organizer, role model and promoter of numerous golf tournaments in northern Minnesota.  

The 2021 recipient, Ray Sauer, truly embodies the spirit of the Warren J. Rebholz Distinguished Service Award. 

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