Dixie PGA honors golfers

Shoal Creek Golf Club’s Eric Williamson was named the 2008 Merchandisers of the Year for Private Clubs by the Dixie Section of the PGA on Wednesday.

The award recognizes PGA members who have demonstrated superior skills as merchandiser in the promotion of golf. Credit rating, community involvement, staffing, inventory, displays and merchandising technique are some of the criteria considered for the award.

Farmlinks Golf Course’s Jonathan Trawick received the honor for public courses and the resort award went to Chip Purser of the Robert Trent Jones Trail at Ross Bridge.

The Dixie PGA, bases at Ballantrae Golf Course in Pelham, also named Mobile golfer Lawrence Auer the Professional of the Year. Mark Blackburn of Gunters Landing Club was named the Teacher of the Year and the Horton Smith Award went to Kim Evans, who is the Auburn University women’s golf coach.

Twin Lakes Golf Course owner and head golf professional Gene Diamond received the Bill Strausbaugh Award, and the PGA President’s Plaque went to Duke Ankiewicz of the Spring Hill College Golf Course.

Other award recipients were Paul Johnson of Daphne for Junior Golf Leader, Jeff Jordan of Country Club of Birmingham as Player of the Year, Pope Spuell of Indian Hills as Apprentice Player of the Year and Fred Holton of Arrowhead as Senior Player of the Year.