2015 Yamaha Player Development Grant Program

Yamaha logoThe Pacific Northwest Section is proud to join with our friends at Yamaha to present the YAMAHA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT GRANT PROGRAM. This new initiative reflects both our commitments to growing the game of golf in the great Northwest.

This opportunity is open to all Pacific Northwest Section Members and Apprentices in good standing who seek funding to help support their own Player Development programs. This program is focused on ADULT programming. The Junior Fund will be developing a similar program focused on junior golf. Our approach will be specifically broad and we encourage you to think outside the box.

Our goals are to provide as many grants as possible, with a maximum of $1,000 per grant. We will focus on enhancing your programs rather than fully funding them.

As a new program, we are looking to you to help define the needs of professionals in the Northwest. Do you need funding to buy rental sets for your beginner classes, do you need funding for a meet and greet reception to introduce Get Golf Ready, do you want to offer scholarships to potential students to pay ½ their registration fees, do you need part of the cost of a booth at the Home Show? The list could be endless. The Committee will consider all requests and your applications will help us expand our vision on what programs should be considered.

The attached application is designed to be efficient to complete, but please provide sufficient details. At the end of the grant we’ll have two requests. First, provide documentation on the use of the funds and second, write a short one page “Best Practice” on your program that we can share with other professionals through our web site.

The Grant Application is available as a Word file or as an editable pdf. Simply type your responses to each question. If the file grows to additional pages, we certainly welcome the detail.

Click here for the Word document application

Click here for the PDF application

Applications are due no later than March 15, 2015. Please email to jellison@pgahq.com or mail/fax to address/fax below.

We look forward to reviewing your request.

Jeff Ellison, PGA
Chief Executive Officer
Pacific Northwest Section PGA
PO Box 14819
Tumwater, WA 98511

Fax: 360-456-6745

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2015 PNW PGA Apprentice Mentoring Program

The Pacific Northwest Section recently updated the apprentice requirements to retain Section and Chapter Playing Privileges. Apprentices and members who employ apprentices should view the video and then review the information presented. Important changes have been made in the program with very specific requirements to meet.

Thank you for viewing the presentation, the details are presented below.

The Basics

To retain active status with the Section, Apprentices are required to attend one PGA Education Seminar, attend one PGA Meeting and compete in one PGA Tournament each calendar year.

Apprentices that fail to satisfy any or all of the three requirements above shall be placed in “Inactive” status with the Section and lose their Section and Chapter playing privileges. Playing privileges may be restored through a process of meeting with a Section mentor and following the program developed in this meeting to regain “Active” status and restore the apprentices playing privileges.

Apprentices suspended by the PGA of America will remain suspended until released by the PGA of America. Such apprentices are subject to the Education and Meeting requirements of this provision.

Qualifying Activities

  1. PGA Education – includes Section, Chapter and National education workshops and seminars at least two hours in length. Attendance must be in person. The following do not qualify for this requirement – on-line or video attendance, vendor specific training, CPR, facility training and the like. Attendance of a PGA PGM Level does satisfy this requirement.
  2. PGA Meeting – includes Section, Chapter and National meetings. Attendance must be in person. Primarily meetings include – Section/Chapter Spring and Fall Meetings and the PGA National Annual Meeting. With the prior approval of the Section, this activity may include Section/Chapter Town Hall meetings provided such meetings include at least one Section/Chapter officer, are at least two hours in length and focus on Section/Chapter issues and business. The following do not qualify – allied association meetings, committee meetings, board meetings, crackerbarrels and the like.
  3. PGA Tournament – includes Section, Chapter and National events. Championships and Pro-Ams owned and operated by the PGA qualify. Apprentices who have not fully satisfied the PAT may use a PAT to satisfy this requirement. Unofficial events within the Section do not qualify – such as Blue Mountain Best Ball, Fall Tour, Lilac Open, Montana Open, and the like. To meet the PGA Tournament requirement, Apprentices with a physical disability may apply to the Chief Executive Officer for an accommodation.
  4. Seasonal Proration – Apprentices joining the Section between April 1 and September 30 are required to fulfill any two of the requirements. Apprentices joining the Section after September 30 have no requirement for the current year. This proration applies to the first year of registration with the Section. The full requirement must be satisfied by seasonal transfer/employees in all subsequent years.

Mentoring and Restoring Active Status/Playing Privileges

  1. Apprentices placed in Inactive status shall meet with a Section Mentor to develop a plan to satisfy the current deficiency and successfully satisfy future requirements.
  2. Apprentices will be required to satisfy the specific deficiency – Education, Meeting, or Playing before being restored to Active status and full playing privileges.


National Suspensions – apprentices suspended by the PGA of America will remain suspended until released by the PGA of America. Such apprentices are still subject to the Education and Meeting requirements of this provision and the playing requirement during periods not suspend by the PGA of America.

Click here for a pdf of the requirements

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March 2015 President’s Report: Happy Spring

It’s not often that I purposely show the Golf Committee at my club, that we overbudget for two straight months. But, these last two months have been unbelievable in the Northwest. I’m sure many of you were in the same boat – record rounds of golf in January and February, with revenues way over budget, too. Spring has sprung for sure. What a great start to the season!

I visited the Inland Empire Chapter Spring Meeting at Coeur d’Alene Resort in mid-February last month, as well as the Oregon Chapter meeting at Tualatin CC. Record attendance! I’m hoping that this is due to the optimism and great promotion that our PGA brothers and sisters have been delivering, and not that it is just our members getting their MSR’s before the cycle ends on June 15th. Either way, there was a full docket of speakers and education opportunities during these meetings and the “Sweet 16”. Thanks to Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen and the rest of the IE Chapter Board and Sean Fredrickson and the rest of the OR Chapter Board for allowing me to spend some time with you. Also, thanks to Section Education Chair Andy Mackimmie and his Committee for coordinating dozens of Education opportunities for our Section and 5 Chapters, to answer the need of our membership as we head towards the end of our MSR cycle.

I have one similar takeaway coming out of both of these meeting – it’s time to promote the game in multiple, unique ways. I wrote down a laundry list of ideas that could work at my own facility. These are simple ideas that don’t require a ton of labor to implement, have low overhead or startup costs, and will probably generate a positive variance to your bottom line. I wanted to share them with you; they are not my original ideas whatsoever. You may have some these ideas in place already. Thanks to Monte Koch, PGA, for helping with many of these best practices as well:

  • PGA Junior League has been very successful in its early stages. Why not start a PGA Women’s, Men’s, Senior’s League at your club, too?
  • Drive, Chip, and Putt doesn’t have to be just for the juniors. Your adult golfers would enjoy taking a crack at it!
  • Start a Fantasy Golf League. There are hundreds of different ways to do it, so find one that works for your club. Engage your golfers and they’ll keep coming back for more.
  • Create 1, 2, 3 and 4 hour golf experiences at your club. Not everyone can find time to play the whole 18 holes. Find and promote ways to enjoy golf for less amounts of time. Play more often, maybe just not for as long.
  • Block time off your schedule to walk the range tee and visit the golfers on the putting green. Free tips here and there spell out customers that will come back to you over and over again
  • Invest in family golf. If you don’t have a separate set of family tees at your facility yet, you should look into it. There is nothing better than watching families play a hole of golf together, with parents playing from the normal adult tees and the juniors playing from the forward tees. Pick a night, find some extra tee markers to put out in the middle of the fairway if you have to, and get ready for family fun on the golf course.
  • (And the best for last!) Connect with your golfers at the beginning of the season, and spell out to them the programs that you offer. If you can find time to reach out individually, you will have loyal customers forever.

I’m sure most of you have your own, tailored activities that fit your facility and its needs. We sometimes forget to remind ourselves that we already have many great events and programs at our clubs. But, remind your course owners, boards, club managers, or whatever powers to be that you are doing a great job promoting golf at your facilities. And last, but never the least, remind your golfers of the great things you have in store with them this year. They will love you for it.

Have a great season,
Bryan Tunstill, PGA

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What You Should Know about Schedule D before Selling a Home

Personal finance, like golf, is “deceptively simple and endlessly complicated”.

Since the crash of 2008/2009 our economy has gone through a metamorphosis. We have all had to tighten our belts, spend less than we make, save for retirement, fear another crash and become timid with our investment decisions, relocate for jobs, etc. If you now find yourself in the position to actually think about selling your home, consider some of these key items. I doubt your real estate broker will be looking this deep into your situation.

The first item to think about is whether you are going to profit more than the exemption. For married taxpayers filing jointly, the maximum amount of this profit (realized gain) that may be excluded from gross income is $500,000. Wow, that seems like a lot. But consider this.

Freddie Fairways, age 45 and single due to golfing addictions, has owned and lived in his home for three years. He made a great investment after the fall out in home prices. He paid $75,000, as the market found the bottom, and recently sold for $375,000. There needed to be some things done to improve the home over the years ($20,000 porch and $5,000 deck). He incurred a broker’s commission of $9,000 on the sale. What is the recognized gain and what is the realized gain?

Selling price of old residence:  $375,000
Less selling expenses: ($9,000)
Less adjusted basis of old residence:  ($100,000)
Realized gain (schedule D):  $266,000
Less $250,000 exclusion (single):  ($250,000)
Recognized gain (schedule D): $16,000

Why is the schedule D so important? If Freddie also has a loss sitting in his stock portfolio of $30,000 he can sell the stock for a loss. Gains can be netted against losses on schedule D. In other words, he won’t be paying taxes on the $16,000 recognized gain.

One thing to remember when claiming the $250,000 exclusion ($500,000 married filing jointly) is that you had to live in the home as a primary residence for at least 2 of the last 5 years preceding the date of sale.

An exception is available if a taxpayer lives in the residence less than the two years and moves because of a new job, for health reasons, or “unforeseen circumstances” like marriage! Be careful, there is a 50 mile rule here as well. Less than 50 miles, the exception does not apply.

If you plan to sell a home this year make sure you’ve done all of your homework before the end of 2015.

While investing can also feel both rewarding and maddening at times, remember that “staying the course” when it comes to your investment strategy may help lead to winning results over the long run. You could save thousands of dollars with a simple phone call to B P Financial Associates. Give us a call today.

Blake Parrish
Senior VP, Portfolio Manager
Phone: (503) 619-7237
E-mail: blake@bpfinancialassoc.com

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Five Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Pro Shop

As you tackle getting ready for golfers to return, go beyond cleaning the carpets and shining the counters. Let a little cleanup trickle to operations too. Here are five things you can do to help shake off winter and get you and your staff enthused for the upcoming season.

1. Organize and De-clutter

Think about the kind of impression you give your customers/members who walk into the shop. What do they see?

Give the shop and your office a once-over. Clean out desk drawers, counter drawers and cubby holes as well as storage rooms. Take a look through lost and found and donate items that have been there awhile. File the piles of paper cluttering counters and offices. Clean up and organize your computer files and email in-boxes.

Be sure to err on the side of organization, because it presents better appearance and saves time searching for things.

2. Make Ready

This is a good time to get ahead of the game a bit.

Make a list of projects and prioritize what needs to get done before the season really kicks in. Get ready as many details as possible, on programs new and old, in the coming season. Prepare all of the information available for this year’s monthly calendars.
Freshen up your business card, flyers and other marketing materials. If the facility’s website has not been updated, take the time to prepare new updated material. This may include adding a blog post, survey or some video. Perhaps ask for client testimonials.
Write and practice an elevator speech for staff and new members/customers. Develop a good process to track ideas for new programs, revenue-producers, etc. Consider blocking off some time to share some fun with staff.

3. Streamline

What processes or procedures can be updated and simplified?

Take a close read of the Shop’s Policies and Procedures Manual and Safety Manual. Refine report forms and processes that are too cumbersome or ask for unnecessary data. Perhaps there is a need to develop new forms.

Simplify the organization or filing of computer data. Check on the integrity of backed up data and update it. Run virus scans on your computer.

4. Repair

What are those little items that have been overlooked? Whatever they are, now is a good time to get them handled.

Perhaps the entry or counter area needs a quick facelift. Or the door frame is splitting. A back window is cracked. Take a good tour of the grounds and Golf Shop and make note of all of the things needing repair. Then decide who can take care of them. Assign and note a goal for completion.

5. Review

Before things get crazy busy, take some time to examine and share.

Sit down with key staff to go over this season’s plans. Review and update your list of programs and services. Get rid of unnecessary ongoing business expenses. Review member/customer agreements and make any necessary revisions. Review and update all email rules and filters.


Cleaning out can stir things up for the better. What will you do to spring clean your golf shop?

Contact Carol Pence by calling (510) 706-1583 or via e-mail at CPence@pgahq.com.

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March 2015 CEO’s Report

Spring is here and, thanks to Mother Nature, many of you are well ahead of budget for the year. Let’s hope the weather continues on this nice trend. We could sure use a decent spring to build the foundation for a great year. Hopefully, your staff levels will be back to full strength soon to match the level of play.

Our Spring Meeting is just around the corner, March 16 at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, WA. This will be your last Section opportunity to obtain those all-important PGA Required MSR’s. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, please log into your PGA.org account and review your progress. The period ends on June 15 and Class F is not a good place to land! Our staff his here to help you understand your requirements and will do their best to help you. If it’s been 3 years of inactivity, options will be limited, but there is a way!

On Sunday, March 15 we will honor our 2014 Section and Chapter Award winners at a special celebration at Meridian Valley Country Club. I hope you are able to join us to recognize 15 outstanding professionals. You might just be inspired hearing their stories. Click here to RSVP: http://www.pnwpga.com/event/pnw-pga-special-awards-ceremony-2/

Three tournament entries are out – Pro-Assistant, Senior Players and the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational.
Meridian Valley will host the Pro-Assistant Championship on March 16-17. Sponsored by Bushnell, Cutter & Buck and PTE Golf, the Pro-Assistant is always a popular format that allows Head Professionals the opportunity to spend a little quality time with their assistants. With a nice field and our fine sponsors, we always have a strong purse.
Thanks to John Thorsnes, Wine Valley plays host to the Senior Players Championship again this year. This is your chance to play Wine Valley at a little shorter yardage than the Northwest Open. Seniors, bring an amateur friend to this event April 21-22.
Finally, the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational is our first major of the year. We are very fortunate to enjoy a great five year sponsorship with Muckleshoot and our friends at Meridian Valley Country Club. Chris Manley has done an outstanding job on the Pro-Am and sponsor front, with proceeds from the Pro-Am supporting Folds of Honor. The Pro-Am (May 16-17) and Championship (May 18-20) will make for a fun week!

The PGA Financial Assistance Scholarship deadline is quickly approaching. Due March 15, go to PGA.org for the application. This is also your vehicle to apply for the Bunny Mason Scholarship. Don’t miss out.

If you have not completed the PGA Compensation Survey, please do so before the March 23 deadline. Whether you are at the top of the heap or a little lower, your data is important to providing relevant information to help elevate current and future compensation for you and your fellow professionals. Your data is completely private, with no one being able to pull a report with identifiable information. Your particular situation will not be available to anyone. Log into PGA.org today, you should be able to complete in 15 minutes or less.

We are headed to Las Vegas on Sunday, March 8 for the Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am. Twenty-one teams will be enjoying all that Las Vegas has to offer. As you can expect, Grant Holcomb does a great job as host. Start working now on a team for 2016 – you will have a blast! We also welcome a new sponsor to the Section, CaddyX. This is a new company that offers golf club transport services via UPS – in your own travel cover. Look for more on CaddyX in the future.

You’ll hear two new voices in the office. Cecelia Morales has returned from maternity leave and will be on the phones again each morning. New Tournament and Membership Assistant Michelle Parish is on the fast-track, working with Molly Cooper. We are lucky to have them on our great team.

Have a great March as you play, promote and teach this wonderful game.

Jeff Ellison, PGA
Chief Executive Officer

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Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational – Enter Now!


  • Meridian Valley CC – 6,673 Yards, Par 72
  • Field size – 136 professionals, 32 amateurs.
  • Competition -54 hole individual stroke play. NO CUT!
  • Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Pro-Am benefiting Folds of Honor:
    Saturday-Sunday, May 16-17
  • 89th Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational:
    Monday-Wednesday, May 18-20
  • CLICK HERE to sign up online for the Washington Open Championship Professional Entry.
  • CLICK HERE to download the Washington Open Championship Professional Entry.

Play for Honor

The Washington Open Invitational begins over the weekend with the Muckleshoot Casino WA Open Pro-Am benefiting Folds of Honor on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. Your team entry fee raises funds for Folds of Honor, which provides scholarships for the children and spouses of those killed or disabled in service to the United States Military. For more information or to sign up your team today, please visit https://www.foldsofhonor.org/

Play with the Best

The Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational will be held Monday-Wednesday, May 18-20. This event draws 168 of the best professional and amateur players in the Northwest. There is no cut! Last year’s champion, PGA Professional John Cassidy of Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club, is expected to return to defend this title. Watch 2014 interview with John Cassidy.

Be a Part of History

The Washington Open Invitational dates back to 1922. In that year, young Al Espinosa captured the crown at Yakima CC. Some big names have won this event over the years including the Zimmerman brothers, Al and Emery, along with Chuck Congdon, Al Mengert, Senior Tour Player Rick Acton and PGA Tour Player Fred Couples.

Chuck Congdon holds the record for the most wins (39, 47, 50, 52, and 62) while Al Mengert holds the record for the most consecutive wins (63, 64, and 65). The current tournament record is held by PGA Professional Tim Feenstra of Broadmoor GC (2011) and PGA Member Jeff Gove (2012).

Meridian Valley Country Club

Meridian Valley CC is championship golf at its most beautiful. This exceptional 18-hole layout was designed by Ted Robinson, one of the nation’s leading golf course architects, who chose the site based on the stunning views the surrounding area provided. MVCC opened in 1967 with 9 holes ready for play. The second nine holes and clubhouse opened in 1968. Over the years, MVCC has grown into one of the Northwest’s most respected golf courses. It has hosted the 1972, 1976, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2009, 2013 and 2014 Washington Open Invitational, as well as the SAFECO Classic from 1982 until 1999.

Muckleshoot Casino

muckleshoot casinoMuckleshoot Casino offers over 3,100 video gaming machines with the greatest variety of game themes under one roof. It also offers a variety of table games including $1 Blackjack and 25¢ Roulette, as well as the largest non-smoking Poker Room in the State! The Casino also has 8 tasty restaurant choices to satisfy your cravings, 6 different bars, and a variety of special guest entertainers at no cost. If that isn’t enough, make sure you hit up the HUGE BINGO HALL located just across from the Casino.


Professionals, please promote this event to the low handicap amateurs at your club!


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Goodbye from Jennifer

I wanted to say thank you for the last 3 years of working with all of you. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and will miss everyone. Unfortunately, Monday the 16th is my last day with the PGA. I have accepted a position elsewhere and am excited to be starting a new chapter in life. Thank you to all of you who have put a smile on my face and made my time here so much fun. It is so nice to work with a group of professionals that love what they do as well. It shows in your attitudes and the enthusiasm in your game. How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard? Thank you again for all the memories.

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