Starting in November, 2011 The Sand Trap began offering "awards" to members on a regular basis. Awards show up beneath a user's signature and, when clicked, bring you to this article. Awards are intended primarily for fun and recognition, and we're happy to hand them out to deserving members of our forum so they can be shown off proudly!
There are two types of awards and, as of right now, 15 awards in total as of the time of this writing. They're all discussed below. Staff members of The Sand Trap are ineligible for awards, so if you're wondering why none of us have any, it's not necessarily because we're lousy people. Additionally, members can only hold four awards at a time, should you spy someone with four, rest assured they're a real rock star who may have more awards were it not for this rule.
A full list of award winners can be found in this thread: http://thesandtrap.com/t/54183/sand-trap-site-award-winners-thread.
These awards recognize members who demonstrate a capacity for doing good things that can be measured - but which are often missed - on the site. These awards are more like the classic awards, recognizing actual achievement, and are less about whimsy than the Fun Awards.
The monthly awards are given to the top member* for each of the queries who has not previously won that award the previous month. The yearly awards are given to the top three members* in order and will be displayed permanently throughout the following year.
Rookie of the Month
This award is given to the member who, having joined in the past 60 days, has received the most reputation votes by members eligible to give them. In the case of a tie, things such as post count or the number of posts which receive reputation (thumbs up) will be considered.
Member of the Month
This ward is given to the member who has received the most reputation votes by his fellow members (those eligible, anyway) in the prior calendar month. In case of a tie, as with the Rookie OTM award, things such as the post count or the number of posts which receive thumbs up will be considered.
Reviewer of the Month
This award (complete with the two-tone star, just like the stickers you'd get in kindergarten except cooler), honors the member who completed the most product and/or course reviews of a minimum length (we'd tell you what that length is, but then we'd have to kill you) in the previous calendar month.
Kickstarter of the Month
This award is given to the member who starts the thread which garners the most replies in the month. We apply some discretion here to exclude "troll bait" type threads or threads which are revived well after they were started.
These same awards, except Rookie of the Month, exist in yearly form as well.
These are awards given out for the heck of it, for fun. Wheee! :)
This award is given to any member who has won a TST-sanctioned* contest recently. We aren't entirely sure how long "recently" will be, but it'll be at least as long as until the next contest and may be a fair amount longer than that! (* TST-sanctioned simply means events run with TST and excludes contests sponsors run on their own with no direct TST involvement).
This award is given to any member who correctly predicts the winner (and often the score) of the most recent major championship, or large event (the Players Championship, the FedExCup, the Ryder or Presidents Cups). They'll hold this award until the next event.
TST Scientist Award
This award is given to any member who participates in the most recent "lab experiment" conducted by The Sand Trap. These "experiments" will range from the "Forward Tees Experiment" to various other fun and potentially insightful tasks that members are asked to do in order to learn about their games and the game of golf.
* Moderators and administrators are not eligible for performance awards nor many of the fun awards.