On Wednesday, March 10, the Indiana Golf Office announced that Gene Kaufman of the Etna Acres Golf Course had been named the recipient of the 2021 Deacon Palmer Award. The “Deacon Palmer Award” bestows special recognition on a PGA Golf Professional who personally displays outstanding integrity, character and leadership, in the effort to overcome a major obstacle in their life.
This individual is an unsung hero/heroine at their facility and in their community, who serve to inspire, empower and assist others, both inside and outside of the game. This award was first given in 2014 to Arnold Palmer in honor of his father, who the award is named after.
Kaufman had struggled with a hemoglobin/blood issue. On a regular basis, Kaufman had to receive blood transfusions as well as chemotherapy treatment.
In 1959, Kaufman and family turned their family farm into Etna Acres Golf Course where he spent 60 years working as a PGA member.
While battling physical and emotional obstacles, Kaufman had continued to stand by his motto, “Treat people right and they will return.” And they have - for 60 years, golfers have been journeying to the middle of nowhere, Indiana, to play golf and to see Kaufman.
While the award is traditionally given out in the spring each year, COVID-19 delayed the award ceremony until August. So, on Monday, Aug. 16, Kaufman’s family was able to attend the 2021 PGA Special Awards put on by the Indiana Section to accept the award on behalf of Kaufman, who had passed away in May.