METAIRIE, La. – The Gulf States PGA celebrated the Section’s most deserving members of 2012 during an awards ceremony held Monday, December 10 at Metairie Country Club. The event was held in conjunction with the E-Z-GO/Oliver Counce Six Pro Championship.
J.T. Crawford, PGA of New Orleans Country Club was chosen to lead this year’s class of honorees as 2012 Golf Professional of the Year.
“It is a great honor,” said Crawford, who currently serves as vice president of the Gulf States PGA’s Louisiana Chapter. “It’s a great Section to be a part of and I am very thankful to have my name listed with those who have previously won this award.
“I am looking forward to serving the Section as president of the Louisiana Chapter, and eventually as an officer of the Section,” added Crawford.
James Leitz, PGA of Pinewood Country Club was chosen as Teacher of the Year due to his exceptional teaching ability and dedication to teaching the game. Leitz previously earned this honor from the Section in 2002 and 2005.
“This is a tremendous honor,” said Leitz, who was recently named to the GOLF Magazine’s list of 2013-2014 Top 100 Teachers in America. “Nothing is more gratifying than being recognized by your peers; it never gets old. It just fuels me to want to learn more and continue to share it with everyone. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned as much as anything that I do.”
Leading the way in junior golf development is the 2012 Junior Golf Leader, Tim Yelverton, PGA of Old Waverly Golf Club. Yelverton’s drive to promote the game by sharing his knowledge and skills with today’s youth continues to benefit the future of golf in the Section.
Jarred LeBouef, PGA of The University Club earned the highly distinguished Bill Strausbaugh Award in recognition of his leadership and valued involvement with the community.
Jeff Adkerson, PGA of Mississippi State University’s PGA Golf Management Program is this year’s Horton Smith Award winner. This award acknowledges Adkerson’s commitment to furthering the education of fellow professionals.
Tim Brown, PGA of Cypress Lakes at Ormond and Timberlane Country Club has earned the President’s Plaque for leading the Section in contributing to player development.
The Merchandisers of the Year are selected based on their skills in the promotion of golf including merchandising ability and technique, inventory levels and turn rate, shop display and attention to detail.
David Marchand, PGA of Metairie Country Club is being recognized as the Merchandiser of the Year in the Private category. The efforts of Brian Long, PGA of TPC Louisiana have earned him the title of Merchandiser of the Year in the Public category. David Stinson, PGA of Fallen Oak has proven to be top of his field in the Resort category, also earning the title of Merchandiser of the Year.
Bobby Peterson, PGA of Metairie Country Club has displayed exemplary leadership as an assistant professional and continues to serve as an outstanding representation of his class earning him the title TaylorMade-adidas Golf Assistant Professional of the Year.
The Gulf States PGA Chapters also selected Golf Professionals of the Year in their respective Chapters. Topping the field in the Mississippi Chapter is David Lee, PGA of Windance Country Club. Jarred LeBouef’s contributions were again recognized as he was named Golf Professional of the Year for the Louisiana Chapter.
The Chapters named their Assistant Professionals of the Year as Jon Howell, PGA of The Country Club of Jackson in the Mississippi Chapter and Jordan Dempsey of the Country Club of Louisiana in the Louisiana Chapter.
Two special Chapter awards are set aside to honor individuals that tirelessly and unselfishly work to support the game of golf.
This year, the Louisiana Chapter has chosen James Leitz, PGA of Pinewood Country Club as the recipient of their Barbato-Thomas Award. The award is named for Mike Barbato and Henry Thomas; both of whom played a major role in the birth and development of the Gulf States Section.
The Mississippi Chapter bestowed a similar award, the Carpenter-Lindsay Award, to Mark Powell, PGA of Dancing Rabbit Country Club. This Chapter award was named for James Ray Carpenter and Ken Lindsay, both of whom served as PGA of America Presidents and have given so much to our Association.
Mastering the fairways and greens this year is the 2012 Gulf States PGA Player of the Year, Jake Narro, PGA of Oak Knoll Country Club. Narro’s win at the Section Championship propelled him to the top of the points list allowing him to assert himself as Player of the Year; a feat he last accomplished in 2002.
“The Section Championship is the last points event, and biggest points event,” said Narro. “I went into it in 5th or 6th place but I played my best at the right time and when the dust settled I had just slipped past everyone in the standings. I was very lucky. It was a great race with great players.
“I want to thank the sponsors and staff for putting on another great tournament season,” added Narro.
Also earning Player of the Year recognition is Craig Campo, PGA of Oak Wing Golf Club in the Senior category and Jordan Dempsey of the Country Club of Louisiana in the Assistant category. Jake Narro, PGA also holds the title of Player of the Year in the Louisiana Chapter and Tim Yelverton, PGA shot to top this year as Player of the Year in the Mississippi Chapter.
The Gulf States PGA Awards Committee consists of past award winners.