LEXINGTON, Ky. — Donnie Caldwell, the PGA professional at Pine Mountain State Resort Park, has been recognized as the golf professional of the year by the Kentucky Section of the PGA.
Caldwell has worked at the park for 18 years and became a PGA professional in 2005. He was honored March 4 at the state PGA’s awards presentation in Lexington.
“The Kentucky State Parks are very proud of Donnie’s accomplishment and we’re especially happy to have him on our staff at Pine Mountain,” said Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland. “He exemplifies the type of professionals we have at our state parks.”
Caldwell helped establish a youth program at Wasioto Winds Golf Course at Pine Mountain called The First Tee Pine Mountain, a PGA initiative dedicated to providing young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop through golf and character education. It teaches the life-enhancing values of honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. Caldwell is The First Tee Master Coach and National Trainer.
Caldwell played golf at Pine Mountain as a youth with his family and learned about the game from his father as well as PGA professionals.
In the Kentucky PGA’s announcement about the award, it said “servant leadership is also critical to Donnie’s success.”
Caldwell loves growing the game in southeastern Kentucky on the same park where it all began 40 years ago. His brother, Ronnie, is the greens superintendent at Pine Mountain.
“This award is a reflection of PGA Section members supporting each other, the quality of Kentucky State Parks, the importance of The First Tee, and a Harlan County native trying to make a difference,” Caldwell said. “I thank God for the opportunity to do the job I love so close to home.”