Jason Alexander, head pro of the Fazio Course at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, was named Golf Professional of the Year by the American Junior Golf Association for the 2013 season. The Golf Professional Award honors a PGA professional whose selfless commitment makes the championship special for the players, families and staff.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am fundraising, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with the highest media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior-All Star tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Awards will be presented at the J.R. “Digger” Smith Awards Banquet in Braselton, Ga., on March 8.
The Club at Carlton Woods hosts the longest-running, boys-only event on the AJGA schedule, the CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, held annually over Presidents’ Day weekend. The most-recent competition featured a variety of special activities for the field of 72 junior golfers and their families, more than 100 volunteers, local community sponsors, club members and The Club at Carlton Woods staff.
The post-round fun begins immediately after the last putt drops on the day and that’s when Alexander and his staff engage completely with each activity, from setup to festive dress to taking an active role.
“We focus on the entertainment value because that makes the event really special. That’s part of the energy behind the event. You can setup all you want but you need energy around the games and people talking it up for people to have a good time.”
Alexander’s commitment to the event is complete: in 2014, he did everything from impersonating Guy Fiere during Minute-to-Win-It to hosting the annual Peeps Long Drive Contest to taking on junior golfers in laser tag.
“He’s a guy who is always on the go,” said Darren Nelson, South Central Senior Regional Director. “As much as goes into this week, whether it’s 6 a.m. or 10 p.m., he helps make it successful. He gets all the membership involved, he gets to know the kids, he gets to know our staff. You can tell his staff respects him and he’s very organized but I think it comes down to his personality. People want to work for him and he likes to have fun. He and his whole staff give a professional feel and he takes the lead on that.”
To cap off a special event and commemorate the occasion, Alexander was presented with the Golf Professional of the Year award as a surprise during a patriotic awards ceremony held on the back terrace of The Club at Carlton Woods.“I had zero idea,” Alexander said. “When Jeremy [Freyman, tournament director] started talking, I was thinking ‘who is he talking about? This is weird.’ I was taken aback; it was one of the neater moments of my professional career.”
Alexander, who is a native Texan, WWE wrestling fanatic and aspiring hot yoga master, became a golf professional in 2003. He played collegiate golf at Stephen F. Austin State University and along the way has been recognized for his golf achievements (including being named the 1997 Houston Golf Association Player of the Year), but now works with passion as head golf professional.“When I got into the golf business, I had no plans to be in this as a career,” Alexander said. “I just wanted to play. There were a few people who said at the beginning things like, ‘you can’t high-five members’ but I haven’t really changed who I am. To win an award like this, I think I’ve done something right.”