Local golf pro to be enshrined in PGA Hall of Fame

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Westfield resident Don “Chip” Essig IV is one of eight inductees to be enshrined in the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame this spring.

Essig, 47, will be enshrined March 12 at the PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and his name inscribed in granite at the adjoining PGA Museum of Golf.

“This class features those who battled social injustice, [were] renowned instructors, and leaders who exhibited a passion for serving others beyond their job description,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “Their names will be forever inscribed among those who have made golf the greatest game.”

Essig, a 22-year member of The PGA of America, was the 2011 recipient of the PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He is the senior vice president and co-owner of Essig Golf Management, which operates Hickory Stick Golf Club in Greenwood and Heartland Crossing Golf Links on the southwest side of Indianapolis.

Essig gained membership in the PGA of America in 1990 at the age of 24 and is now a Master Professional. Chip and his dad, Don Essig III, hold the distinction of being the only father and son Master Professionals in the country. Currently Chip is serving as the President of the Indiana Section PGA Board of Directors.

“It is an obvious honor to join my dad with our names on that wall of bricks at the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame,” said Essig, whose father was a 2009 HOF inductee. “This is something that you don’t dream about, and I feel that it also allows me to be included among those before me who represented the Indiana PGA Section.”

Essig achieved PGA Master Professional status in 2004, and follows the late Don Padgett I, formerly of Selma, Ind. ( inducted in 1961), and Jack Barber of Indianapolis ( inducted in 2009), as the only other Indiana PGA Section members to receive the PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award.

Born in Indianapolis as the only son of the 1957 U.S. Public Links Champion, Essig grew up playing the game at a course his father owned and operated, the former Hoosier Links in New Palestine. By the time he graduated from high school, Essig had performed virtually every job at the course. He also served as an unpaid instructor for one of the largest growth-of-the-game instruction programs in the country, involving more than 900 students annually.

Essig has been a member of the Indiana PGA Section board of directors since 1998, serving from 2006 to 2008 as Section president. Since 2000, he has been a board member of the Indiana Golf Foundation, and a member of the USGA Men’s Amateur Public Links Committee.

In 1998, Essig was appointed to the PGA Rules Committee. His high-profile assignments have included every PGA Championship since 2001, the Ryder Cup, two Masters, three U.S. Senior Opens, two PGA Cups, a Senior PGA Championship and four PGA Professional National Championships.
 

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