Happy New Year! Here’s wishing you and your family a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2015. With the dawn of the New Year I’m reminded how lucky we are as PGA Professionals to work in an industry centered on fun and enjoyment. A hundred years ago, I was headed down a different path where conflict and disagreement were the norm. I’m fortunate my old friend Don Bails showed me the light and it’s been 30 years of working with folks out to have a good time….well, most of them! Thank you all for being part of the first group.

The 2015 tournament schedule is complete and on the web site. Tournament dates and important events are on the calendar. Please work our outstanding championships into your schedule and make plans to attend our spring and fall meetings. As we approach June 15 and the end of the MSR cycle, make sure you complete your requirements. Log in to PGALinks to check your status.

The Special Awards Committee just completed their work for the 2014 Section Special Awards. I wish you all could have seen the effort and flat-out work that the six professionals put into the analysis. The high quality of the professionals identified by the chapter committees made the selection process difficult. The Special Awards Committee based their analysis on the merits of each candidate’s performance, often sought additional information, and let the facts lead the way to a recommendation. “Fine Line” was a common point as the committee worked to reach their recommendations. However, their work is not yet done – they are already hard at work discussing improvements to the process for 2015, like more user-friendly bios! Look for a press release after the January 9 Board Meeting and notification of the winners by President Tunstill. Congratulations to all the Chapter winners. You are a very impressive group of PGA Professionals.

Continued…

January 8-9 marks our annual Business Planning and Winter Board Meeting at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. We have a packed agenda preparing for 2015 and beyond. We lead off with the development of the Section’s Strategic Plan. Patterned after the new National initiative, you will see a plan that is aligned with the National strategy but not identical to that document. The goal is to provide a “big picture” document to keep us moving in a consistent direction as we go through the year and beyond.

The PGA Financial Assistance Scholarship application is now available. Open to children and grandchildren of PGA members, these scholarships help incoming college freshmen as well as existing college students with much needed funding for their education. Visit PGALinks and the information is on the home page before you log in.

It’s not too late to register your team for the Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am, March 8-12 at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino. We play Angel Park, Tuscany and Anthem Country Club. Click here for more information.

We fielded 62 PGA Junior League Golf teams in 2014 and interest is high for 2015. Please take a look at this exciting new program and how it can benefit you and your facility. Information on forming a team, joining a league and how much fun your juniors (and you) will have can be found at www.pgajrleaguegolf.com . While the National Championship gets a lot of play, the real benefits are right at your club with your juniors and their parents. Take a look and talk to your neighbor – they might be looking at forming a team as well.

I’ll be headed to Orlando soon and the PGA Merchandise Show. After two days of meetings with my fellow Executive Directors, I’ll be hitting the show floor and visiting with our sponsors. Your thank you letters and emails go a long way in making my job much easier. Please take a few minutes over the next couple of weeks and reach out to our sponsors with your expression of appreciation for their support. Visit member.pnwpga.com (use your PGALinks login information) and click “2014 Tournament Sponsor Info” on the home page to view a list of sponsors for each event. An email is great, even if to your local reps who simply forward these on to their sales managers. A thank you on-site is appreciated, but an email or letter is something tangible the boss can see and really makes renewals much easier. Thank you for your help!

Have a great January and I look forward to seeing you this spring.

Jeff Ellison