Puzzle Duck Golf – Oxford, North Carolina
Aug 04, 2015 – Brad Clayton, a PGA Master Professional in Teaching, at Puzzle Duck Golf, in Oxford, North Carolina, is the recipient of the 2015 Deacon Palmer Award that honors a PGA Professional’s special display of integrity, character and leadership, in an effort to overcome a major obstacle in his or her life. After 13 years of either working as a PGA Assistant Professional, teaching or competing in various U.S. mini tours and competitions in Europe, Clayton lost his hand in an accident in 2000, when his shirt was caught in an auger that was digging holes for the net posts of his new Teaching and Learning Center. Clayton was transported to Duke University Hospital where he was able to keep his elbow after five surgeries and a week of four hours per day in a hyperbaric chamber. Despite the accident and the difficult journey that ensued, Clayton maintains that losing his hand, behind the birth of his two children, Nickolas and Winona, was the best thing that ever happened to him. His reasoning was the accident has provided opportunities for him to bond with individuals with similar circumstances – especially veterans – and spread a positive message through golf and horseback riding. A PGA member since 1992, Clayton is now a full-time teacher, maintains his golf range and is a volunteer in many events within the Carolinas PGA Section. He currently serves on the Section’s Teaching and Coaching Committee, was named Carolinas PGA Section Teacher of the Year in 2008, and has been actively involved with many clinics and programs focusing on veterans in golf.