On Tuesday, John Moscoso, PGA Director of Instruction at International Links of Miami Melreese was honored with the Conrad Rehling Award.
"I am honored and humbled to receive this award," said Moscoso. "I share this award with the entire staff and volunteers at the First Tee Miami."
The Conrad Rehling Award, first presented in 2005, honors the late PGA Master Professional who followed a successful collegiate coaching career at Florida and Alabama by transforming his retirement into inspiring PGA Professionals to give back to those with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Moscoso has a big heart and passion for these Special Olympics athletes. Over the years, he has taken on the role of a mentor to many of these athletes. Last year, Moscoso celebrated his 10th year of involvement with Special Olympics Golf. He is responsible for coordinating and hosting the Miami-Dade County Special Olympics Golf, which is a nine-week training and state qualifying program. This event draws in more than 800 athletes.
In 2019, Moscoso hosted the local Special Olympics Unified Golf Training and Qualifying Program. This program brought together 80 participants passionate about the game. In addition, Moscoso hosts a weekly complimentary golf clinic for individuals with special needs 36 weeks out of the year.
“I’ve had the great opportunity of working with PGA Professionals the past 25 years and they are some of the most special people you will ever meet,” said South Florida PGA Section executive director Geoff Lofstead. “And some of the most other special people you will ever meet are Special Olympics athletes. When you combine those two together, there is an unbelievable award created to honor PGA Professionals who embody the spirit of Conrad Rehling and his passion for giving back to the community, particularly Special Olympics athletes.
Over quarantine, like many other facilities, Moscoso and his team were unable to host events. With his innovative ideas and desire to help others, Moscoso led junior golf clinics via Zoom. Moscoso and his team understood the importance these programs have for the 2,000 juniors they impact annually.
“Working with John, since starting with the SFPGA, has been a blessing,” said South Florida PGA Special Events Coordinator Ellen Breighner. “Watching him go through life and his work with such passion for both the game of golf and for the lives that he has impacted, has been such an inspiration.”
Moscoso is a prime example of an ambassador for Special Olympics Golf and represents the PGA of America and its golf professionals with utmost integrity and humility.
Rehling died in April 2007 at age 87. As the founding father of the Special Olympics Golf movement in 1988, Rehling spearheaded The PGA of America’s efforts to introduce golf to Special Olympics. The Association and its nearly 29,000 men and women professionals have dedicated countless hours, services and funding to the growth of Special Olympics Golf.