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Ballinger Selected For Golf Award

Nov. 9, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Richard Ballinger

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 2012 Horton Smith Award.

This is the second time for Ballinger to receive the award. He was also selected for the honor in 2008. He will be recognized and receive the award at the Southern Texas PGA Annual Meeting and President’s Dinner in February.

“I am very thankful and honored to be recognized with the 2012 Southern Texas PGA Horton Smith Award,” Ballinger said. “I take a great deal of pride in the SHSU PGA Golf Management program and the things that we have been able to accomplish.

“It is a pleasure to work at Sam Houston State University where I am able to pursue my passions for the golf industry, education and helping young people,” he said. “I share this award and recognition with our graduates, students and all of the fine people that I work with and for at this great university.”

The Horton Smith Award recognizes outstanding and continuing contributions to the national and section education programs and to building the image of the PGA golf professional and the PGA of America.

Ballinger has served on two PGA of America national committees and on the Southern Texas PGA Golf 2.0 Committee, has been a subject matter expert for PGA of America in business planning, and is a member of the PGA’s accreditation and evaluation team for university programs.

He is the current president of the PGA Golf Management Educators Association, which comprises the 20 PGA golf management degree programs in the United States.
Under his direction, the SHSU PGA Golf Management program has been recognized for its success, including a 100 percent job placement for majors after graduation.

Ballinger is a PGA Master Professional, one of only 13 in the state of Texas and less than 300 in the United States. He has served as the SHSU program’s director since its inception in 2005 and oversaw its accreditation by the PGA of America.

“Rich Ballinger is the consummate professional,” said College of Business Administration Dean Mitchell Muehsam. “His commitment and dedication to our students and the PGA Golf Management program has had a profound impact on SHSU’s ability to offer a program of the highest quality. Rich’s efforts will have a lasting impact on the lives of our students as well as help SHSU have a positive impact on Texas’s golfing industry.”

Founded in 1916, the PGA of America is the largest working sports organization in the world, with more than 27,000 members whose mission is to promote the game of golf.


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