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2019 Southern Texas PGA Award Winners Announced

November 13th, 2019

Rich Ballinger named Golf Professional of the Year 

SPRING, TEXAS—The Southern Texas PGA is excited to announce the 2019 Section Award winners. Led by Golf Professional of the Year Rich Ballinger, the list includes 18 individuals who have won a Section Award and an additional 10 Chapter Awards winners. 

Rich Ballinger is currently the Director of the PGA Golf Management Program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.     

The Golf Professional of the Year honor has been presented annually for 52 years and is based on the recipient’s overall performance as a PGA Professional, level of service to the Southern Texas PGA, leadership, image, ability to inspire fellow Professionals, and service to the region’s golf community. The first STPGA Golf Professional of the Year award went to the late Hardy Loudermilk, shortly after the STPGA’s creation in 1968.

Elected to Membership in 1996, Ballinger works to model what a PGA professional should look and act like to the students he educates in order to better prepare them for jobs in the golf industry. He does this by focusing on the continuation of education and involvement with the Association. 

"I am tasked with running an educational program that produces members for the PGA of America. With that being said, I do my best to be a positive role model and mentor to these young men and women," said Ballinger. "I have continued my education by earning an MBA and Doctor of Education, have achieved PGA Master Professional status, and am very involved in both Section and National governance."

Ballinger's passion for education in and about the golf industry can be seen through the PGA 2.0 and 3.0 education programs he has helped design. He also works to promote the game of golf through the Free Lesson Fridays program and the Boys and Girls Club and Scouts at Sam complimentary clinics.

"I try to lead by being an effective role model and mentor for not only students enrolled in the PGA Golf Management program, but to my peers," said Ballinger. "We must practice what we preach or we lose credibility with those we are attempting to lead."

This marks the fifth Southern Texas PGA Section Award for Ballinger, who previously won the Section's Horton Smith Award four times in 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2017.

Ballinger and his fellow Section award winners will be formally presented with their honors during the STPGA’s 52nd Annual President’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Monday, February 10, 2020, at the Woodlands Country Club. Chapter Award winners will be honored at their respective Chapter Meetings in December 2019. A complete listing of the 2019 Southern Texas PGA award recipients is below:

 

2019 Southern Texas PGA Section Awards
 

Golf Professional of the Year

Rich Ballinger (Sam Houston State University)

Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year

Alan Hodde (Axis Golf Academy)

Bill Strausbaugh Award

Chad Donegan (Landa Park Golf Course)

Horton Smith Award

Cary Collins (Oak Hills Country Club)

Dick Forester Quarter Century Award

Dale Morgan (Austin Country Club)

Special Service Award

Brad Widener (Lonestar NGL)

Assistant Professional of the Year

Ryan Briggs (Whispering Pines Golf Club)

Player Development Award

Derek Hooper (Royal Oaks Country Club)

Youth Player Development Award

Jim Nittoli (San Antonio Country Club)

Merchandiser of the Year (Private)

University of Texas Golf Club (Austin)

Merchandiser of the Year (Public/Semi)

Blackhorse Golf Club (Cypress)

Merchandiser of the Year (Resort)

TPC San Antonio (San Antonio)

Patriot Award

David L. Ramirez (NorthShore Country Club)

Golf Sales Representative of the Year

Brett Dolat (Cobra-Puma)

Media Award

Jason Alexander (The Club at Carlton Woods)

Junior Golfer of the Year (Boy)

Ty Roberts (Schertz)

Junior Golfer of the Year (Girl)

Valerie Routzong (Richmond)

Amateur of the Year

Parker Louis Holekamp (Kingwood)

 

2019 Southern Texas PGA Chapter Awards

Golf Professional of the Year

 

Eastern Chapter

Rich Ballinger (Sam Houston State University)

Western Chapter

Dale Morgan (Austin Country Club)

Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year

 

Eastern Chapter

Jim Murphy (Sugar Creek Country Club)

Western Chapter

Bryan Gathright (Clubs of Cordillera Ranch)

Youth Player Development Award

 

Eastern Chapter

Ben Willman (Axis Golf Academy)

Western Chapter

Jennifer MacCurrach (First Tee of Greater Austin)

Southern Chapter

Rodolfo Gonzalez (Laredo Country Club)

Merchandiser of the Year

 

Eastern Chapter

The Club at Carlton Woods (The Woodlands)

Western Chapter

University of Texas Golf Club (Austin)

Southern Chapter

Laredo Country Club (Laredo)

 

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