The Carolinas PGA Section has earned the 2021 Herb Graffis Award, given to a PGA of America Section that has shown tireless dedication to growing the game of golf and furthering player development programming in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carolinas PGA Section, with the leadership of President Bob Byrnes, PGA, Executive Director Jeff Abbot, CPA, and PGA REACH Carolinas Program Director Jessica Everett, was able to continue its character-building experiences for children of every race, creed, gender and socio-economic background, a pillar of the PGA REACH Carolinas Foundation. In 2021, the Section’s PGA Jr. League teams nearly returned to normal, with more than 3,000 registered players, a 40 percent increase over the 2020 season. A total of 206 PGA Jr. League scholarships were awarded to juniors last year. The Section is also a PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) programming leader. In conjunction with the 2021 PGA Championship at the Kiawah Island Resort, the PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup was held after being canceled in 2020, and PGA HOPE Carolinas was able to bring six teams to the event due to the chapter’s high participation rate among Veterans. Additionally, the Section raised more than $2.75 million for Folds of Honor, supporting 567 scholarships, the most of any PGA Section. The Carolinas Section also prides itself on Inclusion, employing a successful PGA WORKS Fellowship, planning various events for women, people of color, juniors, Veterans and other underrepresented groups to continue growing the game of golf.
President Chris Byrd and Honorary President Bob Byrnes were presented the plaque at the 106th PGA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ and gave an eloquent speech to the 400+ attendees recognizing all of our CPGA professionals for their tireless service.