(FRENCH LICK) - Bedford's Andy Fortner has learned the importance of keeping his eye on the golf ball, and it's one of the vital tips he passes on to his clients at the Donald Ross Course. at French Lick Resort.
Jeff Bartlett, of the Times-Mail reports, Fortner, however, also knows how to keep a keen eye on the business side of the game, which is part of why he landed the job as head PGA pro at The Ross just over a year ago.
Now, within that first 12 months, the 32-year old 1993 graduate of Bedford North Lawrence has his first major award. He was recently named the 2013 Merchandiser of the Year for the Indiana Section of the PGA of America.
The award recognizes Fortner's diligence in the pro shop, insuring his shop provides quality and courteous service, good presentation and display, and a strong variety of merchandise and sales volume - essentially all that goes into having a player-friendly pro shop.
Fortner's name was submitted by his fellow professionals, which renders the award more special.
Fortner has to make sure that his golf merchandise (shirts, gloves, shoes, clubs and equipment, etc.) is on hand and up to date for the players who visit the prestigious Donald Ross Course for a prime golf experience.
It's a duty he obviously takes very seriously, but he also credits a strong crew for making it happen.
Fornter says he is blessed with a great staff that comes together to tackle the merchandise and to see that a purchase order is created and the merchandise is received, tagged and displayed.
Fornter says it is a team effort in the golf department at French Lick Resort (which includes The Ross, The Pete Dye Course, The Valley Links and Sultan's Run in Jasper).
With the award, Fortner is nominated for PGA National Merchandiser of the Year, which will be named at a later date.
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