Greensboro, N.C. (November 27, 2017) – 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 ten deserving Carolinas PGA Professionals. The mission of the Carolinas PGA Special Awards Committee is to recognize 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 his or her peers as exceptional.
The following Carolinas PGA Professionals 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: Jeff Dotson, PGA
(The Country Club of North Carolina)
Jeff Dotson, Director of Golf at The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, receives the highest annual honor awarded to a PGA Professional. This title is bestowed 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 PGA Section and community, strong leadership, a positive image, has the ability to inspire fellow professionals, and promotes the game of golf. After three years at the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Jeff returned to CCNC to fill the shoes of retiring CPGA Hall of Fame member Buck Adams. Jeff served as Head Golf Professional from 1991-2001 until he was promoted to Director of Golf – a role which he still enjoys today. In his 32 years as a PGA Professional, he has hired more than 30 assistant professionals and many more interns from eight PGM universities and has seen over a dozen former assistants, 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 also earned him the CPGA 2014 Private Merchandiser of the Year and the 2016 Bill Strausbaugh Awards. Jeff Dotson has been a CPGA Member since 1985.
Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year: Doug Weaver, PGA
(Palmetto Dunes Resort)
Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction at Palmetto Dunes Resort in Hilton Head, SC, receives the Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding service as a golf instructor. Doug has made numerous contributions to golf instruction within the Section for many years. He hosts private and group lessons, conducts weekly clinics, volunteers some of his time to free lessons for people of all ages, hosts Mental Golf Workshops, instructs lessons for young children while using songs to help them remember how to play, captains a PGA Jr. League Team, assists with Special Olympics programming, regularly writes articles for newspapers and magazines, and is the Hilton Head High School golf team’s Assistant Coach. Doug, a PGA Member since 1986, has instructed outstanding golfers like Luke Carpenter (Adams Tour Member), Evan Muscari (won West Virginia US Open Qualifying and college golfer at Concord College), and Freddy Reyes (a Drive, Chip, and Putt finalist at Augusta National). Additionally, Doug was a member of the PGA President’s Council from 2005-2010 and has received numerous awards and recognitions including the: 2012 Hilton Head Island Chapter Teacher of the Year Award, the 2002 Growth of the Game Award from the Linda Bennington PGA Foundation, and induction into the Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame.
Horton Smith Award: James Hackenberg, PGA
(Jimmy Hack Golf, LLC)
Jim Hackenberg, Golf Manufacturer at Jimmy Hack Golf LLC, 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. Jim has designed several training aids including the Orange Whip Trainer, all designed around his own teaching program to emphasize proper sequencing, tempo, timing, and balance. Jim has traveled throughout the United States and other countries to demonstrate his concepts and share them with PGA Professionals, coaches, and teachers. Jim has conducted training at numerous PGA of America Section events, teaching summits, and to specialty groups. Jim has supported and sponsored twenty-seven different PGA Sections over the last ten years and hopes to participate with the remaining fourteen over time. Jim has written articles for Golf Tips Magazine, PGA Magazine, and PGA Education-PGA Best Practices. He is active in distributing his message on social media platforms offering many drills for students and teachers alike to improve their game and instruction. Jim Hackenberg has been a CPGA Member since 2008.
Bill Strausbaugh Award: Andrew Shuck, PGA
(Charlotte Country Club)
Andrew Shuck, Head Professional at Charlotte Country Club, receives the Bill Strausbaugh Award for making significant contributions through his ongoing mentoring of PGA Professionals and impacts made to their careers. Andrew had the distinct fortune to start his career working under this award’s namesake, Bill Strausbaugh at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland in 1995. Andrew credits Strausbaugh for giving him the vision and passion to help other professionals advance their careers. In fifteen years as a head professional, Andrew has helped twelve assistant professionals that worked for him to become head professionals at other facilities. Andrew considers mentoring other professionals to be the most gratifying and favorite aspect of his career as a PGA Professional. Andrew has served on the board of the First Tee of Greater Charlotte since 2012, he is the first Methodist University PGM graduate to serve on the Methodist University Board of Trustees, and he also currently serves as an At-Large Director for the CPGA Board. Andrew Shuck has been a CPGA Member since 2011.
Player Development Award: Jeff Shores, PGA
(Golf Squad LLC)
Jeff Shores, Executive Director of Golf Squad based in Huntersville, NC, receives the Player Development Award for his contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development. Jeff founded Golf Squad In 2011 after being inspired by a PGA Seminar on Growth of the Game. He wrote a series of instructional handbooks covering etiquette, rules, history, vocabulary, and swinging a golf club all designed to educate participants on the process of becoming a golfer. Jeff started Golf Squad as a small, local, after school program, and has grown it into a widespread national business. Through Jeff’s Golf Squad programming he has contracted instructional services from hundreds of PGA Members and Apprentices. Golf Squad provides training, curriculum, and resources for PGA Members to connect with their communities, primarily through teaching the game at local schools and some corporate programs. Jeff Shores has been a CPGA Member since 2004.
Youth Player Development Award: Tom Mason, PGA
(Par Tee Golf Center)
Tom Mason, Head Professional at Par Tee Golf Center in Columbia, SC and Head Golf Coach of Columbia College, 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. Tom has worked with juniors at the Par Tee Golf Center through PGA Jr. League and hosting Drive Chip and Putt qualifiers. He also hosts an Annual Youth and Family Golf Summit and gives numerous individual lessons and group clinics. Tom has been a PGA Jr. League Captain since 2013 and has brought a team to the Southeast Regional finals every year since he started. Tom’s 2015
team was the first in the Carolinas Section to advance to the National Finals which was held at Disney World in Orlando, Florida that year. He now has his own league and oversees four teams. Tom was part of the CBS Special “Golf’s Best Stories End in Thanks” which highlighted Tom and one of his students, PGA Junior League player, Jalen Castle. The show tells Jalen’s story of surviving a complicated spinal surgery and recovering to play golf at a very high level. Jalen acknowledged Tom in the “Thanks PGA Pro” campaign which helped bring her story to national attention. 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 serving as the Area II Director for the CPGA, as Chairman of the CPGA’s Youth Player Development Committee, and is a member of the CPGA’s Employment Committee. His dedication to his facility and beyond earned him the 2012 CPGA Horton Smith Award, the 2011 South Carolina Golf Course Owner’s Association-Employee of the Year Award, and the 2005 Columbia City Golf Tournament-Service to Golf Award. Tom Mason has been a CPGA Member since 1996.
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: Brian Joyce, PGA
(Eagle Point Golf Club)
Brian Joyce, Head Professional at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, NC, receives the Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Private category. Brian’s merchandising philosophy is to “keep the members and their guests at the top of the priority list by ensuring attentive and professional service in a well-organized shop with top quality merchandise.” Eagle Point hosted the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship, giving Brian and the Eagle Point staff a unique opportunity in merchandising for a PGA Tour event. Eagle Point exceeded their expectations in sales for the year and for the tournament while generating exceptional shop statistics. Brian Joyce has been a CPGA Member since 2010.
Public: Matt Daly, PGA
(Tournament Player Club of Myrtle Beach)
Matt Daly, Head Professional at TPC Myrtle Beach, receives the Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Public category. Matt’s merchandising philosophy has evolved throughout his career and he credits his mentors and experience while working at great golf facilities during his career. Matt credits the staff at TPC Myrtle Beach along with the support of the Retail Team at Founders Group International for the success of their shop. Matt has led his team to maintain a well-organized and continually updated golf shop while generating excellent margins and shop statistics. Matt Daly has been a CPGA Member since 2006.
Resort: Erika Mason, PGA
(Old Edwards Club)
Erika Mason, Head Professional at Old Edwards Club in Cashiers, NC, receives the Merchandiser of the Year Award in the Resort category. Erika’s merchandising philosophy focuses on the four P’s: Product, Price, Presentation, and People. Erika’s vision is to find the right products, for the right people, sold at the right price, and presented in a visually stimulating way. Erika helped Old Edwards to reach goals and maintain excellent shop statistics while growing their business in 2017. Erika Mason has been with the CPGA as an apprentice since 2011 and became a PGA member in January of 2017.
Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Elliott Jones, PGA (Myers Park Country Club)
Elliott Jones, Assistant Golf Professional at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, NC, receives the Assistant Professional of the Year Award for demonstrating a high level of excellence at his facility and the Section. Elliott started as an apprentice in the section at Colonial Charters Golf Club in 2010 and has been at Myers Park since 2013. Elliott is the current Vice President of the CPGA’s Assistants’ Association where he has helped to develop and promote interactive educational opportunities as well as helping to create new tournament formats. He recently accepted the offer to serve on the CPGA Apprentice Education Committee and will begin in 2018. Elliott was a three-year member of the Men’s Golf Team at Eastern Carolina University. He is devoted to playing competitively and he participates in a full schedule of Assistants’ Association events along with most of the CPGA’s major tournaments. He also makes an effort to play once a week with different members at Myers Park to further his relationships with them on a more personal level. Elliott Jones has been a CPGA Member since 2016.
Each award winning PGA Professional will be recognized at the 25th Annual Special Awards and Honors Ceremony on February 18, 2018 at Greensboro Country Club. For more information, please visit www.carolinas.pga.com 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 www.carolinas.pga.com. You can also find the Carolinas PGA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Media Contact: Kurt Battenberg, PGA, 336-398-2742, firstname.lastname@example.org