Tuesday June 2, 2009
AIKEN, SC--At the Players Dinner for the 34th Palmetto Amateur Tournament on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, SC, the first recipient of the Thomas Hitchcock and William C. Whitney Award was announced. Michael Carlisle, long-term very successful coach of the University of South Carolina Aiken golf team, was named as the honoree.
The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the game of golf in the Aiken area.
Carlisle began his golfing career in Aiken at a young age including playing on a championship team at Aiken High School. He played college golf at Elon and at Clemson University, where he lettered. He played professional golf for a short period but returned to the amateur ranks where he won a number of local championships including the Palmetto Golf Club Championship, the Cadillac Cup three times, the Palmetto Amateur three times and the ’93 South Carolina Mid-Amateur.
While he has had a very successful amateur career, his greatest impact has been on the mentoring and coaching of young golfers. He has directed for many years the Augusta Area Junior Golf Association, which gives young golfers the opportunity to experience tournament golf on a number of courses in the Augusta-Aiken area. His performance as coach of the USCA golf team is unmatched and has generated significant recognition for the program with his team winning three back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships. The teams are known for both their golfing prowess and their sportsmanship – a special tribute to Mike Carlisle, the first recipient of the Thomas Hitchock and William C. Whitney Award.