Richard Ballinger, the director of the PGA Golf Management program at Sam Houston State University, has been selected by the Southern Texas Section of the PGA of America as the recipient of the 2008 Horton Smith Award.
The Horton Smith Award recognizes the PGA professionals in each of the 41 sections across America who are role models for current and future PGA professionals and exemplify leadership qualities, strong moral character and service to the PGA professionals through education both at the section and national level.
“We all take pride in this wonderful recognition of Rich’s hard work and dedication to our PGA Golf Management program at Sam Houston State,” said SHSU President Jim Gaertner.
“His award brings additional prestige to our fine program,” Gaertner said.
“It’s a great honor, and I feel that this recognition is due in large part to the support I receive from the university administration, my staff, as well as all of the PGA Golf Management students,” Ballinger said. “I share this recognition with everyone associated with the best PGA Golf Management program in the country.”
In addition to serving as the director of the program at SHSU, Ballinger has been appointed by the president of the PGA of America to serve on the National Apprentice Task Force, whose initiative is to examine the revision of the PGA of America’s apprentice program.
He was also appointed to serve on the national PGA/PGM Task Force to update the curriculum and delivery of the PGA’s educational program.
He also serves on a committee of university PGA/PGM directors who are analyzing educational materials, and he has recently been appointed as one of three program directors in the United States who will review proposals for PGA/PGM universities and evaluate existing programs.
Ballinger said he strives to be a good example for the students in SHSU’s program.
“I feel very strongly about providing them with a good role model and to help them understand about the professionalism associated with being a PGA professional,” he said.
“I also feel that the educational contributions I make will help them be more knowledgeable as a professional and ultimately more respectable,” he said.
Founded in 1916, the PGA of America is the largest working sports organization in the world, comprised of more than 28,000 dedicated men and women promoting the game of golf.
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