Gulf States PGA selects 2017 class of Section and Chapter award winners

METAIRIE, La. – In recognition of his exemplary role as a PGA member, PGA Head Professional Tim Basel of ­Reunion Golf & Country Club in Madison, Miss. has been chosen as the 2017 Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor paid to a Gulf States PGA Professional.

“I am extremely honored to represent the Gulf States PGA as its Golf Professional of the Year for 2017,” said Basel, who currently serves as President of the Gulf State PGA’s Mississippi Chapter. “I am truly humbled to be recognized for this great award. It is the highlight of my career to date and I can’t thank the awards committee enough for this recognition.

“We are called to serve in so many different ways. I hope my willingness to serve at both the Chapter and Section level is an inspiration to others.”

Basel added, “I would like to thank Mr. David Nutt for allowing me the opportunity to be the Head Golf Professional at Reunion G&CC. A special thank you goes to the entire staff at Reunion for making me a better golf professional every day. To add my name to the list of great golf professionals of the GSPGA who have won this award is truly an honor and I will forever remember it.”

V.J. Trolio, PGA Teaching Professional at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss, has earned his third Gulf States PGA Teacher of the Year Award. This award recognizes the recipient’s exceptional teaching ability and dedication to teaching the game.

Trolio stated, “Being a great coach or teacher is not always easy.” “To be recognized for the effort and working through the complexities of performance as Teacher of the Year is awesome.” “I am humbled and excited to earn the honor.”

In recognition of his continued efforts to grow the game of golf at the youth level, Diamondhead (Miss.) Country Club’s PGA Director of Golf Chris Altese has been awarded the 2017 Gulf States PGA Youth Player Development Award for the second year in a row. This award acknowledges the recipient’s passion to promote the game by sharing knowledge and skills with today’s youth, benefiting the future of golf in the Section.

Billy Pomeroy, PGA Head Professional of Northwood Country Club in Meridian, Miss. has been chosen as this year’s Horton Smith Award winner, acknowledging his commitment to furthering the education of fellow professionals.

J.T. Crawford, PGA Head Professional at New Orleans (La.) Country Club has been selected as the Bill Strausbaugh Award winner in recognition of his leadership and valued involvement with the community. Crawford, who serves as secretary of the Gulf States PGA, previously won this award in 2015 and 2010.

Justin Mann, PGA Assistant Professional at Oakbourne Country Club in Layfette, La., has displayed exemplary leadership as an assistant professional and continues to serve as an outstanding representation of his class earning him the title of Assistant Professional of the Year. This marks Mann’s first Section award.

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.

Chris Burkstaller, PGA Director of Golf at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Denham Springs, La., has been named Merchandiser of the Year in the Public category for the second year in a row.

In the Private category, PGA Director of Golf David Marchand of Metairie (La.) Country Club has earned the distinction of Merchandiser of the Year, an award he has previously received in 2012, 2010 and 2002.

PGA Head Professional Chris Champagne of The Preserve Golf Club in Vancleave, Miss. has earned his fourth award from the Gulf States PGA, Merchandiser of the Year in the Resort category (2017, 2016, 2013, 2009).

Accepted his first Gulf States PGA award is PGA Head Professional Robbie Gueringer from Oak Wing Golf Club in Alexandria, La. who has been named the Section’s Player Development Award winner. This award honors his extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development.

Leading the class of 2017 award winners in the Louisiana Chapter is its Golf Professional of the Year Cliff Wagner, PGA Head Professional at Oakbourne C.C.

Louisiana Assistant Professional of the Year has been awarded to Marie Gateley, PGA Assistant Professional at Baton Rouge (La.) Country Club.

Billy Pomeroy, PGA earns his second award of the year as the Mississippi Chapter’s Golf Professional of the Year.

Representing the Mississippi Chapter in the Assistant Professional of the Year category is this year’s award winner, Blake Hatfield, PGA Assistant Professional at Reunion G. & C.C.

Two special Chapter awards are set aside to honor individuals that tirelessly and unselfishly work to support the game of golf.

The Louisiana Chapter has chosen Carr McCalla, former executive director of the Louisiana Golf Association, as the recipient of the Barbato-Thomas Award, which is named after Mike Barbato and Henry Thomas who both played a major role in the birth and development of the Gulf States Section. The award is presented to individuals in recognition of those who have unselfishly served and supported the game of golf and the PGA Professional.

McCalla said, “The Barbato-Thomas Award has always been one that is held in the highest esteem by golfers in Louisiana.” “When I look at the past recipients I am truly humbled and appreciative to the Gulf States Section.” “While I question my worthiness for this award, I am extremely appreciative to the leadership of the Section for their kindness.”

“As the Executive Director of the Louisiana Golf Association it has been my privilege to work with Gulf States PGA Executive Director Robert Brown, former Gulf States PGA Executive Director Robert Garner, and many of the Gulf States PGA Professionals for over 20 years. Our joint effort to grow and strengthen the game in Louisiana has truly been a labor of love.”

The Mississippi Chapter’s Carpenter-Lindsay 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 the Association. This year’s recipient is Jim Dorman, PGA Head Professional at Laurel (Miss.) Country Club and past president of the Gulf States PGA.

“I am honored to be chosen for this award because of its criteria,” said Dorman. “The Carpenter-Lindsay is not just about service to your club or our Association.” It’s about promoting the game we love outside of the traditional boundaries.”

Dorman said, “The experience he gained while serving the Mississippi Chapter, including holding all officer positions and serving on each Chapter committee, has laid a strong foundation for his continued commitment to serve the Gulf States PGA and its members.”

“I am so humbled as a PGA Member to have been associated with many of the past recipients of the Carpenter-Lindsay Award,” added Dorman. “It is a distinguished list of caring, influential Mississippians that promoted our game into a different level of importance.” “But to hold the plaque recognizing Mr. Lindsay and Mr. Carpenter, this one will always hold a special place in my heart.”

This year’s honorees will be celebrated at the Gulf States PGA Special Awards Ceremony to be held on December 10th at Canebrake Country Club in Hattiesburg, Miss.

The Gulf States PGA Awards Committee consists of past award winners.

About the Gulf States PGA Section
The Gulf States Section, Professional Golfers’ Association of America, is an association of golf professionals whose mission is to promote interest, participation, and enjoyment in the game of golf; establish and maintain professional standards of practice; and enhance the well being of golf professionals.


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