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Essig Receives Top Honor

January 30th, 2012

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Don “Chip” Essig IV of Indianapolis, who extended a family tradition in Section leadership, administering the Rules of Golf and managing golf facilities, headlined the 2011 PGA of America national award recipients who were honored Thursday, Jan. 26, during the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla. The PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award is the highest annual honor bestowed by The PGA of America on a PGA Professional.

Essig, a 21-year member of The PGA of America, is the PGA director of golf and owner of Hickory Stick Golf Club in Greenwood, and is the third member of the Indiana PGA Section to be so honored. He follows his father, PGA Golf Professional Hall of Famer Don Essig III – a 1984 Horton Smith Award recipient – as the third father-son combination to receive a PGA of America national award.

The program also honored the following recipients:
• Mike Malaska of Gold Canyon, Ariz. – PGA Teacher of the Year
• John Rogers of Chambersburg, Pa. – Horton Smith Award
• Robert “Bob” Dolan Jr. of Chevy Chase, Md. – Bill Strausbaugh Award
• Rick Grayson of Nixa, Mo. – PGA Junior Golf Leader
• Brian Bain of Brookline, Mass. – President’s Plaque
• David Hutsell of Baltimore, Md. – PGA Professional Player of the Year
• Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga. – Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year
• PGA Merchandisers of the Year
 – Private Facilities, Jeff Kiddie of Newtown Square, Pa.
 – Public Facilities, Susan Roll of Carlsbad, Calif.
 – Resort Facilities, Hill Herrick of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

“Our 2011 national award winners reflect the best values and qualities of our Association,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “By their career work, our recipients have left an impact among their Section peers, their respective communities and influenced others throughout the country. They are inspiring to juniors as well as aspiring professionals, which is a tradition in our profession. We are very proud to declare that PGA Professionals are the experts in the game and the business of golf.”

About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.