Angela Aulenti, a member of the LPGA Professionals since 1980 who served as past Northeast Section President from 2011-16 and owner/Master Clubfitter in Connecticut; Carol Preisinger, LPGA Master Professional and Lead Teaching Professional at The Landings Club in Savannah, Georgia, and current Ellen Griffin winner; and Deb Vangellow, LPGA Master Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Riverbend Country Club in Houston, Texas have been elevated into elite company as 2022 inductees to the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame.
Angela Aulenti is a recognized leader in the game who is committed to teaching others about the opportunity to pursue their dreams through golf. She wrote in her 8th-grade yearbook that she always wanted to become a member of the LPGA and has since devoted the last 30 years of her career to building deep relationships and helping others through golf.
Aulenti has always been a trailblazer. She was the first female Head Golf Professional in the state of Connecticut. She landed her dream job in 1994 when she was hired as the Director of Golf at Sterling Farms Golf Club; and a few years later was asked to run a second public course, E. Gaynor Brennan, which led her to establish her own management company. More than twenty years later, she continues to run both facilities and remains the sole owner of her businesses.
Junior golf is also one of Aulenti’s passions, and she has made a major impact in growing the game. She revamped the junior program at her club and founded an in-school Elite Junior Program in Stamford to help students compete and earn college scholarships. Aulenti is also affiliated with Challenged People in Motion, a local Special Olympics organization, and conducts weekly clinics for athletes.
She is also a star on the technical side of the sport after having been selected as one of six professionals to develop an education program for Callaway’s Master Fitter Certification program and is the owner of a Golf Digest top 100 Golf Fitting Studio. In 2013, she was honored with Club Fitter of the Year and after publishing over 20 articles for Golf Digest and other publications, she received Callaway’s highest honor, 2021 National Professional of the Year.
Throughout her life, Aulenti has worked to make the LPGA a better organization than when she first joined. She was instrumental in overcoming major budget challenges and secured enough sponsorships to prevent the cancellation of the 2009 LPGA National Championship at Kingsmill, an event she previously won in the Senior Division. As an active member, she hosted forums across the country and contributed to LPGA governance. After serving as President of the Northeast section from 2011-16 and on the Executive Committee, her impact is evident.
As a fighter and breast cancer survivor, there is not much that can keep Aulenti from playing the game she loves so much. Like many others, she loves the opportunity to compete and has participated in over 15 LPGA Tour events including on the LPGA Legends Tour and has qualified for 5 USGA events including the inaugural USGA Senior Women’s Open.
Aulenti has been lauded as an outstanding advocate for golf. She was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 2012 and is a Golf Digest top teacher in Connecticut. She was named an LPGA Sectional Professional of the Year and an LPGA National Professional of the Year in 2011. In 2014, Aulenti was the recipient of the Nancy Lopez award for her many contributions to the profession. Nancy Lopez describes Angela “as a tremendous ambassador for this sport, someone loyal, kind, hardworking who always thinks of others before herself.”
“Words cannot express how deeply honored I feel to be inducted into the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame and am truly overjoyed to be recognized for my lifelong efforts to follow the example set by the remarkable LPGA members who have gone before me and from whom I learned to strive for the professional excellence associated with our wonderful organization,” expressed Aulenti. “It is a tremendous privilege to now be counted among them and I will continue to do my best to live up to the high standard expected of an LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame member.”
Carol Preisinger grew up in the game of golf alongside her father, who was a Life Member of the PGA of America for nearly 50 years. She competed on her high school boys’ team and later went on to play for the Lady Bulldog Golf team at the University of Georgia. After a brief time playing professionally, she became a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals.
In 1991, her love for teaching golf began in earnest when Preisinger was hired as Assistant Golf Pro/Golf Shop Manager at City Club Marietta, where she was elevated to Director of Instruction after four years. She then moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 2004 to accept the position of Director of Instruction at Kiawah Island Club. In 2022, she joined the Golf Coaching team at the Landings Golf and Athletic Club in Savannah, Georgia where she now serves as Lead Teaching Professional.
An LPGA Master Professional since 2010, Preisinger has demonstrated leadership and service through the many positions held within the LPGA throughout her career. She served as a National Evaluator for eight years. In her early years, Preisinger raised nearly $30,000 for the LPGA Foundation hosting a 100-hole marathon. She was instrumental in directing an inaugural championship that evolved into what is known today as the LPGA Leadership Academy. She went on to chair many National and Section events including the 2013 National Summit in Denver with Deb Vangellow and the 2014 National Conference in Palm Beach with Angela Aulenti. Most significantly, Preisinger held a 6-year term on the Executive Committee as Southeast Section President from 2011-16.
Known for her growth mindset, Preisinger is a lifelong learner who strives to challenge herself to be better in her work, so she can be the best for role model her students and colleagues. She has attended too many LPGA education programs to count. She is a highly regarded mentor and instructor who has taught at dozens of golf schools alongside some of the greats like Dana Rader, Kathy Whitworth and Dr. Dede Owens.
Preisinger strives to share her knowledge and has participated on teaching panels and delivered keynotes at several National conferences. She regularly promotes her love for golf, speaking to diverse groups in her local communities. She authored “Golf Abundant Elements”, a historical perspective based on her father’s life and career and has published articles in GOLF Magazine, Women’s Golf Journal and Golf For Women. She has also showcased a library of instructional videos across LPGA, GOLF.com and Golf Channel platforms.
Her list of accolades is impressive. She was twice named LPGA National Teacher of the Year (1998, 2017), has been a GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher in America since 2005, among Golf Digest Best In State holding the #1 position in 2009, was named to the LPGA Top 50 Elite Teachers in 2022 and most recently was awarded the 2022 Rolex Ellen Griffin award recognizing her enduring contributions to teaching the game of golf.
Giving back has always been a cornerstone of her impact. Preisinger believes that people’s lives can be enhanced by providing a great golf experience. She has been active in PGA HOPE Lowcountry chapter events, serves on the Board of Directors for Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary and chairs the annual Preisinger GRIT Scholarship.
“I am extremely honored, and surprised, to be inducted in the LPGA professionals Hall of Fame,” stated Preisinger. “When we are fortunate to do what we love, it is not fame we seek. We do it for the good of the game and for the people who love and play this great game. I am grateful to be recognized, and lucky to be able to continue to coach, learn, play and give back for years to come.”
Deb Vangellow has always been on a path to do what she enjoyed and was gifted at: sport and instruction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Health/Physical Education/Coaching and Educational Leadership/Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and Miami (Ohio) University, respectively. A multi-sport athlete and scholarship recipient, captain and letter winner in soccer and track & field, Vangellow chose to devote her career to becoming a top golf educator. A mentor in her early days stressed the importance that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” and Vangellow has certainly lived by that pay-it-forward mantra her entire life. Her most significant contribution has been her leadership in developing the best-in-class LPGA Global Education Program and advancing it beyond the United States to other countries like Korea. Few have been able to match their impact on growing the game like her.
After working in higher education, she coached Division I collegiate golf at UNI and led the American Junior Team that traveled to Europe in 1996 as part of the International Sport for Understanding Program. She was the longtime Director of Instruction at Sweetwater Country Club, worked with the Japanese-sponsored “Superlady” project/Kathy Whitworth Golf Academy, the Heritage School of Golf at Old Orchard Golf Club, the NIKE Pine Forest Country Club, Camp Olympia Golf Academy, and at Rice University teaching golf classes in Texas, as well as the Junior Golf Camp at Pebble Beach, California.
Aside from giving thousands of hours of sessions to golfers of all levels at Riverbend Country Club, Vangellow believes in teaching the whole game to the whole person. Her wellness-based, student-centered teaching philosophy includes the areas of skill development, equipment evaluation, peak performance awareness/implementation with mind/body systems, and overall health/fitness ideals. People who spend time with her want to stay in the game because she is a world-class leader, a sought-after mentor and has the ability to make people feel special.
She was the first-ever National Vice-President for the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Membership and served as the elected National President. Vangellow has served on both the LPGA and the LPGA Foundation Board of Directors, in addition to the National Advisory Council for Junior League Golf, the Golf Advisory Committee for The First Tee, and the Journal of Applied Golf Research Advisory Boards. Vangellow is a prolific author, public speaker and teacher. She was the longtime female online “Professor” for Golf Illustrated magazine and has been published across a variety of print and online outlets. She writes regularly for Texas Links and Southern Gaming/Destinations magazines and has contributed to Golf Digest, Golf World and Golf For Women among others. She is also a contributing author to many top-selling golf books like “Chicken Soup For The Woman Golfer’s Soul” and LPGA Founder/World Golf Hall Of Fame Member Marilynn Smith’s “Have Clubs, Will Travel.”
Vangellow certainly has a lifetime full of achievements. She is the 2021 LPGA Ellen Griffin Award Winner and the 2012 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. She was recently inducted into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame, the UNI School Of HPELS Hall of Excellence, and the Fairport High School Hall of Fame. She is one of Golf Digest Magazine’s “America’s 50 Best Women Teachers”, an LPGA “Top 50 Teacher”, a GOLF Magazine “Top Regional Teacher”, a Golf Digest Magazine “Top Regional Teacher”, a US Kids Golf “Top 50 Master Kids Teacher” an Edwin Watts Golf “Top Golf Instructor”, and a GRAA “Elite Top Growth Of The Game Teaching Professional”. The retired Golf For Women Magazine continually listed her as one of their “Top 50 Teachers”. Vangellow was named one of Houston’s “Most Influential Women Of 2015”. Most recently, she returned to her alma mater for a special speaking engagement and was honored with the Monica R. Wild and Doris E. White Scholar Award from the School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services at the University of Northern Iowa.
“What a terrific honor to be inducted into the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame. To be included among this peer group means the world to me, and I am so grateful for all I have experienced with these outstanding women,” stated Vangellow. “Additionally, to have my entire teaching career learned, developed, and inspired by the great LPGA Master Professional Betsy Cullen is incredible. I feel like the luck one and cannot thank this wonderful, giving and dedicated teacher enough. Finally, without a doubt, thank you, LPGA Professionals Executive Committee, LPGA Staff, and LPGA Membership for this tremendous recognition.”
About the LPGA Professionals
The LPGA Professionals, founded in 1959 as an outgrowth of the LPGA Tour, boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world. LPGA Professionals are educators, business leaders and game changers dedicated to growing the game of golf for everyone, certified through a comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the changing needs of the golfing public.
More than 1,800 strong, LPGA Professionals are dedicated to the advancement of golf and serve throughout the golf industry as head professionals, assistant professionals, teaching professionals, directors of golf, owners of golf schools and facilities, golf administrators, college and high school coaches and more. LPGA Professionals support the LPGA’s various grassroots programs that were created to involve women and youth in golf as well as contribute to the overall growth of the sport. These include LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, LPGA Tour Junior Clinics, the LPGA Lesson Zone and LPGA Golf 101 programs. For more information, visit www.lpga.com/professionals.