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Chris Burkstaller, PGA

The Gulf States PGA Selects 2022 Section and Chapter Award Winners

By Brian Weis

In recognition of his exemplary role as a PGA member, Head Professional J.T. Crawford of New Orleans Country Club, LA has been chosen as the 2022 Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor paid to a Gulf States PGA professional. This is J.T.'s second time winning the Gulf States PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award.

In response to being notified of his award, J.T. said, "I have been blessed to serve and lead with many very talented golf professionals. To think that I have been recognized amongst the best of our 28,000 strong is truly humbling. I am proudest of my 20 plus assistants that have gone on to head professional/head coaching jobs as well as my current staff that will most certainly go on to greatness. I am continually astonished by the talent and fraternalism that the Gulf States Section churns out."

Reg Adams, PGA, Head Professional at Huntington Park Golf Course in Shreveport, LA, was named the recipient of the Gulf States PGA Patriot Award. This award is presented to a PGA professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States of America.

Brad Pullin, PGA, Director of Instruction at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, LA, has earned his first Gulf States PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year Award. This award recognizes the recipient's exceptional teaching ability and dedication to teaching the game.

In recognition of his continued efforts to grow the game of golf at the youth level, General Manager at OakWing Golf Club in Alexandria, LA, Robbie Gueringer, PGA, has been awarded the 2022 Gulf States PGA Youth Player Development Award. This award acknowledges the recipient's passion to promote the game by sharing knowledge and skills with today's youth, benefiting the future of golf in the Section.

Marie Gateley, PGA, Assistant Professional at Baton Rouge Country Club, LA, has been chosen as this year's Gulf States PGA Professional Development Award winner for the first time, acknowledging her commitment to furthering the education of fellow professionals.

Robbie Gueringer, PGA, General Manager at OakWing Golf Club in Alexandria, LA, has been selected as the Gulf States PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award winner in recognition of his leadership and valued involvement with the community. This marks Robbie's second Gulf States PGA award this year.

Bill Baker, PGA, Assistant Professional at Bayou De Siard Country Club in Monroe, LA, has displayed exemplary leadership as an assistant professional and continues to serve as an outstanding representation of his class earning him the title of Gulf States PGA Assistant Professional of the Year.

The Merchandisers of the Year are selected based on their skills in the promotion of golf including merchandising ability and technique, inventory levels and turn rate, shop display, and attention to detail.

Dustin Diez, PGA, Head Professional at Pelican Point Golf Club in Gonzales, LA, has been named Gulf States PGA Merchandiser of the Year in the Public category.

In the Private category, PGA Head Professional Billy Holtz of Baton Rouge Country Club, LA has earned the distinction of Gulf States PGA Merchandiser of the Year.

PGA Head Professional Allan Martel of Grand Bear Golf Club in Saucier, MS, has earned the Gulf States PGA Merchandiser of the Year in the Resort category.

Accepting his first Gulf States PGA award this year is Bobby Flanagan, PGA, Assistant Professional at Baton Rouge Country Club, LA, who has been named the Gulf States PGA Player Development Award winner. This award honors his extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of player development.

Leading the class of 2022 award winners in the Louisiana Chapter is Golf Professional of the Year Chris Burkstaller, PGA, General Manager at The Island Country Club in Plaquemine, LA. "I have been in this business for well over 30+ years and I am so humbled to win this award. I certainly don't do it for awards but for the love of the game and all aspects of this business. To be recognized for this particular award is amazing. Thank you to all of my fellow Professionals for this amazing recognition."

Louisiana Chapter Assistant of the Year has been awarded to Bobby Flanagan, PGA, Assistant Professional at Baton Rouge Country Club, LA. This marks Bobby's second Gulf States PGA award this year.

Matt Brunetz, PGA, Head Professional at Whisper Lake Country Club in Madison, MS, has been awarded the Mississippi Chapter Golf Professional of the Year Award. Matt remarked, "Thank you for the award and the title of MS Professional of the Year. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen out of the outstanding group of candidates that we had this year. Thank you so much to all my fellow professionals that voted for me. I believe that a big part of this award is being involved in the Chapter and the Section activities and I look forward to continuing to do so in the future."

Representing the Mississippi Chapter Assistant of the Year category is this year's award winner, Nate Kitson, PGA, Assistant Professional at Mississippi State University Golf Course in Starkville, MS. This marks Nate's second time winning this award.

Two special Chapter awards are set aside to honor individuals that tirelessly and unselfishly work to support the game of golf.

The Louisiana Chapter has chosen Jimmy Headrick, PGA of Slidell, LA as the recipient of the Barbato-Thomas Award. This award is named after Mike Barbato and Henry Thomas who both played a major role in the birth and development of the Gulf States Section. The award is presented to individuals in recognition of those who have unselfishly served and supported the game of golf and the PGA professional.

Jimmy said, "The Barbato/Thomas Award is very personal to me. When I came to New Orleans in 1976 as a PGA Apprentice, Mr. Barbato and Mr. Thomas were true legends. When they got to know me and they would recognize me by my name, it was as if I was hearing it from Arnold Palmer. They inspired me then to what my potential could be, and they inspire me to this day. I am grateful to the selection committee for recognizing my service to the game."

The Mississippi Chapter Carpenter-Lindsay Award was named for James Ray Carpenter and Ken Lindsay, both of whom served as PGA of America Presidents and have given so much to the Association. This year's recipient is Tommy Snell of Diamondhead, MS.

"Someone once said that the greatest award is the appreciation of people, and to receive an award named after Carpenter-Lindsay, two people whom I have admired for years makes me absolutely happy and grateful. I've always tried to give back to the game I love, something that those two names epitomize. I am truly appreciative and thankful."

This year's honorees will be celebrated at the Gulf States PGA Special Awards Ceremony to be held on December 4th at Diamondhead Country Club in Diamondhead, MS.

The Gulf States PGA Awards Committee consists of past award winners and Chapter officers.

About the Gulf States PGA Section

The Gulf States Section, Professional Golfers' Association of America, is an association of golf professionals whose mission is to promote interest, participation, and enjoyment in the game of golf; establish and maintain professional standards of practice and enhance the well-being of golf professionals.

Revised: 10/25/2022 - Article Viewed 3,362 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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