October 1, 2021

Kori Lukachick
(240) 772-6780


The Gulf States PGA Selects 2021 Section and Chapter Award Winners

In recognition of her exemplary role as a PGA member, Assistant Professional Marie Gateley of Baton Rouge Country Club in Baton Rouge, LA has been chosen as the 2021 Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor paid to a Gulf States PGA professional. Marie is the first assistant professional and first female to be the recipient of the Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year award.

In response to being notified of her award, Marie said, “What an honor it is to have been named the 2021 Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year. To have been nominated by my peers and selected by our committee is truly special, and my family and I could not be happier. The thank you’s are endless because I would not be here without the everyday help, mentorship, and support of many others. I am so fortunate to be a member of the best Section within the PGA of America and I am proud to be a part of everything they are accomplishing!”

David Coleman, PGA, Association Golf Administrator of Veteran’s Golf Association, was named the recipient of The Patriot Award. This award is presented to a PGA professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.

Tim Yelverton, PGA, a Teaching Pro at Old Waverly Golf Club of West Point, MS, has earned his second Gulf States PGA Teacher of the Year Award. This award recognizes the recipient’s exceptional teaching ability and dedication to teaching the game.

In recognition of his continued efforts to grow the game of golf at the youth level, Assistant Professional at Baton Rouge Country Club in Baton Rouge, LA, Bobby Flanagan, PGA, has been awarded the 2021 Youth Player Development Award. 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.

Adam Scott, PGA, Association Golf Administrator at Mississippi State University PGA Golf Management, has been chosen as this year’s PGA Professional Development Award winner for the second year in a row, acknowledging his commitment to furthering the education of fellow professionals.

Jake Narro, PGA, Golf Coach at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA has been selected as the Bill Strausbaugh Award winner in recognition of his leadership and valued involvement with the community.

Taylor Ross, PGA, Assistant Professional at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, MS, has displayed exemplary leadership as an assistant professional and continues to serve as an outstanding representation of her class earning her the title of Assistant Professional of the Year.

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.

Tim Basel, PGA, Head Professional at Mississippi State University Golf Course in Starkville, MS, has been named Merchandiser of the Year in the Public category.

In the Private category, PGA Head Professional Robert Smith of Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, LA, has earned the distinction of Merchandiser of the Year.

PGA Head Professional Sean Racki of Dancing Rabbit Golf Club in Philadelphia, MS, has earned his award from the Gulf States PGA, Merchandiser of the Year in the Resort category. This will mark Sean’s seventh time winning this award.

Accepting his first Gulf States PGA award this year is William Heirtzler, PGA, Head Professional at Bayou Oaks at City Park of New Orleans, 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 2021 award winners in the Louisiana Chapter is Golf Professional of the Year Jake Narro, PGA, Golf Coach at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. This marks Jake’s second Gulf States PGA award this year. “It’s a tremendous honor to be nominated for the Louisiana Chapter Golf Professional of the Year and the Bill Strausbaugh Award, but to actually win was quite a pleasant surprise. It’s a great feeling to know your peers think you’re deserving of such prestigious recognition. I certainly can’t fill the shoes of the great man for who the latter award is named for, but I relish the opportunity to try.”

Louisiana Assistant Professional of the Year has been awarded to Nick Schiattareggia, PGA, Assistant Professional at Metairie Country Club in Metairie, LA.

Kyle Ramey, PGA, Head Professional at Canebrake Country Club in Hattiesburg, MS, has been awarded the Mississippi Chapter’s Golf Professional of the Year. Kyle remarked, “I’m honored to be named the Mississippi Golf Professional of the Year. There are so many deserving candidates; this is something I will always cherish.”

Representing the Mississippi Chapter in the Assistant Professional of the Year category is this year’s award winner, Joel Grantham, Assistant Professional at Fallen Oak in Saucier, MS.

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 Eddie Welch, Sales Representative for Titleist, as the recipient of the Barbato-Thomas Award. This award 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.

Eddie said, “I am very blessed to have been nominated and selected for the Barbato-Thomas award. I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside the PGA professionals of Louisiana over the past 32 years promoting this great game. It is such an honor to join all the great recipients of this distinguished award!”

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 Tim Yelverton, PGA, a Teaching Pro at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, MS. This marks Tim’s second Gulf States PGA award this year.

“I am truly honored to be recognized as the Gulf States PGA Teacher of the Year and the Mississippi Chapter’s Carpenter-Lindsay Award Recipient. Our section is covered with great instructors that have paved the way to better coaching and instruction, many of whom I owe a great deal of thanks.” Tim goes on to say, “I would especially like to thank Old Waverly Golf Club, the Bryan family, and VJ Trolio for their help and support. Most importantly, I have to thank my rock, Laura Yelverton.”

This year’s honorees will be celebrated in conjunction with the 2020 award winners at the Gulf States PGA Special Awards Ceremony to be held on December 5th at Location: Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, MS.

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

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.