Carl Alexander of Bedford, N.Y., whose leadership within the Metropolitan PGA Section resulted in showcasing both model programs and inspiring new audiences to the game, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Horton Smith Award for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.
Alexander, 46 is PGA director of golf at The Golf Club of Purchase (N.Y.), and a 16-year member of The PGA of America. He is the fourth member of the Metropolitan PGA Section to receive the Horton Smith Award, which was established in 1965, and named for the late Past PGA President and inaugural Masters Champion.
Alexander was honored during The PGA of America Awards ceremony Jan. 24, 2013, during the 60th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.
“Our talented 2012 class of national award winners span more than four decades of service to our Association and to the game of golf,” said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. “They are PGA Professionals of impact to their Section, their respective communities and in many cases they have influenced others throughout the country. We are proud of how they daily go about their business of inspiring young and old, and grow the game through innovation and their passion. By their dedication to serving others, we are proud to declare that they are truly experts in the game and the business of golf.”
Born in New York City, Alexander is the son of renowned golf photographer Jules Alexander, and attended Rollins College in Orlando, Fla., before transferring to the University of Arizona. He turned professional in 1992, and joined the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf staff in Orlando, Fla. In 1997, Alexander accepted a teaching and assistant professional position at Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich, N.Y. In 1999, he was recruited to join GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., as PGA head professional to help build the new private golf club.
In 2005, Alexander joined The Golf Club of Purchase, where he has built successful teaching programs, and managed a first-class golf club with high-end services. Throughout his career, Alexander has hired and trained many assistants, several of whom have gone on to their own head professional positions in the Metropolitan PGA Section.
“The PGA of America does a great job in committing its resources toward educating its members,” said Alexander. “I have been fortunate to have been a member of the Metropolitan PGA Section, which stresses that its members continue to work to better themselves. This award represents our desire to continue to improve ourselves at our jobs not just in our own games.”
Alexander was introduced to golf at age six, encouraged to join his neighborhood friends, and would take his first formal lessons from then Westchester Country Club assistant professional Jim McLean, who went on to become one of the country’s most celebrated instructors and the 1994 PGA Teacher of the Year.
Previous Metropolitan PGA Professionals receiving the Horton Smith Award were Andy Nusbaum (1978) of Bronxville, N.Y., Mike Hebron of St. James, N.Y. (1990), and John Kennedy Jr. of Rye, N.Y. (2010).
Since 2003, Alexander has served as a member of the Metropolitan PGA Board of Directors; was Section vice president from 2007 to 2011, and has been a member of the Section Education Committee since 2004, and chair of the committee since 2009. He also is co-chair of the Section Communications and Public Relations Committee, serving in those capacities since 2008.
Alexander was the 2006 Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year and the 2010 Section Horton Smith Award recipient, and the 2000 Westchester Golf Association Player of the Year.
Among Alexander’s endeavors of the past several years include teaming with LPGA Tour player Jane Blalock and other LPGA Tour professionals for a women’s executive golf clinic; and developing a junior golf program the Golf Club of Purchase that pairs junior golfers for clinics, contests, and on-course competition with professional staff.
In 2009, Alexander met with and recruited Stuart Levine, formerly of Dale Carnegie, and together they developed a leadership and governance program for the Metropolitan PGA Educational Programs and the Board. In 2010, Stuart Levine was one of several keynote speakers at the Met PGA Spring Educational Forum along with Barry Hyde of the USGA and PGA Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka. The PGA of America’s Education Department later created four regional educational conferences and teamed with Stuart Levine & Associates to create the Power of Fundamentals Executive Program.
Alexander later served on the committee to develop the “Met PGA Head Professional Handbook,” which featured more than 400 pages of materials and outlines designed to help professionals in every phase of their operations, business, and personal development.
Alexander created the Teaching Center at Purchase, a year-round state-of-the-art facility offered to players of all skill levels.
He used that experience to promote opening of learning centers at clubs throughout the Metropolitan PGA Section. Along with PGA Professional Michael Breed (the 2012 PGA Teacher of the Year), he hosted a Winter Teaching Program instructing other professionals on how to develop winter teaching programs with indoor facilities that range from cart barns, to the golf shop and local practice ranges.
As a means of networking to build future golf endeavors with the state, Alexander has coached New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and given a series of lessons to Larry Schwartz, chief of staff to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Additionally, Alexander hosts a Teaching Tips seminar that has expanded to local newspaper weekly circulation, and has worked to attract a wide-ranging group of speakers and topics to address Section members.
Alexander and his wife, Anne, live in Bedford, N.Y., and are the parents of sons Jack and Will.