Thomas Dale, PGA – Linville Golf Club
Earning the 2018 Carolinas PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award is Thomas Dale, PGA. A member of the Section since 1993, Dale has served as Head Professional and now Director of Golf at Linville Golf Club in Linville, North Carolina. Evident from his notable 2015 Bill Strausbaugh Award, Dale encompasses a passion for mentorship. He enjoys passing along the wonderful advice he has received over his 25 years as a PGA Professional. Dale feels it is imperative to commit time and energy developing a relationship. He believes that taking the time to understand questions and giving thoughtful and thorough input provides key communication opportunities, all while understanding that the development makes the bond more effective and beneficial. Dale also focuses his energy on local charities and feels that it is very important to give back to one’s community.
The highest honor paid to a PGA Professional, the Golf Professional of the Year Award, honors an individual who exemplifies tremendous overall performance as a Golf Professional at his/her facility, level of service to the Section, leadership ability, image and the ability to inspire fellow professionals and promotion of the game of golf.
Jason Baile, PGA – Belfair
Jason Baile, PGA, Director of Instruction at Belfair, has earned the tremendous honor of the 2018 Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year. Baile has a placed a large focus on creating a more streamlined coaching model for his students at Belfair in his past five years at the facility and had great success. He has worked closely with other areas of the facility’s operation to create a model of “Playing Good Golf Longer into Life.” This approach, along with Baile’s desire to grow and learn as an instructor, has allowed Belfair members access to fitness professionals, medical professionals, and sports psychologists. In addition to developing better golfers at his facility, Baile has an appreciation for the “apprentice-mentor” relationship. He has developed a “Coach’s Club.” This club is a no-cost mentor program for young coaches in the Hilton Head Chapter, designed to develop teaching skills and improve their impact and performance.
This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional who has performed outstanding service as a golf instructor. The award winner has made a tremendous impact on teaching and golf instruction in the Section, had involvement in junior golf activities at his/her facility and the community, provided innovative contributions to golf instruction and any articles written for publication.
Clem King, PGA – Country Club of Lexington
Clem King, PGA, General Manager at Country Club of Lexington, has won the 2018 Bill Strausbaugh Award for making significant contributions through ongoing mentorship. King has been a PGA Professional for 36 years and a General Manager for half that time. His training under John Snyder at Farmington Country Club fueled his belief on the importance of properly educating and supporting the players on your team in order to help them develop while preparing them for future opportunities. King takes pride in his integrity, loyalty, and dedication to his staff and members at CC of Lexington. The 2010 Golf Professional of the Year has held up his high level of respect amongst his peers, having made a significant impact on more than a dozen professionals throughout his years as a PGA Professional.
This award is presented to a PGA member, who by his/her day-to-day efforts has made significant contributions through mentoring of PGA Professionals and impacting their careers. The award also considers the integrity and character of the PGA member, service to the Section, and involvement in community and charitable activities.
Chris Byrd, PGA – Cape Fear Country Club
Cape Fear Country Club Head Professional, Chris Byrd, PGA, has won the 2018 Horton Smith Award. Byrd has been a member of the Carolinas for almost 21 years and at Cape Fear for the last six. At the Section level, Byrd has served on the Education Committee for five years on a voluntary basis. From 2015 to 2018, he served as the Area VIII Director and created important playing and educational opportunities for his Area and the Section. In February 2018, Byrd was elected as the Carolinas PGA Secretary, the “highlight of his Professional career.” Over the past 17 years of his career, Byrd has mentored 50+ professionals and associates in areas such as professionalism and ethics, resume and interviewing strategies, and daily operational ideas. “I am guided by my passion to bring forth the best educational opportunities that are relevant in today’s PGA climate.”
The Horton Smith Award is designed to recognize individual PGA Professionals for their outstanding and continuing contributions to developing and improving educational opportunities for the PGA Professional. They are to have made contributions to the Section’s educational program including meetings and seminars held with the Carolinas Section, developed articles and materials which benefit and relate to education, and built the image of both the PGA Professional and the Association.
Tom Mason, PGA – Par Tee Golf Center
Our 2018 Player Development Award Winner is Tom Mason, PGA. The 2017 Youth Player Development Award Winner has not slowed down over the past year, continuing to make significant strides in growing this great game. Mason, Head Professional at Par Tee Golf Center in Columbia, SC and Head Golf Coach at Columbia College, has been a member for 22 years and has owned and operated The Par Tee Golf Center since 2013. Mason facilitates many programs which have tremendously impacted growth of the game in his area, for the Section and Association. He has a very close working relationship with many professionals in the area so they can symbiotically benefit with his range and extensive programs and their courses. PGA Growth of the Game initiatives he is active in includes PGA Jr League; Drive, Chip & Putt; Play Golf America and Get Golf Ready. He has also developed some of his own programs with college-age, senior, and ladies, long-drive competitions, high school player development programs, among many others. “For me personally, the main thing that contributes to the success of any of my growth of the game initiatives is constant communication. The other thing that is important to me is building relationships with other PGA Professionals.” Tom has served as the President (2007-2015), Vice President (2005-2006) and Tournament Chairman (2001-2004) of the South Carolina Chapter of the CPGA. He is currently finishing up his service as the Area II Director for the CPGA. He is also currently serving on the PGA Junior League Advisory Committee, comprised of 10 Professionals across the country who are wonderful representatives to provide direction for growth of the PGA Jr. League.
This award is designed to recognize individual PGA Professionals for their extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development. This award considers the Professional’s growth of the game leadership commitment at the Section and National levels, plus the impact made at his/her own facility.
Briana M. Sweeny, PGA – Country Club of Landfall
Briana M. Sweeny, PGA, has been selected as the 2018 Youth Player Development Award Winner. Briana currently serves as an Assistant Professional and the Youth Golf Leader at the Country Club of Landfall. She is very active in running PGA Jr League and Drive, Chip, & Putt programs at her facility. During the 2018 season, she was responsible for overseeing two PGA Jr. League teams during the regular season and was then selected to be the Jr. League All Star Captain for her area’s team. To support all of her junior programs, Sweeny has designed many extra pieces to help the juniors develop such as an achievement wall in a junior room she designed, golf fitness and yoga programs, a chalk wall for various information and activities, and even creating an indoor putting course for rainy days. “I work hard every day to engrain etiquette, respect, integrity and sportsmanship in my juniors. My hope is that I can lead by example and be someone my juniors can look up to, respect and appreciate so they may have confidence in themselves.”
This award is designed to recognize a PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf, reflects the qualities and ideals of those who work with our nation’s youth, and provides opportunities and experiences for juniors to learn and play golf. In addition, they showcase integrity as an individual and acceptance by junior golfers as a person of outstanding character are the criteria for this award.
Franklin D. Newell, PGA – Private – Chechessee Creek Club
Franklin D. Newell, PGA, Director of Golf at Chechessee Creek Club, has won the 2018 Private Merchandiser of the Year Award. Franklin has been at his current facility for 18 years and a member of the Section since 1991. His merchandising philosophy “is to create an atmosphere that captivates our members and guests, leaving them no choice but to take a piece of Chechessee with them.” He strives to set his golf professionals up for success, keeping them aware of sales goals, making sure they are knowledgeable about the products, and including them in the buying process. “The most important aspect of the golf business is building relationships. It is these relationships that keep our members and guests excited to visit the Chechessee Creek Club golf shop.”
Greg Wrobel, PGA – Resort – Palmetto Bluff Golf Club
Greg Wrobel, PGA, Head Professional at Palmetto Bluff Golf Club, has earned the honors of the 2018 Resort Merchandiser of the Year. A member of the Carolinas Section since 1998, Wrobel gained tremendous experience during his time at Pinehurst and has now developed expertise under his Director of Golf, David Stinson, PGA. Wrobel’s merchandising philosophy is to “provide the best and suitable product to our members and guests while generating the most profit margin. We never allow a customer to leave the golf shop without receiving what they ask for.”
Todd Miller, PGA – Public – Santee Cooper Resort/Lake Marion GC
Todd Miller, PGA, General Manager at Santee Cooper Resort and Lake Marion Golf Club, has won the 2018 Public Merchandiser of the Year Award. Having been at his current facility for 20 years, Miller started as the Head Professional and has earned his spot as General Manager. Over this time, Miller has gained a lot of experience with the operation and has now found their niche product concept: shoes. “Our staff has embraced the concept and they now go out of their way to help the customers.” Miller finds a way every day to satisfy their current customers and encourage them to tell their friends to visit the facility.
Joseph Wohlscheid, PGA – Kiawah Island Club – Cassique
The 2018 Carolinas PGA Assistant Professional of the Year is Joseph Wohlscheid, PGA. Joe has been a member of the Section for 16 years and has been at Kiawah Island Club – Cassique for the duration of that time. Currently serving as the Senior Assistant Professional, Joe is responsible for many areas of the operation. This includes being in charge of the hard goods (ordering, receiving, inventory management, etc.), major member tournament operations, golf operation budgeting, and planning and executing junior golf programming. He has assisted in growing the club’s Jr. League Program by 20% each year since they started. Joe has also been an influential mentor for many other professionals and has enjoyed seeing many improve their performance move on to bigger job opportunities. Wohlscheid has earned his PGA General Management Certification and has also become a U.S. Kids Certified Teacher.
The Assistant Golf Professional of the Year is awarded to an individual who showcases overall excellence as an Assistant Professional. They exude a quality level of service, promotion of the game, image and overall performance at his/her facility.