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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hammond wins Labron Harris Sr. Award for work as coach at West Chester

   Harry Hammond, the Director of Golf and part-owner of Penn Oaks Golf Club, needs to make some more room wherever it is that he stores all of his awards.
   Hammond was recently named the winner of the Labron Harris Sr. Award by the Golf Coaches Association of America in conjunction with the PGA of America.
   When Hammond “retired” after 38 years as the head pro at Whitford Country Club in 2007, he moved over to Penn Oaks, where he had already become part of the ownership group, and, just to make sure he stayed busy, he took over as the head coach at West Chester University.
   The Labron Harris Sr. Award is presented to the college or high school coach and PGA Professional whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game of golf and who represents the finest qualities the game has to offer. That’s pretty much Harry Hammond in a nutshell.
   “To be selected by my fellow coaches for the Labron Harris Sr. Award is an honor that I hold as one of the most important awards that I have ever received,” Hammond told the PGA of America website. “Mr. Harris set some very high standards as a PGA member, university coach and contributor to his community that I continue to strive to deliver in my profession every day.”
   Hammond has been involved in golf in some way or another since first grabbing a bag as a caddy at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club in 1953. After working his way through Penn State as a caddy, he worked at Kennett Square until being hired as the first head pro at West Chester Golf & Country Club in 1963.
   He then began his 38-year run at Whitford in 1969.
   A 53-year member of the PGA of America, Hammond has guided the West Chester men to five straight NCAA Division II Regional appearances. He has been PSAC Coach of the Year in 2011 and again in 2015 when the Rams won the PSAC title and earned the top team GPA award. Penn Oaks is the home course for the West Chester men’s and women’s teams.
   Hammond was elected a PGA Master Professional in 1992, a PGA of America Junior Golf Leader in 1999 and the winner of the Bill Strausburgh Award in 2012.
   He was elected to the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame in 2001, has been the Section’s Merchandiser of the Year three times, the Junior Golf Leader four times and was the Golf Professional of the Year in 1991.
   Hammond’s support of junior golf is nothing short of epic. Four times he has been a U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Teacher and he was named a U.S. Kids Master Teacher in 2012.
   He and wife Sally have been married for 45 years. Daughter Laura was the 1993 PIAA champion while at Unionville, played collegiately at Penn State, has won the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Amateur Match Play championship eight times and is the WGAP executive director.

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