The Tennessee PGA Annual Meeting held each year presents awards to the most influential PGA Professionals and industry leaders in the Section. The Horton Smith Award recognizes individuals for their outstanding and continuing contributions in developing and improving education opportunities for their fellow PGA Professionals. The recipient of the award must contribute to the Section and National PGA education programs, contribute and assist toward the development of articles which benefit and relate to education, and the recipient must build the image of the PGA Golf Professional and Association. The Tennessee Section winner is Joe Hallett, PGA, this nominated him for the national award. From the 41 Section nominees Joe was selected as the recipient for this year’s National Horton Smith Award.
Joe was introduced to the game by his father but didn’t have an interest until his family moved to the 4th hole of the Biltmore Golf Course in Miami, Florida. A common scene at Biltmore was to see Joe at night sneaking around in the dark to hit a few shots after the staff had left. Joe enjoyed the game because he could spend time with others but it was also something he could do alone. He says that golf has given him time with his family and created lifelong friendships. Joe was a great player and played well in many events but in his own words, “…had ZERO patience for my own game…”. He found patience in helping others. Joe has helped players of all skills, coached two professionals into major championship victories, and coached 3 players on the 2015 Solheim Cup team. These are some of his highest career achievements but he says “winning the PGA National Horton Smith Award is an honor that hasn’t quite settled in yet, it is almost beyond comprehension to me…”.
Joe has been a part of the PGA of America Faculty for 20 years, and has delivered content at the PGA Education Center, PGA Shows, PGM Universities, and other industry venues. Joe believes that the PGA of America curriculum needs to shape PGA Professionals to be individuals who understand the game of golf, the business of golf, and understands this all must be done with an underlying tone of fun. The present curriculum’s purpose is to prepare individuals with the skills they will need to be successful Head Professionals and Associates. The curriculum also provides professionals with online resources and studies which include the best practices and ideas to keep the professional one step ahead.
Throughout his career, his numerous successful students, and his curriculum improvements Joe mentioned this award is insanely humbling. Joe is always open to answer any questions or help individuals aspiring to work in the golf business. Joe does not just hold the standard of what a PGA Professional should be, but he continues to lead and help others to become the Golf Professionals of tomorrow. In November Joe will be recognized at the 102nd PGA Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, California for his 2018 National Horton Smith Award. Congratulations Joe Hallett, PGA the award is well deserved.