This month I want to share with you the results of my trip to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. It was a busy few days of meetings with PGA staff and connecting with our sponsors.

First, the Business Development team at National delivers a fantastic sponsor base each year in support from National Car Rental, Omega, Mercedes, ClubCar, TaylorMade-adidas, Nike Golf, Titleist-FootJoy, Jani-King, Pepsi and PGA National Resort. We connected with many of these folks during the meetings.

We start most of our sponsor conversations prior to the Show and use the Show to finalize on-going relationships and develop new opportunities. This year I’m happy to report we will see support from:

Pacific Golf & Turf (E-Z Go), Club Car, Yamaha, Bushnell, Bridgestone, Sterling Cut Glass, Hole-In-One USA, Holcomb-In-One (Antigua, Sun Mountain, Imperial, Voodoo Performance Towel, Range Servant), Greg Norman, Haas Jordan, TaylorMade-adidas-Ashworth-Adams, AMA/SunDog, Nike Golf, Winner’s Award Group, Birdies2Eagles, PTE Golf, Pro-Tag, CaddyX, Lorente, Cutter & Buck, Sun Mountain, Sunice, Pelzer, and ClubGlove. In the coming weeks we will be finalizing relationships with Columbia Sportswear, Martin Golf, Orange Whip, and a few others. An impressive list and the number one reason is the support Pacific Northwest Section professionals show for their sponsors. There are two things you can do to help maintain this list: 1) send a thank you email to every sponsor and 2) if your position allows, buy from our sponsors. Make it a goal to thank every sponsor at some point during the year. Your recognition of their support is so critical. Budgets will continue to shrink and the Sections that show support are the ones who will receive support. Thanks for the help.

The PGA Centennial kicked off at the Merchandise Show. You’ll see PGA Sections spotlighted on Golf Channel during the first 100 days. I’ll give you a heads up when we know ours will be running. Promotions will be active during this span then quiet down during the Majors-Olympics-Ryder Cup and then fire up again as we approach the 100th Annual Meeting in November. A special promotion called #ThxPGAPro has been launched where professionals and amateurs alike can thank a PGA Professional who’s played a role in their life. Use the #ThxPGAPro on any social media channel to send your message. Mine is already out there. Thanks, Don Bails, PGA. #ThxPGAPro.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is just four months away. We have a meeting at Sahalee on February 5 to finalize our Section operations. Look for an email next week to begin recruitment for our 158 volunteer shifts we need to fill. Most of these will be the highly prized practice area duties so you can watch the best female players in the world prepare for a major championship. It should be an exciting week. Angela Hinzpeter will take the lead managing this project for us. Thanks, Angela.

PGA Junior League will see a significant upgrade in operational structure in 2016. The new web site will work, player registration will be on–line to facilitate the all-important parental releases required when working with juniors, and uniforms will be improved. To assist you Monte Koch will be an ‘official’ resource this year with additional PGA Junior League responsibilities and Dominic Marconi attended a PGA Junior League Summit at HQ in January and will assist as needed. This is a great program for kids of all abilities that the PARENTS love. If you are new to PGA Junior League, please consider hosting a team in 2016. If you are returning, please read the details on the changes so you don’t get surprised along the way. Monte is planning a “Captains Tour” this spring….plan to attend.

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. Simply go to and information is on the home page before you log in.

Finally, Bryan mentioned our new Strategic Plan in his article. I encourage you to review it and offer your feedback to your officers. This high-level view will serve as the guide to the comprehensive Business Plan that is being developed. These two documents will be so important in guiding our future and keeping us on a consistent and well planned path.

One final request: before you get too busy with the season, please take a few minutes to complete the PGA Compensation Survey. This survey provides CONFIDENTIAL information that is extremely valuable to our Employment Consultant Carol Pence as she works to help everyone in the Section elevate their employment. Only large sample sizes can be reported so your participation in the survey helps provide a large sample size of fairly specific criteria. This restriction keeps individual information masked, making it impossible to determine individual numbers. Help us all out and complete the survey today. A link should be in your Member Alerts on

Have a great February, I hope to see you soon.

Jeff Ellison, PGA