PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Nov. 12, 2015)
– In front of more than 700 guests at PGA National Resort & Spa Wednesday night, PGA Professionals Tom Henderson and Cameron McCormick led a contingent of 12 PGA members honored during the 2015 PGA National Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the 99th PGA Annual Meeting
in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
“PGA Professionals don’t get into this business to win awards, but when they do, especially these prestigious awards, it speaks to commitment, character and a deep love for the game of golf,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “These honors recognize the impact that the recipients have had on the national level, and in their local communities. In some cases, it is an impact that transcends the entire spectrum of the game.”
Henderson, of Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, became the 62nd recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. The highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, Henderson headed the 2015 PGA National Awards class for “qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service” to the PGA and the game of golf.
Now in his 29th year as PGA Head Professional at Round Hill Club, Henderson continued his pursuit of lifelong learning by becoming the first PGA member to obtain PGA certification in Player Development in 2012. He has held every office in the Metropolitan PGA Section, including President from 2007-‘09. Henderson currently serves on the national Board of Control.
Previously, he was a national Player Development Committee member and co-chair of both the Instruction Committee and the 2013 PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit in Orlando. Henderson is the third member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to win the award, following Ron Letellier of Cold Spring Harbor, New York (1976); and Jim Albus, of Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, New York (1990).
“My father instilled in me to always do the right thing,” said Henderson, who believes in certain qualities that define PGA Professionals. “First and foremost is passion, enthusiasm for and love of the game…If you don’t have that underlying passion, it is hard to get through it.”
McCormick, of Brook Hollow Golf Club, in Dallas, was named the PGA Teacher of the Year Award recipient for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher and coach.” He is a native Australian and the third member of the Northern Texas PGA Section to be so honored. McCormick was recognized for his coaching experience, skillset, service and commitment to golf.
Serving Brook Hollow for 11 years, McCormick is a 2015 GOLF Magazine Top 100 teacher. For the past nine years, he has instructed PGA Tour Professional Jordan Spieth, the winner of this year’s Masters and U.S. Open. In addition, McCormick instructs six of the top 75 ranked junior players, including 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Champion Philip Barbaree. McCormick will begin a new position this year as PGA Director of Instruction at Trinity Forrest Golf Club.
“I have a fond memory of a 12-year-old kid, who looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Cam, I want to win the Masters.’ He said it with such a stare and with a conviction that I believed him,” explained McCormick. “He brought with him to that first (training) session and every one after such a purpose.”
Other recipients of 2015 PGA of America Awards include:
• Youth Player Development Award: Bill Castner, Plainfield West 9 Golf Club, Edison, New Jersey
• Bill Strausbaugh Award: Bill Hughes, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
• Horton Smith Award: Russ Libby, Hidden Hills Country Club, Jacksonville, Florida
• Player Development Award: Tim Krebs, East Potomac Golf Course, Washington, D.C. (now at Butterfield Trail Golf Club, El Paso, Texas)
• Patriot Award: David Windsor, Adaptive Golf Academy, Sarasota, Florida
• Deacon Palmer Award: Brad Clayton, Puzzle Duck Golf, Oxford, North Carolina
• Herb Graffis Award: New Jersey PGA Section
• PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private Facilities: Jason Epstein, The Club at Las Campanas, Santa Fe, New Mexico
• PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public Facilities: Jim Hajek, Fossil Trace Golf Club,
• PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort Facilities: Miles Blundell, Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, New York
For profiles on each of the 2015 PGA of America Awards recipients, click here
The PGA of America also poignantly recognized a special guest, 104-year old Gus Andreone, the Association’s most senior member. A World War II veteran who once served under Gen. George Patton and a 76-year PGA member, Andreone hit his eighth hole-in-one last December (at the age of 103). He is the oldest person ever to do so.