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Tombs, Folquet, Post, and Ball receive 2014 LPGA Professionals national awards

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., September 17, 2014 - The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Professionals membership has selected the following members for national recognition as a result of their achievements:  Tina Tombs, Arizona Biltmore Golf Club, Phoenix, Ariz., Teacher of the Year;  Malia Folquet, Palm Valley Country Club, Palm Desert, Calif., Professional of the Year; Patty Post, University of Delaware, Newark, Del., Coach of the Year; and Louise Ball, Tennessee Golf Academy, Knoxville, Tenn., Junior Golf Leadership award.

The national award winners were selected by the LPGA T&CP membership's Executive Committee from the pool of sectional award winners voted on by the members of the five regional sections: Central, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Western.

Teacher of the Year, Tina Tombs

The LPGA established the National Teacher of the Year Award in 1958.  The award is given annually to the woman golf professional who has most exemplified her profession during the year.

As Director of Golf Instruction at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz., since 2001, Tina Tombs has developed a premier teaching program for golfers of all ages and skill levels, from youth programs to corporate clinics to women’s groups to professionals. This year, Tombs built a state-of-the-art facility at the Arizona Biltmore, including a cover shot mobile canopy system with two teaching bays.

“I am honored and very grateful to receive this prestigious award and feel very fortunate to have my name added to this distinguished list,” said Tombs. I’m thankful for the opportunities the LPGA has given me throughout my career and want to say thank you to all of you who have mentored me, believed in me and supported my vision to help better the game of golf through advanced teaching technologies and instruction.”  

As an amateur, Tombs won the New Hampshire Junior Golf Championship in 1979 and followed by the New Hampshire State Championship in 1981. She captured the 1982 New England Amateur Championship title and in 1984 became the Eastern Amateur champion. Tombs was ranked among Golf Digest's top-10 amateur golfers in 1984. She was inducted into the New Hampshire Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. As a collegiate player at Arizona State University, she captured two tournament titles and was a two-time All-American. In 2006, Tombs was inducted into the Sun Devil Athletic Hall of Fame.

Tombs joined the LPGA Tour in 1988 winning the LPGA Jamie Farr Classic in 1990 and in 1993 had a career-best round of 64 en route to a runner-up finish after a 3-hole playoff in the Sara Lee Classic.  Tombs toured the world with the LPGA and with two daughters, Sarah and Heidi. She was one of the original founders of the LPGA Smucker’s Day Care Center in the early 1990’s. This day care center has continued to grow and has allowed women with children to follow their dreams on the LPGA tour.

As a member of the LPGA Tour, Tombs trained with the best psychologists, coaches, and instructors the game has to offer.  She decided to share this wealth of knowledge with the community around her by becoming a member of the LPGA Professionals.  She earned her Class A certification in one year. 

In 2012 Tina partnered with Barrows Neurological Institute in Phoenix to host The FORE Barrow Challenge. This team event, featuring LPGA Seniors and current LPGA players, raised funds to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of the Barrow Neurological Institute and the Phoenix Crisis Nursery. Tombs was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of two.

Professional of the Year, Malia Folquet

The LPGA Professional of the Year award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member directly involved in the entire golf operation.

Malia Folquet, a 27-year veteran of the LPGA Professionals and a PGA Class A member, is the Head Golf Professional at Palm Valley Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif., where she manages the daily operations of two 18-hole private golf courses, including a budget of $1.3 million annually.  Folquet buys soft and hard goods for a 2,000 sq. ft. golf shop, markets and develops outside golf tournaments, trains staff, and manages and supervises all golf operations.  She also develops golf school programs, including Get Golf Ready and all instructional programs for club members.

"This award means the world to me,” said Folquet.  “Winning this honor is a dream come true. It's the highest award a Director of Golf can win. I am so proud to be an LPGA member, and this means I have reached the pinnacle of my chosen profession!"

Folquet has held numerous leadership positions within the LPGA, including serving as both Secretary and Treasurer for the Western Section.  She is currently the Western Section President and the National Tournament Director.  Folquet was instrumental in organizing the 2014 LPGA Professionals National Pro-Am, which was held at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., preceding the LPGA’s Kraft-Nabisco Championship.  She is also the recipient of numerous golf industry awards, including being recognized four times as Professional of the Year for the LPGA Western Section in 2011, 2008, 1996 and 1995.  In 2010, she received the LPGA President’s Award, honoring her for her service to the LPGA.  In 2011, she received the Nancy Lopez Golf Achievement Award, which is given to an LPGA professional who emulates qualities valued by Lopez: Leadership, Passion, Giving and Approachability.

In addition, Folquet founded the LPGA Professionals Team Championship and has hosted that event for more than 17 years.  An accomplished player, Folquet was the Western Section Senior Champion in 2010 and 2011.  She spearheaded the first 100-Hole Marathon, which raised over $70,000 for the LPGA Foundation’s DeDe Owens Education and Research fund, which is used to enhance and improve LPGA Professionals Education and Research programs.  The fund also offers scholarships to members in need and enhances junior golf programs for boys and girls.  

Coach of the Year, Patty Post

The LPGA Coach of the Year award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member who is actively engaged in teaching and/or coaching golf at the collegiate or high school level.

The only women’s coach in the University of Delaware's history, Patty Post begins her fourth season as head women’s golf coach.  The 2013-14 season saw the Blue Hens finish among the top five in all but one tournament. University of Delaware (Newark, Del.) claimed team titles at the Tignanelli Towson Invitational, Rutgers Invitational and Delaware Invitational, and capped its year by tying for second place at the CAA Championships.  Post’s team also included the first all-conference selections in program history as Amanda Terzian was named second team All-CAA, Baralee Theinthong was named CAA Conference Golf Scholar Athlete of the Year while also being named to the All-Scholar American team with teammate Grace Chua.

“I am very honored to have been chosen this year’s LPGA National Coach of the Year.  This is one of the highlights of my coaching career that I will cherish for a lifetime!” said Post.  “This award is truly more of a credit to the people surrounding me at the University of Delaware.  My players and my assistants have worked very hard to build this program and get it going in the right direction from the beginning.”

Post (nee Frohna) joined Georgetown University as the women’s golf head coach in 2006 and guided a young program that has become one of the best in the BIG EAST Conference and in the region.  Georgetown also served as the team host for the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship at Caves Valley Golf Course in Owings Mills, Md.

In addition to her leadership of the Georgetown team, Post herself enjoyed a solid season of play. She played in the LPGA’s Sybase Classic in May 2007, qualified for the LPGA Championship in June 2007 and capped off her year by playing in the 40th PGA Professional National Championship.

Post came to Georgetown after spending the previous six years as a teaching professional and a player. She joined the Hoyas after serving as the Assistant Golf Professional at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Md. for two years (2004-05). At Lakewood, Post ran weekly tournaments, provided lessons, conducted clinics and assisted in merchandising for the golf shop.

Prior to that, Post spent two years at Admiral’s Cove Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla. and was the Teaching Professional at Fair Oaks Golf Park in Fairfax, Va. During that time, she also played professionally on the Futures Golf Tour, now called the Epson Tour, where she had two top-20 finishes during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Her playing resume also includes runner-up finishes in the Maryland Women’s Open from 2003-05, and qualified for the PGA National Club Professional Championship only the second female to do so. Post’s honors include Middle Atlantic PGA Women’s Player of the Year in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007; LPGA Professionals Northeast Section Player of the Year in 2007. 

A 1999 kinesiology and zoology graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Post enjoyed a stellar amateur career. She was the Wisconsin Amateur Champion in 1998 and named the most valuable player on the Wisconsin team in 1997 and 1999. Post won the 1999 Notre Dame Invitational and also earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors.

Post and her husband, Brendon, himself an accomplished golfer and Patty’s assistant coach at Georgetown and Delaware, have two daughters, Miranda (4), and Kiera (3), and a son, Landon (1).

Junior Golf Leadership Award, Louise Ball

The LPGA Junior Golf Leadership award was established in 2012 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member who excels in the area of teaching and promoting golf for juniors.

Louise Ball is the Owner/Director of Instruction of the Tennessee Golf Academy at Gettysvue Polo, Golf & Country Club in West Knoxville, Tenn. She has been a Site Director for LPGA*USGA Girls Golf since 1998 and currently has 40 girls enrolled in this year’s program.  Ball was the Lead Instructor of the 2014 LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Academy, held at the Country Club of Asheville in Asheville, N.C., this past summer where she set the curriculum for 70+ girls and 18 LPGA instructors.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be the 2014 recipient of the LPGA National Junior Golf Leadership Award.  I am passionate about my teaching, and my Junior Golfers are very special to me,” said Ball.  “I am so proud of my LPGA membership.  My golf career has been a dream, and through the LPGA’s curriculum and sisterhood, I have learned so much.  I joyfully accept this award on behalf of everyone who has helped me along the way, and wish to congratulate my talented peers on their achievements in winning their section awards.”

Louise Ball was introduced to the game of golf as a teenager by her father, Donald, but never took it up seriously until she graduated from college.  Ball grew up in Millis, Mass., and graduated from Millis Sr. High School (’81) as the most decorated female athlete in the school’s history, earning 13 varsity letters.  She earned a BS Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virg. (’85), where she was a scholarship athlete in basketball and softball.  In 2006, Ball was named to Shenandoah’s “All Time Team” for Women’s Basketball.

During her amateur golf career, Ball was a member of Needham Golf Club (Mass.) where she won several club tournaments and was Ladies’ Club Champion three times.  She joined the LPGA in 1997 and claims, “it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”  Ball’s teaching philosophy is student centered.  She credits her success to being able to relate to her students, which range in age from 3 to 80, making them feel at ease so they can achieve their highest potential and golf goals. 

Ball is extremely passionate about Junior Golf.  She has many junior golfers competing on Middle and High School teams, as well as on college golf scholarships.  She believes her coaching style of being personally invested with her athletes on and off the golf course is what makes her successful with all age groups.

Ball currently lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband Tom and their two Basset hounds, Mistletoe and Ruby.