The Southern Texas PGA's Professional of the Year for 2006 is Dale Morgan, just the third head golf professional in the history of Austin Country Club.
It's the second time Morgan has won the STPGA's top honor. He joins George Hannon, Bob Putt, Charlie Epps, Charles Eskridge and Ron Coville as the only two-time winners of the award. The only three-time winner is David Findlay.
"To win that award once is awfully humbling," said Morgan. "To be recognized by your peers twice is so very special . It's something I’ll never forget."
Morgan is only the third head pro Austin Country Club has ever had, following Harvey Penick and Tinsley Penick.
Morgan has served as the STPGA's president for the past two years and as the Section's vice-president and secretary prior to that. He has spent the past 13 years as an STPGA officer or member of the STPGA Board of Directors.
Morgan has received the STPGA's Bill Strausbaugh Award four times (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003) for his work in the club relations arena; he worked on the PGA of America’s national Club Relations Committee in 2001 and 2002. He was named the STPGA's Merchandiser of the Year (Public Facilities) in 1994 while serving as the head golf professional at River Place Country Club in Austin.
Morgan and his fellow 2006 STPGA award winners will be formally presented with their honors during the STPGA's 2007 President's Dinner, to be held Jan. 7 at Austin Country Club.
Neil Wilkins, director of instruction at Sienna Plantation Golf Club in Missouri City, is the STPGA's 2006 Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year. Wilkins, previously honored as the STPGA's 1996 Assistant Professional of the Year and the STPGA Eastern Chapter Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2005, has worked with a number of prominent golfers, including PGA Tour winners Ryan Palmer, Chad Campbell, Jason Bohn, Craig Perks and Keith Fergus.
Jim Baetge, owner and head golf professional at College Station's Lone Star Golf Academy, is the 2006 Southern Texas PGA Junior Golf Leader. The award is presented in recognition of members who dedicate themselves to the support of junior golf and golfers.