Carolinas PGA Announces 2016 Section Award Winners

PGA Professionals Recognized for Commitments and Contributions to Golf

Greensboro, N.C. (December 2, 2016)The Carolinas PGA is thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Section Awards and Honors, distributed annually by the Carolinas PGA Section, as selected by the Special Awards Committee, to the top 10 deserving Carolinas PGA Professionals. The mission of the Carolinas PGA Special Awards Committee is to ascertain the most eligible winners in each of the annually awarded categories, which is accomplished by an enthusiastic commitment from each committee member afforded the responsibility of identifying and recognizing his or her peers as exceptional. 

With over 230 nominations this year, only 10 are selected by the Committee to receive these honors. The following Carolinas PGA Professionals are this year's honorees and display excellence in their profession, assume an ongoing commitment and devotion to progressing the game of golf and to preserving the integrity of the industry:

Golf Professional of the Year: John Faidley, PGA (Forsyth Country Club)
John Faidley, Head Golf Professional at Forsyth Country Club, receives the highest honor awarded to a PGA Professional for his ongoing accomplishments and ability to grow the game of golf beyond expectation. This honor is awarded once per lifetime to the individual who demonstrates exceptional performance as a Golf Professional at his or her facility, a high level of service to the Section, strong leadership, positive image, ability to inspire fellow professionals and promote the game of golf. For 16 years, John has served as Head Golf Professional at Forsyth Country Club in Winston-Salem, NC. As a PGA Professional, John receives this award for his service and notable achievements, which includes, giving over 400 private lessons per year, developing multiple programs for his nearly 1,000 members and juniors; Men’s Summer League, Tour 36, PGA Junior League, golf schools and clinics. John is also the creator, tournament chairman and host of the Forsyth Celebrity Pro-Am that annually raises over $100,000 for The First Tee of the Triad. This year, his team surpassed $750,000 in total donations to the chapter, which he has been involved with for seven years. Additionally, The John Faidley Learning Center at Winston Lake Golf Club was opened this year and now includes a practice range, a dedicated short game area and a 3000+ square foot building that houses meeting space and a computer lab where children are mentored, tutored and have internet access and a safe environment to complete homework. To add to these accolades, John also serves on the Carolinas PGA Tournament Committee (of which he’s been a part of for over two decades) and the Public Relations Committee. John Faidley has been a CPGA Member since 1991.

Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year: Bill Sampson, PGA (Old Tabby Links at Spring Island Golf Club)
Bill Sampson, Director of Golf at Old Tabby Links, receives the Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding service as a golf instructor. Bill has made numerous contributions to golf instruction within the Section for many years. He hosts private and group lessons, institutes weekly clinics, conducts three different golf schools for club members, hosts multi-day camps and even offers free lessons to juniors who cannot afford the fee (they earn the lessons by how much they practice, play and keep their grades up in school). Bill has instructed outstanding golfers like Don Allen (three-time low amateur at The Masters, player of 5 U.S. Opens and more); Gary Shimmin (ranked top 10 Super Senior by Golf Week 2013); and Tom Humphrey (Old Tabby Links Club Champion). Additionally, Bill is a member of the PGA President’s Council (since 1995), serves on the Golf Committee and Greens Committee at his club, and has won numerous awards within the Section and on a national scale including: CPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award (2007), CPGA Golf Professional of the Year (2011), and ranked #2 teacher in the state of South Carolina by Golf Digest in 2007-08. Bill Sampson has been a CPGA Member since 1997.

Horton Smith Award: Rick Murphy, PGA (Rick Murphy Golf Academy & Greensboro National)
Rick Murphy, Director of Instruction at Rick Murphy Golf Academy, receives the Horton Smith Award for his outstanding contributions to developing and improving educational opportunities for the PGA Golf Professional at his facility and beyond. Currently, Rick is the Co-Chairman of the PGA Youth Player Development Committee (2015-16), PGA Teaching & Coaching Committee Member (2015-16), and Carolinas PGA Teaching & Coaching Co-Chairman (2015-16). Rick has been named the Carolinas PGA Teacher of the Year twice (2001 & 2009), Carolinas PGA Golf Professional of the Year (2008), one of Golf Digest’s Top 10 Best Teachers in North Carolina (2011-12), has received the PGA National Junior Golf Leader Award, served as a District Director on the Carolinas PGA Board of Directors and was nominated for PGA of America Secretary in 2016.  With over 30 years of teaching experience, Rick Murphy has been a CPGA Member since 1981.

Bill Strausbaugh Award: Jeff Dotson, PGA (The Country Club of NC)
Jeff Dotson, Director of Golf at The Country Club of NC, receives the Bill Strausbaugh Award for making significant contributions through his ongoing mentoring of PGA Professionals and impacts made to their careers. Jeff furthers the values that are representative of the Association and the golf profession through leading by example and mentoring numerous golfers who have gone on to become the top ranking professionals at their clubs. In his 29 years as a PGA Professional, he has hired more than 30 assistant professionals and many more interns from 8 PGM universities, and has seen over a dozen former assistants, who have trained under him, advance to the highest ranks at their facilities. His contributions to the golf industry, his facility and the community have afforded him the opportunity to consistently assist others in their careers and set the highest standards of personal and professional integrity. His dedication to his facility and beyond also earned him the CPGA Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Private category in 2014. Jeff Dotson has been a CPGA Member since 1982.

Player Development Award: Chris Haarlow, PGA (Precision Golf School)
Chris Haarlow, Director of Instruction at Precision Golf School, receives the Player Development Award for his extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development, including growth of the game leadership commitment at the Section and National levels, plus the impact made at his own facility. For 18 years, Chris has been teaching and working with Robert Linville at Precision Golf School, teaching many high caliber players on professional tours, competitive amateur golfers and numerous state high school champions. Chris oversees a program that offers over 20 hours of class per week, keeps about 75 juniors active per week, administers player leagues and has an elite level travel team. Additionally, Chris initiated the Triad Youth Golf Foundation to provide access to the game and breakdown economic areas that are inherent with the cost of playing the game. As President, he provides direction for the foundation and fundraises for the Mike Goodes Scholarship Fund and works with the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Tour. Chris also established the Precision Junior Development Program to provide structured classes, lessons and playing opportunities at a driving range/par three facility. He served on the 2016 CPGA Junior Golf Committee and received the CPGA Youth Player Development Award in 2011. Chris Haarlow has been a CPGA Member since 2007.

Youth Player Development Award: Kevin Britt, PGA (Country Club of Spartanburg)
Kevin Britt, Director of Instruction at the Country Club of Spartanburg, receives the Youth Player Development Award for being a leader in junior golf, and reflecting the qualities and ideals of those who work with our nation’s youth. This year alone, Kevin has worked with over 120 different juniors from the Country Club of Spartanburg through classes and camps. Most recently he became a volunteer for the First Tee of Spartanburg's Skill Challenge, as well as a volunteer instructor for the First Tee of Greenville at the Cliffs Mountain Park preceding Gary Player. Over the years, he's served as a volunteer team leader for the PGA Jr. League, was the lead coach for the Columbia City undefeated PGA Jr. League team, hosted SCJGA'S Little Legends, became a volunteer instructor for the Special Olympics, a volunteer instructor for the SCJGA'S city of Columbia's underprivileged children, a volunteer for the Hilton Head Pro Pals program, has become a US Kids certified instructor, Positive Coaching Alliance certified coach,  and an I Grow Golf Operation 36 certified instructor. Throughout his 26 year career, he has taught students that have made a career in the golf business including, Dustin Johnson (PGA Tour); Kory Thompson Henkes (Ole Miss Coach); Matthew Bryant and Luke McClellan (Tour Players); Ashlan Ramsey (LPGA); and Dinah Plyler (Cobra Golf). Kevin Britt has been a CPGA Member since 1994.

Merchandisers of the Year (Private, Public, Resort)
This award recognizes PGA Professionals who demonstrate superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf. This honor is awarded in three categories (Private, Public and Resort). PGA members considered are those with outstanding results as far as merchandising techniques, shop operations, philosophies, innovations and performance (profit, margin, turn rate, cost of goods, sales).

Private: Andrew David Bryce, PGA (Quail Hollow Club)
Andrew Bryce, Assistant Professional at Quail Hollow Club, receives the Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Private category. For the past five years, Andrew has been solely responsible for the golf shop along with facilitating the entire Wells Fargo Championship merchandise operation for the past two years, helping the facility reach over $1.5 million in total sales for the event. Overall golf shop numbers have seen a significant increase in soft and hard good sales. Andrew embraces the entire merchandising process from sitting down with vendors to product selection, and display design and assembly. He will also help oversee merchandising for the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, which he believes will significantly increase the spotlight on the club and its merchandise operation. Andrew Bryce has been a CPGA Member since 2007.

Public: Charles Johns IV, PGA  (The Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina University)
Charles Johns IV, General Manager at The Hackler Course at CCU, receives the Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Public category. Throughout his 11 years at the facility, he has strived to provide a phenomenal shopping environment by ordering quality goods with recognizable brands, staying up to date on current styles and trends, anticipating not only seasonal changes but changes in athletic events, and frequent alterations and updates to displays to redirect customer focus and always keep each subsequent shopping experience new and exciting. With this mindset, he has helped boost sales and keep customers coming back for more. His facility has seen 35% growth in 3-4 years. Charles Johns IV has been a CPGA Member since 2005.

Resort: Justin Van Heukelom, PGA (Bald Head Island Club)
Justin Van Heukelom, Head Professional at Bald Head Island Club, receives the Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Resort category. Justin’s merchandising philosophy is to provide a merchandise offering that presents the highest quality, latest trends and a selection that exceeds the expectations of his wide variety of member and guest demographics. He strives to partner with all vendors to provide the best bottom line opportunities for merchandise profitability and to stay current on the bestselling items within each category. Justin Van Heukelom has been a CPGA Member since 2007.

Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Nicklaus Cannon, PGA (Charlotte Country Club)
Nicklaus Cannon, Assistant Golf Professional at Charlotte Country Club, receives the Assistant Professional of the Year Award for demonstrating a high level of excellence at his facility and the Section. Nicklaus graduated from Methodist University and earned his Class A certification in March 2010. His teachers at Methodist University meticulously guided and prepared him for entry into the golf business. While at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley (CCSV), he worked closely with the men’s golf team from Western Carolina University (WCU). From 2011-2012, he provided his services to the WCU men’s golf team as a volunteer assistant golf coach. During his tenure as an assistant coach, he traveled with the team to events in the late fall and early spring (2011-12) and regularly attended training and practice. As part of his work with the WCU team, he regularly offered instruction to the players and worked with them to diagnose and remedy weaknesses in their games. Now, at Charlotte Country Club, Nicklaus loves teaching and promoting the game of golf to members of every skill level. From the beginner golfer to the scratch player, his objective is to help each player improve every aspect of their game while keeping it simple and enjoyable. Nicklaus currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the board for the Mountains Chapter of the Carolinas PGA and has also competed in numerous Section tournaments, which have afforded him the opportunity to develop networks and friendships with fellow peers. Nicklaus Cannon has been a CPGA Member since 2010.

Each award winning PGA Professional will be recognized at the 24th Annual Special Awards and Honors Ceremony on February 19, 2017 as part of Big Week 2017 at The Greensboro Coliseum Complex & Special Events Center in Greensboro, NC. For more information, please visit or contact the Section directly.


About the Carolinas PGA Section
Established in 1923, the Carolinas PGA Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association has grown to be the largest of the PGA’s forty-one sections with almost 2,000 professional members. The Carolinas PGA Section embraces North and South Carolina, as well as a small portion of southern Virginia, with more than 800 golf facilities. The Carolinas PGA is dedicated to nurturing and improving the quality of the game for the thousands of golfers using its member facilities. PGA professionals are responsible for conducting a variety of golf-related functions, which include human resource management, golf shop merchandising, golf instruction, tournament operations, junior golf programs, growth of the game initiatives, golf club repair, administering the rules, public relations and much more.  For more information, please visit You can also find the Carolinas PGA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTubeMedia Contact: Liz Muroski, Carolinas PGA Media Director, 336-398-2742,