New Jersey Section, PGA of America,

Announces 2021 Special Award Recipients

Tom Flatt, PGA Head Professional at Edgewood Country Club named 2021 NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year

Bedminster, N.J., August 24, 2021The New Jersey Section of the PGA of America (NJPGA) today announced its 2021 annual award recipients, led by Tom Flatt, Head Golf Professional at Edgewood Country Club, who was named 2021 NJPGA Golf Professional of the Year, the highest honor for a PGA Professional within the Section in addition to the Bill Strausbaugh Award, an award given to a golf professional for their efforts to mentor others golf professionals. Awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the NJPGA, and the game of golf, Flatt is the current President of the NJPGA who has shown relentless commitment and dedication to his membership at Edgewood Country Club as well as the New Jersey PGA, its PGA Golf Professionals, and its Staff . 

Flatt is joined by an esteemed list of PGA Professionals who were honored in several categories as 2021 NJPGA Special Award winners. The New Jersey PGA, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Golf Association, plans to recognize the award recipients on Thursday, October 28th at the Celebration of Golf at Canoe Brook Country Club and at the NJPGA Fall Meeting on Monday, October 25th at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club.

2021 NJPGA Award Winners:
-Golf Professional of the Year: Tom Flatt - Edgewood Country Club - Rivervale, NJ
-Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Matt Hardy - Canoe Brook Country Club - Summit, NJ
-Teacher of the Year: Ryan Hager - Plainfield Country Club - Edison, NJ
-Club of the Year: Hamilton Farm Golf Club - Gladstone, NJ
-Bill Strausbaugh Award: Tom Flatt - Edgewood Country Club - Rivervale, NJ
-Professional Development Award: Chris Dymek - Manasquan River Golf Club - Brielle, NJ 
-Merchandiser of the Year (Private): Pat Fillian - Echo Lake Country Club -  Westfield, NJ
-Merchandiser of the Year (Public): Chris McDermott - Picatinny Arsenal Golf Course - Dover, NJ
-Player Development Award: Rylee Plitz - Eagle Ridge Golf Club - Lakewood, NJ 
-Youth Player Development Award: Katie Rudolph - Weequahic Golf Course - Newark, NJ
-Patriot Award: Ed Walls - Renaissance Country Club - Manchester, NJ
-Deacon Palmer Award: Greg Baker - Rockaway River Country Club -  Denville, NJ
-Salesperson of the Year: Brendan Richter - Titleist

About the NJPGA
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. The NJPGA is one of 41 geographic sections throughout the country and has been in operation since 1925. In 2012 and 2015, the NJPGA was the recipient of the Herb Graffis Award, presented annually to a PGA Section that shows extraordinary or exemplary contributions in player development and growth of the game programming. For more information on the NJPGA please visit

New Jersey PGA Special Awards

The New Jersey Section Special Awards Committee's mission statement is to ensure that the best individuals in each Special Award category are nominated, given equal consideration and ultimately recognized for their achievement. 

National PGA Special Awards
The New Jersey Section has been well represented at the national level by dozens of PGA Professionals being nominated for their dedication to the game of golf. Over the course of the Sections history, over 13 winners have come from the New Jersey PGA. 

National PGA Award Nomination Forms
To nominate a PGA Professional in the Section, please click here and login with your username and password.


2021 Golf Professional of the Year

Tom Flatt; Edgewood Country Club

2021 Deacon Palmer Award

Greg Baker; Rockaway River Country Club

2021 Assistant Professional of the Year

Matt Hardy; Canoe Brook Country Club

2021 Club of the Year

Hamilton Farm Golf Club

2021 Teacher of the Year

Ryan Hager; Plainfield Country Club

2021 Professional Development Award

Chris Dymek; Manasquan River Golf Club

2021 Bill Strausbaugh Award

Tom Flatt; Edgewood Country Club

2021 Player Development Award

Rylee Plitz; Eagle Ridge Golf Club

2021 Youth Player Development Award

Katie Rudolph; Weequahic Golf Course

2021 Patriot Award

Ed Walls; Rennaisance

2021 Public Merchandiser of the Year

Chris McDermott; Picatinny Arsenal Golf Course

2021 Private Merchandiser of the Year

Pat Fillian; Echo Lake Country Club

2021 Salesperson of the Year

Brendan Richter; Titleist

2020 Player of the Year

Danny Lewis; Hollywood Golf Club

2020 Senior Player of the Year

Frank Esposito; Forsgate Country Club

2020 Assistant Player of the Year

Brian Mackey; North Jersey Country Club