A native of Leeds, England, Craig Shankland’s rise to prominence as a teacher followed years of service to the game, the Association and to the Met Section. The son of a famous English teaching professional, Bill Shankland (who worked with Bobby Locke, Henry Cotton, Kel Nagle and Tony Jacklin among others) and the brother of fellow PGA Member Dale Shankland, Craig was obviously a product of golfing genes. He was elected to PGA Membership in 1962 while at Canoe Brook in New Jersey. After a short stint in Illinois, Craig returned to the Met area and served as the head professional at Rye Golf Club, followed by Middle Bay Country Club and then finally Fairview Country Club. It was during his tenure at Middle Bay that he became immersed in the governance of the Met PGA, following Bob Watson as President.
His tenure was filled with accomplishments. During his administration the Met PGA published a high gloss Newsletter to improve communications, established an Employment & Club Relations Committee that Craig chaired for several years, initiated the first semblance of the Junior Tour, identified new major sponsors for the Section Championship and tournament program, refined the membership process and created an Assistants Association to provide playing and educational opportunities for the area’s assistant professionals. An outstanding player in his own right, Shankland won the 1969 PGA Championship at Wee Burn and was a role model for the complete professional who excelled as a teacher, player, merchandiser, manager and promoter. His success in the Met Section preceded most of the PGA’s Annual Awards but he is one of only two Met PGA Professionals to ever be recognized as the Section’s Professional of the Year in back to back years in 1974 and again in 1975. His playing record also includes playing in 7 major championships (four PGA’s, two British Opens and one US Open).
In 1985 Shankland purchased Ocean Palm Country Club in Ormond Beach and quickly established himself as one of the game’s premier teachers. He won the North Florida PGA Teacher of the Year Award four times (1996, ’97, ’99 and 2001) in addition to being named the Horton Smith nominee in 1994. Now in his 70’s Craig is still listed among the top 25 teachers in Golf Digest, and has enjoyed that distinction in Golf Magazine as well. He served as Vice-Chair for the 1998 and 2000 Teaching & Coaching Summits, was part of the PGA Teaching Manual and GPTP Training Program Committees and received the Association’s ultimate instructional honor when he was named PGA Teacher of the Year in 2001.