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11th Annual Georgia PGA Awards Banquet

The Georgia PGA honored their 2017 Special Award recipients at the Eleventh Annual Special Awards & Weir Scholarship Banquet on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Sun Trust Park.

The Georgia PGA is one of the 41 Sections of the PGA of America. Its membership includes over 870 PGA professionals working at over 260 golf courses, clubs, and ranges throughout the state. Additionally, more than 20 Georgia PGA members compete on one of the PGA Tours. In keeping with the fundamental objectives laid down by its founders, one of the Georgia PGA's primary goals is promoting the game of golf through clinics, junior and minority golf programs, consumer programs, and print, radio and television media.

Professional of the Year – Brian Albertson, PGA – Coosa Country Club, Rome, GA The Golf Professional of the Year Award is determined annually by the Georgia PGA to honor the working club professional whose total contributions to the game best exemplify the complete PGA golf professional. While the honor is based on the candidate's entire record, special emphasis is placed on performance in areas such as service to the section and the Association, leadership ability, and the promotion of golf.

Teacher of the YearRay Cutright, PGA – Idle Hour Club, Macon, GA This award was inaugurated in 1986 to honor outstanding teachers of golf among the ranks of the PGA of America membership. The award is based on the professional's overall performance in teaching; innovative and special teaching programs the professional has played a key role in implementing; and articles written in books and magazines. 

Horton Smith AwardBrandon Stooksbury, PGA – Idle Hour Club, Macon, GA - The Horton Smith Award is an award designed to give special recognition to an individual golf professional for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.

Bill Strausbaugh Award – John Wade, PGA – Sea Island Golf Club, Saint Simons Island GA - This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional who has shown outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring his fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations, and involvement in community and charitable activities.

Youth Player Development Award – Chris Knobloch, PGA – Braelinn Golf Club, Peachtree City, GA - Started in 1988, and the Youth Player Development Award recognizes the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. Work by this PGA professional includes the promotion and development of junior golf at the club level, and support for national junior golf programs.

Player Development Award – Paul Johnson, PGA – Mary Calder Golf Course, Savannah, GA - This award is presented to the PGA Professional that has made extraordinary contributions and achievements in conducting and/or supporting Play Golf America initiatives. The award also considers the member's service to the Association, and involvement in community and charitable activities. 

Patriot Award – Kevin Aines, PGA – Lake Arrowhead Yacht & CC, Waleska GA - This award is presented to the 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.

Assistant Professional of the Year – Cory Cooper, PGA – Capital City Club, Atlanta, GA - The Assistant Professional of the Year Award is based on the criteria outlined for Professional of the Year: overall performance at his/ her club; service to the section and the Association, and leadership ability. 

Merchandisers of the Year - In 1978, The PGA of America and Sports Illustrated established the Merchandiser of the Year Award to recognize those PGA professionals who have excelled as businessmen/ merchandisers in the promotion of golf. The Georgia PGA honors professionals in three categories: public, private, and resort.

Public Category – Steve Rudd, PGA, City Club Marietta, Marietta, GA

Private Category – Ryan Joyce, PGA, Hawk’s Ridge Golf Club, Ball Ground, GA

Resort Category – Brian Conley, PGA, Legacy on Lanier Golf, Buford, GA

These individuals have demonstrated skill in the planning and promotion of sales by presenting products to his/ her market on a timely basis, and through the use of specialized merchandising techniques such as display, advertising, etc.

Salesman of the Year – Robert Dugger, PGA, E-Z-GO/Textron Golf, Augusta, GA
In recognition of your dedicated, generous and tireless support of the Georgia PGA.  This award honors the golf salesperson in the Georgia Section for his/her outstanding service and dedication to the members and apprentices of the Georgia PGA.