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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Start the Season with the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship


Entries are now available for the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship, to be held March 16-17 at Meridian Valley CC. Head PGA Professional Greg Manley is excited to host this year. Join us for both the tournament and our Section Spring Meeting which will immediately follow our first round at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be worth at least 2 MSR credits in required PGA Education, and it’s the only Section meeting where you can wear golf attire (although a jacket is also acceptable)!

Click here for online entry

Click here to download the PDF entry

bushnell logoSally Schmitz is back as a sponsor of the Pro-Assistant Championship with Bushnell. Bushnell has been the industry leader in high performance sports optics for over 50 years, which offering cutting-edge technology on a wide array of rangefinders.

Cutter & Buck logoBryan Dickson is also a returning sponsor with Cutter & Buck. Cutter & Buck is a premier line of golf-inspired apparel for men and women who appreciate innovative, high-quality sportswear and was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1989.

Thanks also to Matt Pollitt and PTE Golf for returning as  a supporting sponsor.

The Pacific Northwest Pro-Assistant Championship launched into the tournament world in 1992 with a seven hole sudden-death match between the Progress Downs team of Jerry Minor/Ralph West and the Royal Oaks team of Steve Bowen/Michael Wilkerson, with the latter team being victorious. Teams are made up of Directors of Golf, General Managers or Head Professionals paired with their Assistant Professionals. Bosses, this is an excellent opportunity to bond with your employees in a fun, team competition!

2014 Pro-Assistant Champions

The best part of the championship was “knowing that I can compete with the best guys in the Section – and of course getting to play with the boss!” ~Colin Inglis from Emerald Valley GC (2014 Pro-Assistant Champion)

Last year, Head PGA Professional Todd O’Neal of Emerald Valley GC and Assistant Professional Colin Inglis won the Pro-Assistant Championship at Royal Oaks CC after a 1-hole playoff.  They won against the team from Semiahmoo G&CC with Director of Golf Brett Eaton and Assistant Professional Trevin Williams.  The two teams had a two day total of 133, 11 under par for the Four-Ball competition. For Inglis, the best part of the championship was, “knowing that I can compete with the best guys in the Section – and of course getting to play with the boss.”

Start the season with the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship and Section Spring Meeting, at beautiful Meridian Valley CC. 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.

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The Most Common Money Mistakes among Golf Professionals

Anyone can retire. The trick is to enjoy retirement, and that means having enough money.

BP-graphic-Feb2015Making sure you’ve got “enough” varies for everyone. It depends on your earnings and savings during your decades of work. It depends on your standard of living in retirement. It depends on your health and expenses. But the most common mistakes are the same for everyone, regardless of income level. Avoid these seven costly pitfalls, which prevent you from reaching your retirement planning goals:

1. Not having a plan. It’s frightening how many people don’t figure out how much yearly income they’ll need, or how much their annual expenses will be.

The first step in figuring out how much you’ll need is to make a budget. The first attempt should be years before you retire. Then fine-tune it as you approach retirement.

When you make a budget, be honest with yourself. Not being realistic is another big mistake that people make.

2. Ignoring health costs. A 65-year-old couple will need $220,000 to pay medical and drug bills in retirement. (If a couple has made it this far, expect another 25+ years of medical expenses that rise with age. Most people budget for only a fraction of what they’ll need. That can wreck your finances in later years.

3. Excess concentration. Because of company stock, many people — especially executives — end up with up to 50% of their portfolio in a single asset. That’s too risky. Starting five years before retirement, start to trim that. Your goal should be no more than 5% to 10% in any one stock. Many people in our industry don’t see this specific problem but are nonetheless concentrated in one asset (i.e. the 401(k) plan is it for retirement or a paid-for home is the only equity they have).

4. Failure to downsize housing. Many people find it hard to leave the house they’ve enjoyed for so long. But it’s often an essential step. It’s important to downsize even though sluggish housing prices make it harder to finance a large part of retirement with the profit on selling your home. Now it’s important to eliminate the financial drain of a big home’s taxes and upkeep. I can’t count how many times families tell me “we’ll cross that bridge when it comes” and the kids end up moving mom and dad when they are in their 90’s. Fun stuff

5. Not updating estate documents. Make sure you’ve named the current beneficiaries you want on everything from retirement accounts to bank accounts and in wills, trusts as well as insurance policies.

Be sure assets will pass to loved ones you intend now, not the ones you intended 10 or 20 years ago, especially if there’s been a life event such as divorce. Do you really want the courts to decide this for you?

6. Overlooking retirement account rules. The year after you turn 70- ½ you must begin withdrawals from a regular IRA and from a 401(k) account at any company where you no longer work.

If you fail to start payouts, you risk being hit with a penalty of 50% on the amount you were supposed to withdraw. Once you take the money out, you’ll also have to pay income tax on it.

7. Mishandling rollovers. If you move money from, say, a 401(k) into an IRA, let the financial institutions make the shift (back-office to back-office). Otherwise, you risk creating a taxable withdrawal, and possibly penalties for an early withdrawal.

One big takeaway is that many Americans are saving far too little for their retirement. And many of those individuals, who are saving, are making costly errors. We can help you get ready.

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


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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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Top Ten Skills to Develop for Better Employment Opportunities in Golf

Are you wondering how to achieve better employment opportunities? One major key is to broaden your skill set. To do this, start by taking advantage of PGA programs and offerings. Check for education opportunities offered by your chapter and section. The association offers both a Certified Professional Program and Master Professional Program. Besides these formal trainings, on-the-job training is an even more effective way to learn new skills. If you do not have other PGA Professionals working alongside you in the golf shop, it is up to you to commit to learn and broaden your skillset.

Once you have decided to take the step to acquire new skills, how do you decide what to learn? In my years of working with section employers, there are many skills that employers have identified as critical for those desiring to leap from Assistant Professional to Head Professional or Head Professional to General Manager. Following are three broad categories and ten skills that employers shared to be the most important.

  • The Game: PGA Professionals continue to be the gold standard for teaching and playing the game. Employers appreciate the credibility that teaching and playing brings to their facility – and the added value it provides their golfers and businesses.
  • The People: PGA Professionals have traditionally prided themselves on their ability to relate to their golfers. Developing customer relationships and learning more closely of their needs is important. These relationships are more critical and perhaps more valuable now than in the past.
  • The Business: While business skills have always been important to employers, the current business climate has necessitated a reordering and a reemphasis of them. Top competencies requested by employers are:
  1. Customer Service and Retention – Happy, satisfied customers have always been important. Now they are a financial and strategic necessity.
  2. Sales – From golf balls to memberships, this skill set is critical for success today.
  3. Marketing and Promotion – With the number of golfers remaining somewhat static, finding new, creative ways to attract new players and stimulate additional activity is a critical skill. In this new era, utilizing social media is increasingly important, as is having an effective website.
  4. Yield Management – In the past, many facilities implemented discounting to fill tee sheets. This may not be effective, especially long term. Owners desire utilization of more effective revenue or tee sheet management methods such as demand-based pricing and effective use via the internet.
  5. Budget Development and Management – Formerly, at a minimum, it was important to be able to manage a budget. Now it is critical not only to develop and manage budgets, but to also make creative corrective adjustments on a weekly and even daily basis. Managing the bottom line requires being personally accountable for the department’s performance.
  6. Staff Management – The performance of PGA managers is increasingly being judged in large part on their success in staff management. It encompasses a great many functions including recruitment, training, mentoring, supervising and evaluating. Understanding the unique differences in working with the Millennials and Generation X and Y needs to be understood.
  7. Merchandising – If $100k is going to be tied up in inventory, owners want to know that products will be strategically purchased based upon customers’ needs. From buying to display, this is a critical skill.
  8. Business Management – This includes such things as time management, organization, communication and prioritization. More than ever, it is indispensable to utilize technology from point of sale to electronic tee sheets and other emerging and productivity technologies.
  9. Food and Beverage – From cost analysis, to portion and labor control to basic management skills, this is one area that employers relay is a weakness.
  10. Agronomy – Are you knowledgeable about the different grasses on your course, the irrigation schedule, basic cultural practices and most common diseases? This is the start of understanding golf course agronomy – another skill that employers feel is not commonly developed.

It is a fact that more employers are looking to hire PGA members for a General Manager role. So how do you work into this role? Employers tell us that first, you have to have a desire to and must develop a strong working knowledge of all of the above skill sets.

How driven are you to achieve better employment opportunities?
Contact Carol Pence by calling (510) 706-1583 or via e-mail at CPence@pgahq.com.

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PNW PGA Honored for Growing Junior Golf Through PGA JLG

pga-jlg-flagPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The PGA of America and League Golf will honor eight regional PGA Junior League Golf Captains and PGA Sections of the Year for their successful 2014 seasons during the 62nd PGA Merchandise Show. The national PGA Junior League Golf Captain and PGA Section of the Year will be named Jan. 21 (Wednesday) during the “Growing Junior Golf Through PGA Junior League Golf” presentation (2:30 – 3:15 p.m.) on the PGA Forum Stage.

“Our Professionals and PGA Section honorees have truly put in the time, energy and passion to cultivate PGA Junior League Golf participants across the country,” said PGA of America President Derek Sprague. “Thanks to their efforts, boys and girls nationwide are being introduced to golf and ensuring the future of the game.”

The regional PGA Sections of the Year honorees were selected based on the total number of teams, percentage increase in teams from 2013, percentage of PGA facilities participating and their overall involvement in PGA Junior League Golf promotion, recruitment, league assignments and communication.

Each of the eight regional PGA Junior League Golf Sections of the Year saw significant increases in team participation in 2014. Below are the regional winners and their percentage increases from 2013 to 2014:

Region 1 – New England PGA Section

  • 85 teams, 74% increase

Region 2 – Mid-Atlantic PGA Section

  • 115 teams, 80% increase

Region 3 – Indiana PGA Section

  • 98 teams, 63% increase

Region 4 – Illinois PGA Section

  • 124 teams, 126% increase

Region 5 – Carolinas PGA Section

  • 105 teams, 135% increase

Region 6 – Georgia PGA Section

  • 86 teams, 56% increase

Region 7 – Gateway PGA Section

  • 47 teams, 840% increase

Region 8 – Pacific Northwest PGA Section

  • 62 teams, 265% increase

The regional Captains of the Year were selected based upon various criteria, including player participation, recruitment of PGA Professional Captains, parental involvement and other administrative duties associated with running their leagues.

The 2014 PGA Junior League Golf regional Captains of the Year with their achievements are:

  • Region 1 – Todd Cook, PGA: Milton Hoosic Club (Canton, Mass.)
  • Region 2 – Andy Miller, PGA: Berkshire Country Club (Reading, Pa.)
  • Region 3 – Scott Jones, PGA: Turnberry Golf Course (Pickerington, Ohio)
  • Region 4 – Todd Russell, PGA: Springbrook Golf Club (Naperville, Ill.)
  • Region 5 – Ralph Landrum, PGA: World of Golf (Florence, Ky.)
  • Region 6 – Jack Dean, PGA: Dublin, Ga.
  • Region 7 – Nic Bunning, PGA: Greenbriar Hills Country Club (Kirkwood, Mo.)
  • Region 8 – Nolan Halterman, PGA: Anthem Country Club (Henderson, Nev.)

PGA Junior League Golf is also a finalist for the 22nd annual ING Industry Honor Awards in the Player Development category. The winner will be announced Jan. 22 (Thursday) during the PGA Merchandise Show.

For more information about PGA Junior League Golf, visit PGAJrLeagueGolf.com.

To learn more about the PGA of America, visit PGAMediaCenter.com.

Below is a list of PGA Sections located within each Region:

  • Region 1 – Connecticut, New England, Metropolitan New York, Northeast New York, Central New York, Western New York
  • Region 2 – New Jersey, Middle Atlantic, Philadelphia
  • Region 3 – Indiana, Michigan, Southern Ohio, Northern Ohio, Tri-State
  • Region 4 – Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska
  • Region 5 – Tennessee, Kentucky, Carolinas
  • Region 6 – Georgia, Dixie, North Florida, South Florida
  • Region 7 – South Texas, South Central, Gateway, Colorado, Sun Country, Midwest, Gulf States, North Texas
  • Region 8 – Southern California, Northern California, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Utah, Aloha


Tammy Boclair, Alday Communications, tammy@aldaycommunications.com, 615.791.1535 x26

Randy Stutzman, PGA of America, rstutzman@pgahq.com, 561.624.8438

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