Matt announced as 2014 Carolinas PGA Youth Player Development Award Winner

Matt announced as 2014 Carolinas PGA Youth Player Development Award Winner

Carolinas PGA Section Announces 2014 Award Winners and Honors

– PGA Professionals Recognized for Commitments and Contributions to the Game of Golf –

 Browns Summit, N.C. (December 2014) – The Carolinas PGA (CPGA) is thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Section Awards and Honors, distributed annually by the Carolinas PGA Section, as selected by the Special Awards Committee, to the top 10 deserving Carolinas PGA Professionals. The mission of the Carolinas PGA Special Awards Committee is to ascertain the most eligible winners in each of the annually awarded categories, which is accomplished by an enthusiastic commitment from each committee member afforded the responsibility of identifying and recognizing his or her peers as exceptional.

The following Carolinas PGA Professionals display excellence in their profession, assume an ongoing commitment and devotion to progressing the game of golf and to preserving the integrity of the industry:


Golf Professional of the Year: Jeff Nichols (Carmel Country Club – Charlotte, NC)
Jeff Nichols, Director of Golf at Carmel Country Club and 26 year PGA member, receives the highest honor awarded to a PGA Professional for his ongoing accomplishments and ability to grow the game of golf beyond expectation. This honor is awarded to the individual who demonstrates exceptional performance as a Golf Professional at his or her facility, a high level of service to the Section, strong leadership, image, ability to inspire fellow professionals and promote the game of golf. As a PGA Professional, Nichols receives this award for notable achievements, including developing programs that allow for growth in the game among all areas (seniors, ladies, new members, juniors/young professionals), desire to provide a level of service that is mutually inspiring and vital to the success of his facility, and demonstrating a professional work ethic that inspires his team to grow personally and professionally. Nichols also serves on the Carolinas PGA Board of Directors as the At-Large Director for North Carolina.


Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Matt Bova (Haig Point Club – Hilton Head Island, SC)

Matt Bova, Assistant Golf Professional at Haig Point Club, receives the Assistant Professional of the Year Award for demonstrating a high level of excellence at his facility and service to the Section while promoting the game of golf and assuming the image of a Golf Professional. In his current role, Bova directs the instructional program, assists with the tournament program, checks in merchandise and helps with the organizational needs of the golf shop. In addition to these roles, Bova is an avid volunteer with the Hilton Head Island PGA Chapter’s Education Committee and, in the past, provided assistance to Haig Point Club’s involvement in the Deep Well Project.


Bill Strausbaugh Award: Reid Hill (Wilson Country Club – Wilson, NC)

Reid Hill, 29 year PGA Head Golf Professional at Wilson Country Club, receives the Bill Strausbaugh Award for making significant contributions through his ongoing mentoring of PGA Professionals and impacts made to their careers. Hill furthers the values that are representative of the Association and the golf profession through leading by example, mentoring numerous young men who have gone on to become exemplary PGA professionals and setting professional goals throughout his career as a Carolinas Section Member. Hill has also served on the ethics committee, tournament committee, and awards and honors committee and frequently encourages his staff to get involved in Section activities and volunteer opportunities such as the Tee it Forward and Golf 2.0 initiatives at Wilson Country Club.


Horton Smith Award: Paige Cribb (Coastal Carolina University Professional Golf Management Program – Conway, SC)

Paige Cribb receives the Horton Smith Award in her role as Golf Administrator and Director of Student Support for Coastal Carolina University’s Professional Golf Management Program and her outstanding contributions to developing and improving educational opportunities for the PGA Golf Professional. Cribb provides instruction and delivery of the PGA Education courses that directly influence and affect students and also serves as chairman of The Education Committee, The Apprentice Education Committee, and The Junior Golf Exchange (a local non-profit organization designed to provide golf clubs to juniors 14 and under at no cost). In addition to these roles, Cribb was elected Secretary of the Carolinas PGA Section in February 2014.


Youth Player Development Award: Matt Reagan (iGrow Golf – Buies Creek, NC)

Matt Reagan, General Manager and co-creator of iGrow Golf, is recognized as a leader in junior golf who reflects the qualities and ideals of those who work with our nation’s youth, and provides opportunities for juniors to learn and play the sport. Reagan receives this award for improving junior golf in the Carolinas and at a national level with the development of the first long-term junior golf development academy at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek, NC. The program offers a curriculum designed to guide and motivate a junior golfer from the age of six to shooting par or better by the time they graduate high school. Reagan also dedicates his time to teaching golf in PE classes, private coaching, tournament preparation, and summer learning experiences.


Teacher of the Year: Tim Cooke (Golf Learning Center at Sea Pines Resort – Hilton Head Island, SC)

Tim Cooke, Director of Instruction at the Golf Learning Center at Sea Pines Resort, receives the Palmer Maples Teacher of the Year Award for his outstanding service as a golf instructor. Cooke has made an impact on teaching and golf instruction in the Section, in addition to making innovative contributions to golf instruction through the implementation of programs that increase the customer base of the Golf Learning Center. Cooke has also written and produced a series of instructional articles, videos and publications, as well as regularly attending national seminars to support and improve his efforts to grow and maintain interest in the game.

Player Development Award: Jay King (Hendersonville Country Club – Hendersonville, NC)

Jay King, Head Golf Professional at Hendersonville Country Club, receives the Player Development Award for his extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development, including growth of the game leadership commitment at the Section and National levels, plus the impact made on his own facility. King was invited to join the National Player Development Task Force to share Player Development ideas with PGA Professionals at the national level and mentor PGA Professionals within his area and Section. As a member of the Carolinas PGA Board of Directors and Area 1 Director, King also stresses the importance of Youth Player Development and Adult Player Development programs at yearly area meetings, such as those he’s instated at his own facility (Family Golf, Free Beginner Ladies Clinics, PGA Junior Golf League, Tee it Forward Program). King also assumes many years of service with his PGA Section through his involvement in various committees and as a Junior Golf Contributor of the Mountains Chapter.


Merchandisers of the Year (Private, Public, Resort)

This award recognizes PGA Professionals who demonstrate superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf. This honor is awarded in three categories (Private, Public and Resort). PGA members considered are those with outstanding results as far as merchandising techniques, shop operations, philosophies, innovations and performance (profit, margin, turn rate, cost of goods, sales).


Private: Jeff Dotson (The Country Club of North Carolina – Pinehurst, NC)
Jeff Dotson, Director of Golf at The Country Club of North Carolina, carries a broad selection of styles and price points in his boutique shop, and through changing displays and receiving new merchandise regularly, keeps members excited about the game. Since 2011, total shop sales have increased exponentially and are consistent with national trends.


Public: Marc Guertin (The Caledonia Golf & Fish Club – Pawley’s Island, SC)

Marc Guertin, Head Golf Professional at The Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, works to involve all staff in the merchandising operation. Staff members take “ownership” of an area and help drive sales for that area and are heavily involved in the promotion of the game and engaging with guests to continually provide an enjoyable atmosphere for shoppers.


Resort: Bart Romano (True Blue Plantation – Myrtle Beach, SC)

Bart Romano, Head Golf Professional at True Blue Golf Club, introduces new products every season that aren’t typically found in pro shops in an effort to meet diverse client needs. True Blue staff are highly engaged in the selling process and offer a continuation of the overall customer experience. Through this strategy, Romano saw sales increase over 20% in the most recent fiscal term.

Each award winning PGA Professional will be recognized at the 22nd Annual Special Awards and Honors Ceremony onFebruary 22, 2015 at The Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center in Greensboro, NC. For more information, please visit

About Carolinas PGA Section

Established in 1923, the Carolinas PGA Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association has grown to be the largest of the PGA forty-one sections with almost 2,000 professional members. The Carolinas PGA Section embraces North and South Carolina as well as a small portion of southern Virginia, representing Grover Bullin, PGA is Carolinas PGA Section’s 43rd Hall of Fame Inductee more than 800 golf facilities. The Carolinas PGA is dedicated to nurturing and improving the quality of the game for the thousands of golfers using its member facilities. PGA professionals are responsible for conducting a variety of golf-related functions, which include human resource management, golf shop merchandising, golf instruction, tournament operations, junior golf programs, growth of the game initiatives, golf club repair, administering the rules, public relations and much more.  For more information, please visit


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