ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme  - Friday 1st March  2013 - NewportInspirational PGA Professional Craig Thomas has been named the Midlands PGA Professional of the Year. The 32-year-old Wolverhampton-based pro has been recognised for being the driving force behind the ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme, enabling him to be a pioneering coach with blind and disabled adults and youngsters. 

Thomas, who last year was the recipient of the prestigious Toby Sunderland award in recognition for his outstanding charitable work, was presented with his latest trophy by PGA in England (Midlands) secretary James Brown appropriately at an ISPS HANDA PGA Academy clinic.
Brown said: “Craig was chosen as the Midlands PGA Professional of the Year because of the outstanding contribution he has given to the area.
“What you get with Craig is his whole enthusiasm, dedication and passion for coaching golf to disabled adults and children, many of whom never realised they would be able to play the sport.
“He is growing the game and providing opportunities that many never thought were possible.
“This award has, by and large, been won by PGA Professionals for their success on the course, but Craig’s achievements and dedication to the profession make him a very worthy recipient.”
Thomas’s achievements include launching disability golf in Staffordshire, sitting on a number of volunteer disabled sport forums across the county and regularly coaching youngsters and adults with a range of disabilities at his own facility, The Golf Academy in Wolverhampton.
“It was very much a surprise when I received the call to say that I had been nominated let alone that the committee had chosen me to be the recipient,” said Thomas.
“It is an honour to have my name on the trophy alongside the likes of Lee Westwood and Robert Rock plus many more.
“The work I do wouldn’t be possible without the support of the PGA, ISPS HANDA, Ladies European Tour, European Tour and the disabled golfers. They have all given me the platform to showcase the abilities of the disabled golfers.”