Essig of Indiana heads national award recipients as Professional of the Year

chip essig
The PGA of America
The PGA of America

Series: PGA Feature

Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | 5:22 p.m.

Don "Chip" Essig IV of Indianapolis, who extended a family tradition in Section leadership, administering the Rules of Golf and managing golf facilities, heads the list of 2011 PGA of America national awards as the 58th recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, 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 second father-son combination to receive a PGA of America national award.

Chip Essig will be recognized at The PGA of America Awards, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, during the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center's Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla. The program also will honor 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
. 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

The PGA of America also will present two additional national awards, Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the 95th PGA Annual Meeting at the Hilton Orlando:

. John Hines of Baiting Hollow, N.Y. - Patriot Award
. The Colorado PGA Section - Herb Graffis Award

"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."

2011 PGA National Award Recipients

PGA Golf Professional of the Year

Essig, 46, who achieved PGA Master Professional status in 2004, follows the late Don Padgett I, formerly of Selma, Ind. (1961); and Jack Barber of Indianapolis (2009) as the only Indiana PGA Section members to receive the Association's highest annual honor. Essig and his father follow one previous father-son PGA national award combination. Joe Walser, formerly of Oklahoma City, was the 1970 Horton Smith Award recipient, and his son Jeff Walser, formerly of La Quinta, Calif., won the 1990 President's Plaque.

Born in Indianapolis as the only son of the 1957 U.S. Public Links Champion, Chip Essig's first memory of holding a golf club was at age 8, and grew up playing the game at a course his father owned and operated, the former Hoosier Links in New Palestine, Ind. By the time he graduated from high school, Essig had performed virtually every job at the course. He also served as an unpaid instructor for one of the largest growth of the game instruction programs in the country involving more than 900 students annually.

Essig attended Purdue University, where he graduated in 1987 with a degree in accounting, following the professional path of his grandfather. But golf continued its lure, and Essig declared professional that year and went on to earn PGA membership in 1990, a pathway that he carved by observing the leadership skills of other professionals and following his father's advice, "that PGA Professionals help each other out."

Essig is the co-owner of Essig Golf LLC, a golf course management company that oversees three facilities in the Indianapolis area – Hickory Stick Golf Club, Heartland Crossing Golf Links in Camby, and Pebble Brook Golf Course in Noblesville. The trio of facilities combine for 85,000 rounds per year, servicing more than 1,000 members and employ three PGA Professionals, two PGA teaching professionals and four apprentice professionals.

Essig has been a member of the Indiana PGA Section board of directors since 1998, serving on virtually every leadership committee and from 2006 to 2008 was Section president. Since 2000, he has been a board member of the Indiana Golf Foundation, a member of the USGA Men's Amateur Public Links Committee; and has served since 2001 as a board member of IGA/PGA. In 1996, Essig was asked to host the Indiana State Special Olympics Tournament, and with a limited knowledge of the athletes and their program.

Growth of the game initiatives have been a constant within the family-operated core of public courses. In an effort to attract younger golfers to a course that had primarily senior players, the Essigs began one of the first facilities in Indiana to offer free golf to juniors when accompanied by an adult. The campaign attracted many families who had never before played the course. The Essigs later partnered with a public school and a local charity to benefit inner-city youth. Several of the students in the golf program went on to receive college golf scholarships, and one is today a college head coach.

Essig first read the Rules of Golf at age 12, while accompanying his father on a cross-country PGA of America Rules assignment to the West Coast. By the time the two arrived, Chip had read the whole book and had what I thought was a general knowledge of the Rules. Later in life, the phone would ring at the club asking Don to answer a Rules question. If he wasn't available, Chip provided an answer.

In 1998, Essig was appointed to the PGA Rules Committee by the late PGA Rules legend, Ed Hoard, and his high-profile assignments have included every PGA Championship since 2001, a Senior PGA Championship, the 2009 Masters, three U.S. Senior Opens, two PGA Cups, and four PGA Professional National Championships.

Essig and his wife, Stefanie, live in Westfield, Ind., and are the parents of a daughter, Cameron Nicole, 6, and a son, Travis Ryan, 4.

PGA Teacher of the Year

Malaska, 57, is the PGA director of instruction for the Nicklaus Academies Worldwide and Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Superstition, Ariz. He pioneered a standard physical fitness evaluation for all golfers that evolved into today's model program. A 31-year member of The PGA of America, Malaska is the third member of the Southwest PGA Section to be named recipient of the national PGA Teacher of the Year Award. The award was established in 1986, honoring outstanding teachers of golf among The PGA of America membership.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Malaska was an all-round standout sports performer first in basketball, baseball, swimming and skiing before concentrating on golf his junior year in high school. That interest in golf innocently began as a "business venture" while Malaska was 14 years old, and jumped a fence with his neighborhood friend to search for golf balls at Nibley Park Golf Course. The host PGA Professional, Tom Sorenson, caught the youngsters in the midst of their ball search and in turn for ending the trespassing, offered to give them part-time jobs at the course.

Malaska accepted the offer and went on to attend Weber State University, earning All-American honors in 1974. He graduated in 1976, and turned professional that year, absorbing the golf teaching precepts of such teaching professionals as Don Johnson, Ben Doyle, Joe Nichols, Tag Merritt, John Schlee, Jim Flick and Bob Toski. From the blend of methodology of those respected instructors, Malaska inserted the fitness element that he calls "the athletic personality." That concept, said Malaska, is determining the makeup of the student, from how they move to the small motor skills that they possess. "Then, you can determine what needs to be developed and how to get the most out of their practice time. You also clear up the confusion that they have as to what makes sense to them in their swings and the development of their game." In 1986, Malaska teamed with physiologist Pete Egoscue of San Diego to develop "The Swing Game," in a feature presentation in 1990 at the second PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit. The groundbreaking presentation is now part of most player development programs.

Malaska and his wife, Charlene, live in Mesa, Ariz., and are parents to daughters Jennifer, 27, and Ashley, 21, a senior member of the Brigham Young University women's golf team.

Horton Smith Award

Rogers, 52, a leader within the Philadelphia PGA Section whose work resulted in showcased many of the country's model programs, earned the Horton Smith Award for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education. Rogers is the PGA director of golf at Majestic Ridge Golf Club in Chambersburg, and is a 20-year member of The PGA of America. He is the second member of the Philadelphia PGA Section to be named recipient of the Horton Smith Award, which was established in 1965, and named for the late Past PGA President and inaugural Masters Champion.

Born in Philadelphia, and raised in Hatboro, Pa., Rogers is the son of the late John Rogers Sr., an All-America football player at Temple University and who played briefly for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and later the Ottawa Roughriders of the CFL. Rogers followed his father to football, and was a prep all-star lineman. Rogers attended Millersville (Pa.) University, and suffered a knee injury that curtailed his gridiron career. The injury sparked Rogers to begin pursuing golf, and he developed his game to the point that he turned professional in 1984.

Rogers' professional golf career began that year at the Lancaster Farm Resort under the direction of PGA Professional Howard Kramer. In 1985, Rogers traveled west to Chambersburg Country Club, where he served as first assistant professional under PGA Professional Dan Bashinger until 1987. From 1987 to 1989, Rogers was first assistant professional at the Country Club of York (Pa.) under PGA Professional Van Tanner; and from 1989 to 1992, became the PGA head professional at The Summit Golf Club near Winchester, Va. In 1993, Rogers was named PGA head professional at Majestic Ridge Golf Club in Chambersburg, and became PGA director of golf in 1995.

While Rogers' father distinguished himself in professional football, he later coached football and wrestling at Temple University for many years and operated a football and wrestling clinic for 40 years in southern New Jersey. Rogers' uncle, Joe, was a football All-American and later a coach at Villanova University. Since 1999, Rogers has served as education chairperson for the Philadelphia PGA Section, helping organize, coordinate and establish more than 50 seminars spanning virtually every aspect of the golf industry. Among his projects was helping guide the Victory Golf Show of Philadelphia the past three years, attracting more than 45,000 participants. Rogers has been synonymous with professional education, capturing six Horton Smith Awards in the past eight years. He was the 2003 Chapter Golf Professional of the Year. Among many projects that Rogers is involved is co-authoring an educational manual for the teaching and understanding of the nation's veterans as well as the physically impaired civilian golfer. He has partnered with the Department of Defense, Penn State University and the Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) to develop a Wounded Warrior's Project/Adaptive Golf Certification Program.

Rogers and his wife, Christine, live in Chambersburg, Pa., and are the parents of a son, Kyle, 21; and daughters Taylor, 17 and Molly, 15.

Herb Graffis Award

The Colorado PGA Section, with headquarters in Larkspur, Colo., is comprised of 626 professionals and the recipient of its first Herb Graffis Award, presented annually to a PGA Section for extraordinary or exemplary contributions in player development, whether by conducting or supporting Play Golf America initiatives. It is the fifth-consecutive year that either the Section or one of its members has earned national recognition from The PGA of America. The Herb Graffis Award is named in honor of the late golf historian, author, and founder of golf magazines, the National Golf Foundation and co-founder of the Golf Writers Association of America. Graffis passed away in 1989, at the age of 95. The Section has implemented several innovative growth-of-the-game programs, including its groundbreaking "Golf in Schools" initiative — developed in partnership with the Colorado Golf Association, Colorado Women's Golf Association and Colorado Open Golf Foundation.

The program brought golf instruction from PGA Professionals to more than 40 schools and 7,000 children throughout Colorado. Students were offered three lessons in school; a field trip to a local golf course; and a Family Golf Day at the facility, so parents could see first-hand how much their children enjoyed playing golf, while giving them an opportunity to join in the festivities.

For the second consecutive year, Colorado PGA Professionals teamed up with BirdieBall to bring golf instruction to more than 1,000 juniors over three days at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and YMCA's across Denver. Afterwards, junior golf classes were offered at affordable prices at the YMCA, which enabled parents to allow their children to experience the game in a fun and non-threatening environment.

The Colorado PGA Section also partnered with The PGA of America and the USGA to host a PGA Sports Academy in conjunction with the U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs – the first-ever Academy conducted at a major golf event. The program combined principles of golf with fitness, and provided instruction, along with life lessons in sportsmanship, nutrition and exercise for more than 300 juniors.

The Section often utilizes special events to expand its promotion of the game. For example, leading into the 2010 Senior PGA Championship at Colorado Golf Club, Section members partnered with the Denver Nuggets to produce "PGA Night at the Nuggets." PGA Professionals gave free 10-minute lessons for four-hours prior to tipoff; conducted the halftime show for prizes using BirdieBalls; and utilized the arena to promote both the Championship and PGA Free Lesson Month.

In the weeks leading up to the Championship, more than 30 Section Professionals played in the Colorado PGA's "100 Hole Challenge," raising $80,000 for the March of Dimes and the Colorado PGA Foundation. PGA Professionals shared personal stories on local television, radio and in print of how premature births had affected their families, and why they were playing to raise money for the cause, which further showcased the positive influence golf has on communities.

The Colorado PGA Section was founded in 1957, as the 31st Section of The PGA of America. The Section originally had 30 members. Its territorial boundaries include the entire State of Colorado, along with the Eastern half of Wyoming (excluding Sheridan and Riverton). Since its founding, the Section expanded to include the cities of Spearfish and Rapid City, S.D.

Patriot Award

Hines, 53, was 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, has been named recipient of the 2011 Patriot Award. A 14-year member of The PGA of America, Hines is the first member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to earn the Patriot Award. The PGA head professional at Baiting Hollow Club in Baiting Hollow, N.Y., will be honored Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, 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. 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.

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 lives in Middle Island, N.Y., and has two sons John, 17, and Taylor, 16. Hines has three stepchildren, Kelly, Brandy and Travis.

Bill Strausbaugh Award

Dolan, 50, who lives in Poolesville, Md., expanded the service tradition to both members and aspiring PGA Professionals of one of the game's legendary mentors, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Bill Strausbaugh Award. Dolan, who was the 2000 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award recipient, is the third PGA head professional in the history of Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., and the third Middle Atlantic PGA member to be named recipient of the national Bill Strausbaugh Award. The award was established in 1979, and named for the late Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who left an indelible mark in PGA of America history, excelling in both leadership and service to a PGA Section and the Association.

Born in New York City, Dolan attended American University in Washington, D.C., and turned professional in 1984. He met Strausbaugh during a junior golf event in the early 1980s, and quickly learned why he carried the nickname "Coach" – the product of a natural talent to guide and befriend all he met on the practice range or in the golf shop. Strausbaugh succeeded PGA Golf Professional Hall of Famer Fred McLeod as Columbia Country Club head professional in 1976, and served through 1994. Strausbaugh died in 1999.

Dolan was elected to PGA membership in 1987 and was named head professional that year at Hidden Valley Resort in Somerset, Pa. In 1992, he took a similar position at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Md. In January 1995, Dolan succeeded Strausbaugh as PGA head professional at Columbia Country Club.

True to the spirit of Strausbaugh's work, Dolan's current and former staff have gone on to capture Section honors that include two Assistant Professionals of the Year awards; the Golf Professional of the Year, the Horton Smith Award and two Section Women's Player of the Year awards. He also has coached numerous state and Metropolitan amateur champions, one member of the USGA Curtis Cup Team and 2010 Junior PGA Champion Denny McCarthy. Dolan's sister, Clare, captured the 1984 Junior PGA Championship.

Since 1992, Dolan has served as advisory board member and instructor on Paul Berry's "Neediest Kids' Get Hooked on Golf" Inner-City Golf Program for the District of Columbia Public School District. He also has been a member of the District of Columbia First Tee Program since 1999; and since 1994 has been a board member of the Bill Strausbaugh/Fred McLeod Caddie Scholarship Program.

Dolan's Middle Atlantic PGA Section honors include the 1996 President's Award; the 1997 Section Golf Professional of the Year; the 1998 Section Junior Golf Leader; the 1999, 2010 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award; the 2004 Section Horton Smith Award and the 2011 Section Merchandiser of the Year Award. In 2001, the Maryland House of Representatives presented an official citation to him for devotion to and leadership of several inner-city youth golf programs. Since 2003, he has served on the TaylorMade adidas Presidential Advisory Board.

Dolan and his wife, Dawn, live in Poolesville, Md., and are the parents of a son, Bobby, 23, and a daughter, Shannon, 21.

President's Plaque

Bain, the PGA head professional at Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course in Brookline, Mass., who has dedicated his career to innovative programs throughout the New England PGA Section that include reconnecting golfers who may have stepped away from the game, is the recipient of the 2011 President's Plaque. Bain, 39, is a 12-year member of The PGA of America and is the first member of the New England PGA Section to be named recipient of the President's Plaque, which was established in 1982, and in 2006 became a special award that supports Play Golf America initiatives. Born in Boston, Bain attended Bryant University in North Smithfield, Mass., and competed on the golf team before graduating in 1995 and turning professional that year. A hockey player throughout his youth, Bain was introduced to golf at age 16 by his uncle, who purchased tickets for them to attend the 1988 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. He found a job in the bag room at Walpole (Mass.) Country Club and through his work and observing players there, began to take up the game. Since 2005, Bain has led five free golf clinics in the spring and five in the fall for 10 students in a Brookline After School Program. That program is but one of a variety of golf instruction initiatives to serve Brookline area youth. The past two years, Bain has served on the national PGA Junior Golf Committee, a period also where he has been chair of the New England PGA Section Growth of the Game Committee.

This year, Bain created a partnership between the New England PGA and the Boston Health and Fitness Expo, where Section Professionals last June provided hundreds of free lessons to patrons. Since 2007, Bain has conducted clinics for Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA) members and incorporated Link Up 2 Golf and Get Golf Ready Classes.

Bain is a three-time (2006, '09, '10) New England PGA President's Plaque award recipient; the 2008 Section Junior Golf Leader; and the 2010 Southern Massachusetts Chapter Golf Professional of the Year. From 2004 through 2007, Bain was selected by U.S. Kids Golf as one of the Top 50 Kids Teachers in America. Among the many growth of the game efforts, Bain initiated or supported, include instructing veterans free clinics at the West Roxbury VA Hospital once a week during the past two seasons. He also has assisted in the creation of the Northeast Accessible Golf Association promotional video.

Bain lives in Walpole, Mass., and is the father of a daughter, Abigail, 8.

PGA Junior Golf Leader

Grayson, 57, whose dedication to the next generation of golfers has left an indelible mark upon a generation of youth within the Midwest PGA Section and his local community, is the recipient of the 2011 PGA Junior Golf Leader Award. Grayson is the PGA teaching professional at the Connie Morris Golf Learning Center at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Mo. A 28-year member of The PGA of America, Grayson is the first member of the Midwest PGA Section to be named recipient of the national PGA Junior Golf Leader Award. The award was established in 1988, recognizing the PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. Born in Vinita, Okla., and raised in Pryor, Okla., Grayson is a 1976 graduate of Park University in Kansas City, Mo. He declared professional that year, and spent the next four seasons under veteran PGA Professional Dorl Sweet at Grandview Golf Course in Springfield. During that period, Grayson joined Sweet to promote junior golf classes at Grandview. From 1980 to 1988, Grayson served as PGA head professional at Tri-Way Golf Club in Republic, Mo., before returning to Grandview to serve as PGA teaching professional at the Bill & Payne Stewart Golf Course. During the inception of the Clubs for Kids Program in the 1980s, Grayson assisted legend Tom Watson in presenting the program to Kansas City area youth.

In 2000, Grayson arrived at Rivercut Golf Course and its Connie Morris Golf Learning Center, becoming the PGA teaching professional. His commitment to serving juniors, according to the Midwest PGA Section, has earned him the recognition as the "junior golf professional" in his Section, and the junior golf chair for The PGA of America's District 6 region. Grayson launched a High School Golf Coaches' Clinic in 1997 that continues today, and guided the formation of the Heart of the Ozarks Junior Golf Foundation, currently serving as its president. The Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million exclusively for local junior golfers; funded an annual scholarship program that awards $2,500 each to a Payne Stewart Boy and Girl Golfer of the Years; and funded a four-hole course to allow local juniors, including those with disabilities, may play at no charge. Grayson's teaching talents drew such talented adult students as actor Lucas Black of Columbia, Mo., one of the finest Hollywood golfers, whose golf skills are on display in the September nationwide release of "Seven Days in Utopia." In 2008, Grayson began a campaign to bring SNAG Golf to all elementary schools in the Springfield school district and he currently serves on its national advisory board. Today, the SNAG Golf Elementary Program touches more than 9,000 youth in the greater Springfield area. The 2005 Midwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year, Grayson was the 1991, '98, 2000, '02 and '05 Section PGA Teacher of the Year; captured the past four Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Awards since 2008; and was recipient of the 1986, '87, and '88 Section Bill Strausbaugh Awards for his inspirational work in mentoring other professionals.

A member of the Ozarks Golf Hall of Fame, and currently its president, Grayson has been listed since 1996 by GOLF Magazine among its Top 100 Golf Instructors in America. "I feel that the promotion of the game is an inspiration in itself," said Grayson.

Grayson and his wife, Lindy, live in Nixa, Mo. He has a stepdaughter, Natalie Clark and two grandsons, Cooper and Collin.

PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private

Kiddie, PGA head professional at Aronimink Golf Club, in Newtown Square, Pa., has been named the recipient of the 2011 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Private Facilities. Kiddie, 40, who was elected to PGA of America membership in 1999, is the third Philadelphia Section PGA Professional to be named a recipient of the PGA Merchandiser of the Year since the award was established in 1978, to recognize PGA Professionals who excelled as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf. Kiddie follows in the footsteps of his mentor, PGA Head Professional Jim Mrva, of Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, N.Y., who was the 2010 PGA Golf Professional of the Year.

Aronimink Golf Club is a private club that dates back to 1896. It is a traditional, northeastern club, and its Donald Ross-designed course consistently ranks in many of the Top 100 industry rankings. Aronimink has hosted several major events including: the 1962 PGA Championship, 2003 Senior PGA Championship, 2010-'11 AT&T National Championship to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation, 1977 U.S. Amateur and 1997 Junior Amateur. Since Kiddie began managing Aronimink's golf shop operations in 2008, sales have increased an impressive 39 percent in the face of strong economic headwinds. The shop is known for its seasonal accents and creative props throughout its displays. To cater to the changing time preferences of the Club's membership, Kiddie recently began hosting Demo Days on Friday afternoons and evenings to accommodate, resulting in a large turnout and strong sales. Similarly, he set up a special one-day, "boutique shop" in the clubhouse to promote a new line of women apparel, resulting in the sales of nearly 40 pieces of high-end clothing. Kiddie grew up around the game, as his father, Dave Kiddie, was an assistant professional and a golf sales representative in Rochester, N.Y., who once worked for the legendary Ernie Sabayrac. As a result, Jeffrey Kiddie knew he wanted to work in golf at a very young age. He started out as a PGA assistant professional at Locust Hill Country Club, in Pittsford, N.Y., and also worked seasonally from 1995-'98 at Collier's Reserve Country Club, in Naples, Fla. In 1997, he became first assistant PGA Professional at Monroe Golf Club, and eventually at Pine Valley (N.J.) Golf Club. From 2001-'08, he served as PGA head professional/general manager at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa., before becoming PGA head professional at Aronimink in 2008. Along the way, he has trained under the guidance of two national award winners—Mrva and Charles Raudenbush, the 1993 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, while at Pine Valley.

A native of Victor, N.Y., Kiddie is a graduate of Gannon University in Erie, Pa., with a degree in recreational management. He and his wife, Tricia, reside in West Chester, Pa., and are the parents of Andrew, 10; Benjamin, 8; and Gabrielle, 6.

PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public

Roll, the owner of Carlsbad Golf Center (Calif.) and a dual PGA and LPGA Professional, has been named the recipient of the 2011 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Public Facilities. Roll, 44, who was elected to PGA of America membership in 1993, is the sixth Southern California PGA Professional to be named a recipient of the PGA Merchandiser of the Year since the award was established in 1978 to recognize PGA Professionals who excelled as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf. Roll, who will also be honored this December as the Southern California PGA Golf Professional of the Year, acquired the Carlsbad Golf Center eight years ago. She quickly turned around what was once a struggling business into a thriving golf shop ranked among the most innovative in the country.

Roll's magic for merchandise buying and marketing worked quickly, as the stand-alone golf shop, complete with a driving range and a vibrant club fitting business, has become a multi-million dollar juggernaut. Roll, who has ownership in four other businesses in the area, started her career as a PGA apprentice professional at Laramie (Wyo.) Country Club, in 1989. A year later, she moved on to first assistant professional at Rolling Hills Country Club in Golden, Colo., before becoming PGA head professional at Old West Driving Range in Morrison, Colo., in 1994, while simultaneously serving as vice president of Lange Golf, Inc., in Golden. She also held two positions at the end of the millennium, as a registered representative for SunAmerica Securities and manager of women's golf for Cobra Golf, in Carlsbad, Calf. By 2000, she became the West Coast equipment manager for Golf Digest Companies in Del Mar, Calif.

In 2003, Roll acquired Carlsbad Golf Center, which is now known for its fun promotions and community partnerships. The center features such events demo days; blood drives; food drives; electronics recycling; and an innovative "shirt off your back" charity clothing drive, where customers donate an old shirt in exchange for a discount off another one, as a reward for their spirit and goodwill.

Among Roll's many other accolades are being named the 2005 LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals National Professional of the Year, three-time PGA Southern California Section Merchandiser of the Year (2004, '08, '10); 2010 PGA San Diego Chapter Professional of the Year; and a two-time PGA San Diego Chapter Merchandiser of the Year (2003, '09). The Carlsbad Golf Center has been ranked as a "100 Best Golf Shop" by Golf World since 2007; a "Top 100 Golf Range in America" by Golf Range Magazine since 2004; and is listed on the inaugural 2011 list of "America's 100 Best Club Fitters," as ranked by Golf Digest.

Born in Rapid City S.D., Roll is also a native of Chadron, Neb.

PGA Merchandiser of the Year - Resort

Herrick, the PGA head professional at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., has been named the recipient of the 2011 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Resort Facilities. Herrick, 51, who was elected to PGA of America membership in 1987, is the fourth Tri-State PGA Professional to be named a recipient of the PGA Merchandiser of the Year since the award was established in 1978, to recognize PGA Professionals who excelled as businesspersons/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.

The home club to the legendary Sam Snead and a National Historic Landmark, The Greenbrier represents 230 years of history with its classic architecture, exquisite interior design, carefully sculpted landscape, impeccable service and outstanding amenities. The renowned property, established in 1778, offers 710 rooms, 10 lobbies, more than 40 meeting rooms and a complete conference center. Meanwhile, guests can enjoy more than 50 recreational activities, including three championship golf courses, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a 40,000-square-foot spa, and a wide variety of other amenities. The 1,400-square-foot golf shop—which is recognized for its extraordinary customer service and top-quality logoed line of apparel—is a regular favorite among the Top 100 Golf Shops lists for Golf Digest and Golf World, and caters to more than 250,000 customers annually, including The Greenbrier Classic, a PGA Tour event.

Each year, The Greenbrier's PGA Golf Professional Emeritus Tom Watson hosts his Fall Classic at the facility, while the annual Sam Snead Festival is celebrated each spring. The sheer beauty and charm of the resort has attracted several U.S. Presidents to visit its grounds dating all the way back to James Monroe.

The Greenbrier was purchased in 2009, by Jim Justice, who brought back the traditional elegance and values that The Greenbrier is known for worldwide. The facility is an Americana throwback to the days of a family-run business, where many employees have simply followed in their parents' footsteps. As part of the fabric, Justice and Herrick stress to their staff the importance of knowing how to "wow" their customers each day.

A 1981 graduate of Michigan State University, Herrick was a four-year letterman on the golf team. He first trained under the guidance of 1958 PGA Champion Dow Finsterwald at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colo., from 1982-83. During this time, he was also mentored by PGA Professional Jay Overton while at Innisbrook Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Herrick first joined The Greenbrier in 1984, as a PGA assistant professional, where he regularly interacted with Snead, Watson and two-time USGA President Bill Campbell, one of the greatest amateur golfers to play the game. In 1991, Herrick was named PGA head professional at The Greenbrier. Since then, 15 of his PGA assistant professionals have advanced to PGA head professional positions.

About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: 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 a multi-billion dollar golf industry.

By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, 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. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.