Hometown Milwaukee-area resident Rob Elliott, PGA, was among four PGA Members elected to three-year terms on the PGA of America Board of Directors today during the 105th PGA Annual Meeting at the Wisconsin Center. Joining Elliott as new Board Members are Eric Eshleman, PGA of Birmingham, Alabama; Derek Gutierrez, PGA, of Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico; and Barry Howard, PGA of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
In addition, the Board renewed the term of Andrea Smith as an Independent Director through 2024. Smith is the Chief Administrative Officer of Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has served as an Independent Director on the PGA Board of Directors since 2018.The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association’s President, Vice President, Secretary and 19 Directors. The Directors include representatives from each of the PGA’s 14 Districts, an At-Large Director, three Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.
“The PGA of America is led by some of the world’s most talented PGA Members, who are elected by their peers and volunteer their time to serve on the PGA Board of Directors,” said PGA President Jim Richerson. “It is an honor to serve alongside these highly respected leaders, whose knowledge, insight and expertise will help direct and guide our Association as we elevate the standards of our profession and the game of golf.”
Eric Eshleman, PGA - Country Club of Birmingham - Birmingham, Alabama
Alabama-NW Florida, Gulf States and Tennessee PGA Sections
Rob Elliott, PGA - Rob Elliott Golf Academy - Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin PGA Sections
Barry Howard, PGA - Hot Springs Country Club - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Gateway, Midwest and South Central PGA Sections
Derek Gutierrez, PGA - Santa Ana Golf Club - Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico
Northern Texas, Southern Texas and Sun Country PGA Sections
Andrea Smith - Bank of America - Charlotte, North Carolina
(3-year term renewed)
New PGA of America Board Members
District 3 Director Eric Eshleman, PGA, Director of Golf at the Country Club of Birmingham in Alabama, received the national 2019 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award, the highest annual honor given to a PGA Professional. He has held numerous leadership roles, including serving a two-year term as President and then Honorary President for the Alabama-NW PGA Section. Eshleman is also a member of the PGA Adjunct Faculty, teaching golf to beginners, and assisting students and staff in developing their skills and shaping their career paths. In addition, he is Co-Chair of the National Junior Golf Committee. Well known as a teaching professional for students such as Graeme McDowell, Patton Kizzire, Paul Dunne and the 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Eshleman was honored by the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section on several occasions. He received the Section’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award in 2010 and 2017, the Teacher of the Year Award in 2000 and 2004, the 2011 PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award and 2014 Youth Player Development Award. Eshelman will represent the Alabama-NW Florida, Gulf States and Tennessee PGA Sections.
District 6 Director Rob Elliott, PGA, Founder and Teacher of the Rob Elliott Golf Academy in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, began working in the golf industry as a sales professional before pursuing his dream of becoming a PGA Professional and earning PGA Membership in 1993. He served as a Teaching Professional at Missing Links Golf Course & Driving Range and Assistant PGA Professional at Dretzka Park (a Milwaukee County Course) before moving to Oconomowoc Golf Club, where he eventually ascended to PGA Head Golf Professional. In 2017, he created the Rob Elliott Golf Academy, offering year-round lessons at his indoor studio. Elliott has been an active member of the Wisconsin PGA Section for 25 years while serving as chair of five committees. His passion for governance and volunteerism led him to serve as a Section Officer, including as Section President from 2013-2015. In 2020, Elliott was honored by the Section with the Player Development Award for his contributions toward professional education. Elliott will represent the Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin PGA Sections.
District 7 Director Barry Howard, PGA, General Manager and Director of Golf at Hot Springs Country Club in Arkansas, has been a PGA Professional since 1992. He served in many capacities at the Chapter and Section level including as South Central Section President from 2018-2020. Currently, Howard serves on the Arkansas State Golf Association Board of Directors, where he is Secretary and Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee. Howard has been recognized by his peers for many accomplishments in the South Central PGA Section, including the Section’s Golf Professional of the Year (2018), the Bill Strausbaugh Award (2013) and six times as Resort Merchandiser of the Year (1999, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2015). He also is an accomplished player, capturing the South Central Section Senior Match Play Championship in 2018. Howard will represent the Gateway, Midwest and South Central PGA Sections
District 12 Director Derek Gutierrez, PGA, General Manager and PGA Director of Golf with Santa Ana Golf Club Inc., has served Santa Ana Golf Club Inc. for more than 25 years. He oversees all operations for the largest golf complex in both New Mexico and the Sun Country PGA Section, including Santa Ana Golf Club (27 hole daily-fee), Twin Warriors Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa (18 hole resort), Wind Dancer Bar & Grill (casual dining) and Prairie Star Restaurant & Wine Bar (casual fine dining). The golf facilities have hosted championships for the PGA of America, including the PGA Professional Championship in 2003 and 2009. The picturesque facility will serve as host of both the 2022 Women’s PGA Cup and 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship. In addition, the resort has hosted several events for the USGA and PGA Tour. In 2014, Gutierrez was named Sun Country PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year. He has also been awarded the Section’s Bill Strausbaugh Award twice (2014 and 2019), as well as the Section’s Merchandiser of the Year-Resorts Award in 2009. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Sun Country PGA Section, including two-year terms as President, Vice President, Secretary and Honorary President. Currently, Gutierrez serves as Vice President of the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. He has also Chaired and served as a Member of the PGA of America’s National Committee for Diversity & Inclusion. Gutierrez will represent the Northern Texas, Southern Texas and Sun Country PGA Sections.