ORLANDO, Fla. -- John Hines of Middle Island, N.Y., born into a family of military veterans and inspired by the message of Patriot Golf Day, that ignited a passion to build a model local fundraising campaign, was presented today with the 2011 Patriot Award.
Hines, 53, a 14-year member of The PGA of America, is the first member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to receive the Patriot Award. The PGA head professional at Baiting Hollow Club in Baiting Hollow, N.Y., Hines was honored at the 95th PGA Annual Meeting at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Fla.
Originated in 2008, the Patriot Award is presented by The PGA of America to PGA Professionals who personify patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrate unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.
The PGA Annual Meeting also honored the Colorado PGA Section, recipient of the Herb Graffis Award for exemplary achievement in player development.
The balance of The PGA of America Awards will be presented Thursday, Jan. 26, during the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center's Chapin Theater in Orlando. The program also will honor the following recipients:
- Don "Chip" Essig IV of Indianapolis - PGA Golf Professional of the Year
- Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii - PGA First Lady of Golf
- 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 Springfield, 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 - Jeffrey Kiddie of Newtown Square, Pa. - Private Facilities; Susan Roll of Carlsbad, Calif. - Public Facilities; Hill Herrick of White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. - Resort Facilities.
"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."
Born in Queens, N.Y., and raised in Port Jefferson, N.Y., Hines attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., and turned professional in 1979. He began his golf career that year by taking an assistant professional position at Harbor Hills Country Club in Port Jefferson. From 1981-1982, he served as first assistant professional at Colonie Hill Golf Club in Islip, N.Y., and competed from 1981 to 1989 on the Space Coast Tour in Florida. Hines served as a PGA assistant professional at Crab Meadow Golf Club in Huntington, N.Y., from 1988 to 1989.
He would spend a five-year period in private business, and returned to the golf industry in 1994 at the former Fox Hill Golf Club, now Baiting Hollow Club. In 1997, he earned PGA membership and was named PGA director of golf at Baiting Hollow Club. Over the past 11 years, Hines has battled from the effects of chronic rheumatoid arthritis, which sidelined him from an active competitive career.
Hines served on the national PGA Education Committee; and since 2010 has been a member of the PGA Disabled Golfers Committee. He was the recipient of the Metropolitan PGA Horton Smith Award in 2008, and the 2010 Section Patriot Award. He is the son of a retired Marine; has a son-in-law who is a retired member of the U.S. Army who served three tours in Iraq; a nephew who served two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf and has two uncles in the Marine Corps, one who served on the Color Guard in Washington, D.C.
"I was accepting a Horton Smith Award at our Metropolitan PGA Meeting, the same day that Major Dan Rooney's video address was played," said Hines of that 2008 meeting. "When he gave his speech about the origin of Patriot Golf Day, I was sitting with my two sons in the audience. It lit a nerve. With my family having so many veterans, it was something that touched me deeply. Our family service record goes back to World War I, and I had three uncles, and my dad, who served in World War II. We have had someone from the family serving in every conflict since World War I."
For Hines, there was no hesitancy to deliver his passion to his club members at Baiting Hollow Club and to the Metropolitan PGA Section Board of Directors. In 2009, the Section raised nearly $125,000, the largest increase in Patriot Golf Day contributions and largest per capita total that year. In 2010, the total funds raised reached nearly $170,000.
Baiting Hollow Club raised $20,000 in 2009, and boosted the fundraising efforts to a $35,000 total a year later. That year's Patriot Golf Day event featured 40 veterans, with 40 playing golf in the event, including honoring veterans from World War II through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the veterans arrived in a Blackhawk helicopter, two Humvees, and two armored personnel carriers. Hines partnered with Brig. Gen. Raymond Doyle, and together they inspired a four-member scramble event, where Baiting Hollow Club members played with a veteran at an entry fee of $125.
Hines encouraged the Metropolitan PGA to host Rooney, along with a family representative that had lost a spouse in service, and whose children received Folds of Honor scholarships.
"My belief is that we need to make sure that we touch everyone we can," said Hines. "Without those who sacrificed so much, where would we be? The least that we can do is to make sure we reach out our hand to help those they have left behind."
The future for supporting our veterans through golf, Hines said, is just beginning. "We can all do more, and develop a national tournament to take care of them."
Hines lives in Middle Island, N.Y., and has two sons John and Taylor. Hines has three stepchildren, Kelly, Brandy and Travis.
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.