Robert Henry, a former assistant professional at Woodholme Country Club, and currently the head pro at Cambridge CC, is the newest Master Professional of the Professional Golfers Association of America.
It is not a distinction easily earned, as he becomes only the 90th PGA member among a membership of more than 20,000 to gain this classification. The program was instituted in 1969 to recognize exceptional individuals for their accomplishments toward self-improvement as professionals.
The achievement is the culmination of 10 years of off-and-on work on the project. "My mother had wanted to see me reach this goal, and when she passed away last spring, it was the motivation I needed to wrap it up," said Henry, 43.
The 40-page thesis, entitled KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), presented a teaching philosophy developed over the years. "I read all the teaching books and looked at videos, sorted out the positives and negatives, and still found out it all comes back to the basics," Henry said.
"My background included a lot of teaching input from Bill Strausbaugh [the Baltimore native who is head professional at Columbia CC in Chevy Chase] and Jim Silvey, an outstanding teaching professional for whom I worked at Tucson National, when I was just getting started in the business.
"It's reasonable that the simpler you make something, the easier it is to understand. I carry it a step further, using lots of visual aids to show not only what happens in the golf swing, but why it happens."
Henry became interested in the Master Professional program about 10 years ago when he worked as an assistant to Don Padgett, when the latter was national secretary of the PGA.
"Don was away a lot, I got involved in some of the work he was doing, and decided I wanted to try and reach the highest level of my profession," Henry said.
The Golfers Charitable Association celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club last week, with a program headed by president Dave Fisher and golf chairman Frank Palmer. Fisher presented checks to representatives of two of the charities it helps to support -- the Little People's Research Center at St. Joseph's Hospital ($30,000) and the Kennedy Institute ($45,000).
There were 23 fivesomes for a scramble tournament, with each team headed by a Middle Atlantic PGA member. The low gross entry of Billy Bassler (Rolling Road), Pat O'Malley, Scott Hargest, Ray Daue and Clark Hargest had an eagle, a par and 16 birdies in returning a score of 18-under-par 54. Low net went to Bob Fikac (Caves Valley), Henry Knott, Jim Watson, Bob Watson and Don Thurlow, 52.10.
Barry Fuhrman, head professional at Woodholme CC, registered his third hole-in-one, hitting a 4-iron shot at the 187-yard first hole.