DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 20, 2017 – The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Membership announces the following members for national awards as an acknowledgement of their dedication and achievements: Carol Preisinger, Kiawah Island Club, Kiawah Island, South Carolina, Teacher of the Year; Kristie Fowler, Tubac Golf Resort, Tubac, Arizona, Professional of the Year; Christie Quinn, La Jolla High School, La Jolla, California, Coach of the Year; Dona Lerner, Dona Lerner Golf Academy Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina, Junior Golf Leader of the Year.
The national award winners were selected by the LPGA T&CP membership’s Executive Committee from the pool of the section award winners voted on by officers of the six regional sections: Central, International, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Western.
Teacher of the Year, Carol Preisinger
The LPGA established the National Teacher of the Year Award in 1958. The award is given annually to the female golf professional who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments related to the teaching of golf during the year.
Preisinger was also named the National Teacher of the Year in 1998 and joins Shirley Spork (1959, 1984) and Dr. DeDe Owens (1977, 1993) as the only two-time winners of the national award.
“To be honored again with LPGA Teacher of the Year is incredible,” Preisinger said. “I am so proud to be a member of the T&CP, surrounded by the best teachers in the golf industry. I’m living proof that if you give someone resources to be successful, you can achieve anything. And, you can teach an old dog new tricks.”
In 1988, Preisinger joined the LPGA T&CP and earned Class A status in 1992. She earned Master status in 2010 by authoring “Golf’s Abundant Elements”, a historical perspective of her father’s life in golf and the core values that the game instilled within him.
Preisinger currently serves as the Director of Instruction at the Kiawah Island Club, a position she has held for over 10 years, during which time she has served three terms as the LPGA T&CP’s Southeast Section President.
Additionally, she has dedicated part of her life to serving the Charleston community by acting as Director of the Sea Island Junior Golf Program, as well as being the volunteer Assistant Coach for the College of Charleston women’s golf team.
During her time in the golf industry, Preisinger has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including being named one of Golf Digest’s Top 50 Women Teachers three different times. Since 2005, she has been recognized annually by GOLF Magazine as a Top 100 Teacher in America, and from 2009-2012 she was named the best teacher in South Carolina in Golf Digest’s Best in State list.
Professional of the Year, Kristie Fowler
The LPGA T&CP Professional of the Year was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member primarily engaged in a golf operation, golf association or industry position, promoting the game through player development, growth of the game initiatives and other golf related activities.
Kristie Fowler was named the Head Golf Professional at the Tubac Golf Resort in March of 2017, and prior to landing her “dream job” she was an Assistant Professional at The Gallery Golf Club for 15 years.
“I am very proud and excited to have been selected as the Golf Professional of the Year! It is truly an honor,” Fowler said.
Fowler was a four-year letter winner at the University of Arizona, and has one professional victory to her name while playing on what is now the Symetra Tour. She joined the T&CP in 1990 and worked her way up to Master status in 2012.
In addition to her professional work, she has served on the Arizona Women’s Golf Association committee to assist Arizona high school girls golf programs, and has been involved in mentor programs as an LPGA section member advisor. In recognition of her good works, Fowler was named the Central Section LPGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2011 and 2015, and earned the 2016 LPGA Marilynn Smith Service Award.
Coach of the Year, Christie Quinn
The LPGA T&CP Coach of the Year Award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member who is actively engaged in teaching and/or coaching golf at the collegiate or high school level.
Christie Quinn is the head coach for men’s and women’s golf at La Jolla High School, and she joins Mary Beth Nienhaus (Appleton West High School, 1987) as the only winners in the award’s 36-year history to coach at the high school level.
“I was speechless when [T&CP National President] Deb Vangellow called me to be acknowledged as the Coach of the Year for the T&CP,” Quinn said. “I know so many unbelievably talented coaches in the LPGA so I was in shock that I was chosen! Our school and foundation has had an incredible year making it the most successful in the school’s history for La Jolla men’s & women’s golf. I feel really proud to be a part of that success and receiving this award. Being recognized for doing what I love is a dream come true!”
Quinn joined the T&CP in 2006 and worked her way up to Class A status in 2010. A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Marketing, she designed and copyrighted her brand for Teaching and Coaching called Discover Your Swing!®. This methodology is athlete-centered deriving from their physical, emotional and equipment-based assessments.
Quinn has established Discover Your Swing!® golf schools in Livermore, Long Beach and San Diego sharing her passion for the experience of golf with high school, collegiate, Olympic and professional golfers.
With Quinn leading the program, the La Jolla High School golf coaching staff won the 2015-2016 Golf Coaches of the Year Award from the California Interscholastic Federation.
Junior Golf Leader of the Year, Dona Lerner
The LPGA T&CP Junior Golf Leadership Award was established in 2012 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional member who excels in teaching and promoting golf for juniors.
Dona Lerner founded the Dona Lerner Golf Academy, Inc. and currently serves as its Director of Instruction. Lerner also serves as the Head Women’s Golf Coach at Green Hope High School in Cary, North Carolina, and is the site director and lead instructor for the local LPGA*USGA Girls Golf program.
“As Deb Vangellow said to me, ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ This was followed by her telling me I had been chosen the 2017 LPGA National Junior Golf Leader,” Lerner said. “My initial reaction was a belly filled with excitement butterflies! I am so humbled by this honor and grateful to the LPGA for acknowledging my efforts relating to junior golf. No one enjoys the kind of success I have by themselves, however. It is the amazing team I have the pleasure of working with every day that make awards such as this one possible. So, it is with them that I will share it. Experiencing the smiles and celebrations with kids in golf as a mentor is a gift. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to surround myself with so many young players and their families. I plan to continue the mission of involving young boys and girls in golf and look forward to watching them learn to play as they make golf a special part of their own lives. Thank you for honoring me with this award.”
Lerner joined the T&CP in 2000 and worked her way up to Class A status in 2005. She is passionate about growing the game through junior golf and is a Master Kids Teacher as recognized by USKids Golf.
Lerner was nominated for the Junior Golf Leader of the Year award from 2011-2016, and in 2017 was named the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Most Influential Person of the Month. As the coach at Green Hope High School, Lerner led the team to the Class 4A State Championship in 2014, and was named the high school coach of the year in 2006, 2011 and 2012.