What Are You Worried About?

“Golf is a good walk spoiled”  -Mark Twain

The economic recovery in the U.S. turned six years old on June 30, 2015. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP data since March 9, 2009 our economy has been in bull mode. The S&P500 index has returned a whopping 248.3% since.

Despite things getting better in the U.S., it still seems like enthusiasm is somewhat dampened and that more attention is given to the potential fallout from events like the Greek debt crisis and/or the sudden plunge in Chinese equities, in my opinion. In other words, the negative still trumps the positive. Consider that for a thousand years – China was a third world country. In the last thirty years they decided to borrow technology from first world countries (United States) and leap frog into being a high tech powerhouse. This one time infusion only works for a while in a high speed world where other countries keep on developing through free markets and democracy.

Some in the media even went so far as to speculate over whether the events in Greece and China were enough to throw the U.S. into recession. Such thinking is growing more commonplace these days due to globalization. The Chinese stock market is still up 75% higher than a year ago, even after the one month decline in July of roughly 28%. Let’s look at it over a longer period of time. And, compared to our +200 percent gain over the past six years, the Chinese stock market is up a little over 8% (1.4% per year !) This six year trend is not even close to a bubble. I think they only grow 4-5% GDP.

I remember when Japan was the second largest economy in the world during the 1990’s and falling hard while our economy kept growing to new all-time highs. The government got lucky in picking winners and losers, but eventually came to an end. They couldn’t transition toward making new things.

Simply put, if you are worried about the U.S. sliding into recession because of a global meltdown from China’s struggles, and would like to follow a pretty dependable barometer, then monitor the spread between the yields on the 2-and 10- Year Treasury Notes (T-Note).

U.S. monetary policy tends to have a significant influence over U.S. economic cycles. When the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy, other parts of the yield curve tend to react over time. We’ve been near zero for seven years and a long ways from tightening. But the Fed will eventually induce tight money policy. As indicated in the chart, recessions have tended to occur when the yield on the 2-Year T-Note exceeds the yield on the 10-Year T-Note, which was far from the case at the close of June 2015 (recessions are the highlighted vertical gray lines).


If golf is a good walk spoiled, I’d say the same holds true for long-term investing. You must be an aggressive saver and live within your means. Discipline is a key characteristic to learn. As save money, then invest in the ownership of things, due diligence also becomes important. If you’re ready to surround yourself with a trusted team of competent advisers who perform well for you, the investor, our door is open.

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

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The Terrible Cost of “Not Knowing” Part II

In my article for the July 2015 Foreword Press, I wrote about the importance of our customers and members knowing what we as golf professionals truly do as our core business activity, to drive revenue through more rounds and activity. In that article, I asked these two questions:


The key in question 1 is about “intentional salesmanship”. By intentional, I mean active. Whether it’s a “Guys n Gals Social Learning Club” for adults or a “PGA Sports Academy Junior Camp”, you’re actively talking about it, teaching the entire staff to sell it or bring it up when the opportunity arises. It’s certainly not passive marketing or just putting up a flyer on message board or above the urinals in the restroom, which basically rely on luck to work.

For question 2, I’d like to go deeper than I did last month, but I’d like to discuss it in reverse. For your employer, you need to be sure they KNOW YOUR WHY in what you are doing in player development to drive revenue to THEIR BOTTOM LINE. It’s in their enlightened self-interest to be concerned with the why and how it applies to their cash flow, their rounds and revenue. In that frame of reference, I would again strongly encourage you to START WITH WHY and be able to share it your employer, or anyone who interacts with them. They have “skin in the game” or they represent the group/person/entity who does, and they will tend to act accordingly.

In terms of knowing, there is huge difference between AWARENESS and UNDERSTANDING.

Example 1: If your employer is AWARE that you/your team have two PGA Junior League (PGAJLG) teams, that is good. But not good enough! They must UNDERSTAND why you engaged with 22 kids and their parents via PGAJLG and why that is great for their bottom line.

Example 2: If your employer is AWARE that you/your team have started a Social Learning Club model for your recreational adult golfers, that is good. But not good enough! They must UNDERSTAND why you chose to create this social learning model and how it will likely lead to:

  • 20% more rounds in the next 12 months
  • 79% more merchandise sold
  • 65% more food and beverage sales, etc.

Sharing these stats and even proving them with real examples from your operation will be valuable to help them (your employer) understand your why and how it benefits their bottom line.


Going further, I am starting to see some of our most savvy PGA colleagues starting to actively report their “player development engagement” activities to their employer on a monthly basis. I’ve helped some of these create a template like the picture shown below.


Like a scorecard, you can see how Bryan Tunstill, PGA (BT) and his staff at Columbia-Edgewater (CECC) are INTENTIONALLY ENGAGING with their membership. In this educated sample version, BTs staff has had 345 “member touches” or engagement contacts for the month of July. This doesn’t show the number of unique members BT and staff have engaged with, but it could. The red/italicized numbers are to show what BT and staff have projected as goals for engagement with their membership.

If you were a member of CECCs Board of Directors, I am virtually certain you would value this reporting and you would have a new, deeper understanding for what BT and his staff are focusing on in the golf department, including their why for the programming they choose to offer. You would also be likely to have a greater level of respect for what BT and staff do for your Club in active, intentional ways.

As stated in most of my articles, my role is not to tell you what you need to offer. Rather, I am here to help you identify opportunities where you can succeed and meet the needs of your customers, your employer and the like. To that end, it’s my hope to assist you in maximizing these opportunities. Please let me know how I can help you with your own template for reporting engagement with your customers so you can avoid the terrible costs of your employer NOT FULLY KNOWING and UNDERSTANDING what you want to do for them and their bottom line through your efforts as a PGA golf professional.

Monte Koch, Certified PGA Professional/Player Development
Player Development Regional Mgr/Mentor**
PGA of America (Greater Seattle/PacNW PGA Section)
Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com  Cell: 206/335-5260

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Senior Oregon Open Invitational – Final Results


2Undr Sponsor Kevin Burnett, Champion Billy Bomar,  Wildhorse Assistant PGA Pro Clint Ables

PGA Professional Billy Bomar of Prairie Falls GC won the 20th Senior Oregon Open Invitational in a three way playoff against defending champion PGA Professional Todd Erwin of Tacoma Golf Center and 2008 Champion PGA Professional Rob Gibbons of Arrowhead GC.  Bomar birdied the first hole of the playoff for the title and the $5,000 first place check.

PGA Professional JD Cline of Bear Creek CC (Woodinville, WA) won the 36 hole Super Senior competition after posting rounds of 72-70-142.

Click here for final results

Team Champions PGA Professional Bill Bomar and amateurs Mike Kerns, Dave Johnston and Dave Steinbach

Team Champions PGA Professional Bill Bomar and amateurs Mike Kerns, Dave Johnston and Dave Steinbach

Winning the team 36 hole competition was led by PGA Professional Billy Bomar, Mike Kerns, Dave Johnston and Dave Steinbach.

View final team results.

With the praise and popularity that the resort received the past 13 years, the Section was eager to reschedule the same venue.  The golf course is designed by John Steidel and is nestled at the base of mountains and wide open terrain.  Wildhorse Golf Course is modeled after a traditional Scottish links-style course with plenty of bunkers and tall grass lurking to make you work a little harder than usual.

The Pacific Northwest Section includes 1,100 PGA members and apprentices in Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, Western Montana and Alaska.  The Senior Oregon Open Invitational is one of three major senior championships conducted by the Section.

View past champions of the Senior Oregon Open Invitational.

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Join Us in January for the Hawai’i Pro-Am

2016-hawaii-banner4Our 41st annual winter destination event will take place January 14-21, 2016. We are returning to Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island for 7 days of surf, sun and golf. View flyer for full details and schedule.

Enjoy golf… and so much more! Join us for a week of surf, sun and golf at the Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island. You’ll play three rounds of golf and have plenty of time to explore the resort and surrounding island, including beautiful beaches, shopping and fishing.

We use a fun tournament format, with daily prizes (net and gross) for amateurs, professionals and teams. Overall tournament winners are based on best 2 out of 3 rounds.

Bruce Cudd retired after 40 years of a great job managing this event – thanks Bruce. Consequently, we are now running the event out of the office and there is one important change – there is no group airfare and airfare is not included in any entry fee. All players will need to book their own travel – both air and ground.

The entry form is for your team deposit of $200 per person to hold your spot. Submit this form and we’ll reply with the complete entry form to confirm arrival and departure dates, room upgrades, and a few other important details.

We’d love to see you in Hawai’i! Contact Molly or Jeff at the PNW PGA Section Office at 800-688-4653 for details on this exciting event!

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Play in the PNW PGA’s Most Interesting Tournament


We still have a few spots available for the Northwest Open Invitational at Wine Valley GC on August 17-19th. The entry deadline is Wednesday, August 5th. Don’t miss out on your chance to play in this historic championship!

pro online entry form | pro entry form (pdf) | amateur online entry form | amateur entry form (pdf)

Fantastic Golf

Wine Valley Golf Club, which opened in August of 2009, has already been listed on Golfweek’s Best New Courses-coming in at #5. This stunning Dan Hixson design unfolds on a grand scale, playing over rolling hills in the shadow of the Blue Mountains. Wine Valley GC had broad fairways, dramatic bunkers, and bold undulating putting surfaces. You will play fantastic golf all three days – the event is a 54-hole stroke play, no cut championship!

“Wine Valley GC is the best links-style course in the Northwest” – Mike Schoner, PGA

Great Fun

In addition to great golf, take time to enjoy one of the many winery tours available in Walla Walla. The Walla Walla Valley has been called “the next Napa Valley,” and for good reason. Here, winemakers from around the world are growing the next generation of legendary wineries.


“Three days of great golf at Wine Valley coupled with some of the best wineries in America make the NW Open one of my favorite events of the year. I circle the event date on my calendar and do my best to play in the event every year. Anyone who hasn’t played in the NW Open is missing out on a wonderful weekend both on and off the course!” – David Kass, PGA

We look forward to seeing everyone at beautiful Wine Valley for what should prove to be a most interesting tournament!


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PNW PGA Assistant Championship – Post Entry


We gained approval from National to accept post entries for the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship. If you already entered through the PGA, thank you. We’ll see you at Tualatin Country Club in Tualatin, OR on Monday, August 3. If your schedule just opened up or you are a newly registered assistant with playing privileges, you are welcome to post enter. The deadline for post entry is Wednesday, July 29 at 5:00 PM. Post entrants are not eligible to advance to the National Championship.

CLICK HERE for the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship post entry and complete tournament details.

Eligibility: You must be employed as an A-8 or as an Apprentice (including Apprentice Head Professional) to be eligible to play in the Section National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship.

Note: The PGA of America has adopted the condition of competition for Grooves and/or Punch Marks at the Section level of the Pacific Northwest PGA Assistant Championship. ALL PLAYERS MUST comply with this condition of competition.

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