In a ceremony in early February, the Carolinas PGA awarded Heidi Wright-Tennyson one of its highest honors, naming the longtime Moss Creek Club head professional as its 2015 PGA Golf Professional of the Year.
“[I was] shocked, honored and humbled. The Carolinas is a tremendous section with countless tenured and talented professionals,” says Wright-Tennyson, who was nominated by her peers within the organization. “[It] makes one very proud of what you have done with your career.”
According to the Carolinas PGA website, the award recognizes “the individual who demonstrates exceptional performance as a golf professional ... a high level of service to the section, strong leadership, positive image, ability to inspire fellow professionals and promote the game of golf.”
The Carolinas PGA has recognized Wright-Tennyson’s work in the past, awarding her the CPGA Player Development Award in 2013 and the Hilton Head Island Chapter Golf Professional of the Year Award in 2000 and 2008.
Wright-Tennyson came to the Lowcountry in the early 1990s, first working at Indigo Run and then as an assistant pro at Moss Creek, attracted by the opportunity to play year-round and potentially qualify for the women’s professional tour. Early in her time at Moss Creek, the acting head professional left for a position elsewhere, and Wright-Tennyson became the interim head professional while the club conducted its replacement search. She ultimately ended up getting the job, and more than two decades later, she’s still the head pro at one of the area’s most popular courses.
“Moss Creek gave an enthusiastic 25-year-old assistant professional an opportunity to prove she could,” says Wright-Tennyson, who played at Bowling Green State University and interned while in college at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. “I owe a lot to Moss Creek for the person and professional I am today. It’s been a tremendous experience. They gave me a shot, and here we are almost 22 years later.”
The internship at Inverness, one of the top 100 private courses in the country and the site of four U.S. Open championships, first stoked Wright-Tennyson’s interest in the club professional side of the sport.
“It was then I fell in love with teaching the game, tournament operations and striving to provide excellent service,” she says. “I knew then if playing on tour for a living did not happen, I would be able to pursue my passion in golf as a career in the club industry.”
As head professional at Moss Creek, Wright-Tennyson wears as many hats as you might find in the club’s pro shop. Her responsibilities include club operations, member events, player development, driving range and pro shop management, organizing tournaments, charity and collegiate events, managing junior golf programs and representing the club in the community and the region.
“Teaching is my favorite part, but it’s just a small part of what I do there on a daily basis,” she says. “I love getting people excited about the game. I love teaching people how to practice and how to become better players. And I love helping my staff learn how to teach the game.”