I just returned from the PGA Executive Director Conference and Merchandise Show. It was a busy week working with my peers, National staff and of course our generous sponsors.  Before I get to a few National highlights – we are very lucky to have such a great list of sponsors supporting our programs.  Without them, our opportunities would look very different.  One theme is universal – sponsors are looking for support and recognition.  Buy when you can and always recognize their generosity even if you don’t buy. It makes a difference!

We’ve already confirmed support from – adidas, AMA/Sundog, Antigua, Bushnell, Certifresh, Cutter & Buck, Ecogolf/ProTag, GT Golf Supplies, Haas Jordan, Hole In One, USA, Imperial, Levelwear, Mizuno, OrangeWhip, Pacific Golf & Turf, Pelzer Golf Supplies, PlayKleen, PTE Golf, Range Servant, Skechers, Sun Mountain, State Farm, Sterling Cut Glass, TaylorMade, and Yamaha.  We are in talks with Bridgestone, Club Car, Club Glove, eGull, Greg Norman, Honma, PXG, and TCM Bank to develop programs to meet their needs.  Add in our National sponsors – adidas, Club Car, Golf Advisor, JaniKing, John Deere, National Car Rental, Omega, PGA Tour, Srixon-Cleveland, TaylorMade, and Titleist-Footjoy and we are fortunate indeed. Thank you all for supporting our sponsors and writing those thank you emails!

In Orlando I met with Dawes Marlatt and Todd Sammons and they will be bringing the PGA Business Simulations to Willamette Valley Country Club on Sunday, March 18. These are real-life simulations of running a business, the decisions you make change the scenario for the next challenge you need to solve. We will offer two sessions – one geared toward public facilities and another focused on private clubs.  Look for complete details very soon.  Opposite each session Birk Nelson of OrangeWhip will give a short seminar to help your teaching.

March 18 is also the night of our Special Awards Ceremony, click here to register to attend and support our award winners. You’ll enjoy the evening as we discover why these professionals are recognized as the best of the best.

Since we like to combine activities to provide for efficiency of travel in our rather large section, we combine the Pro-Assistant Championship (March 19-20) and the Spring Meeting (March 19) with the two programs above with all events at our host, Willamette Valley Country Club.

In an effort to help drive participation in PGA Junior League nine markets were chosen to receive the full court press in National media promotions.  Seattle is one of those markets and the push will begin in early February. While focused in Western Washington the marketing will naturally spill over to other areas of the Section. What does this mean to you?  There will be a significant number of new players looking for a team….be sure you are registered as a captain and once registered be sure you are prepared to accept more players. If you fill, be ready to open additional teams!

The playoff structure for PGA Junior League is also being updated. We will now have a Section Championship and this team will move on to the Regional Championship.  The playoff structure will change and we are working with Branden Thompson on the plan. Sites are being recruited for Local Qualifiers in 8 areas with these 8 champions heading to the Sectional Championship.  We hope to have all Locals on a single weekend in August.

Drive Chip and Putt is another big initiative of ours – registration is OPEN.  Please promote to your juniors and parents.  Parents can register at www.drivechipandputt.com.

I’m happy to report that Ben Foreman of Yamaha renewed his support for the Yamaha Player Development Grants.  Look for applications for both these grants and the PGA Junior Golf Fund’s Youth Player Development Grants early next week.  Together we’ll be offering $24,000 in support again this year!

On January 22, National announced a new member benefit program called PerkSpot. This new program offers discounts in a nearly endless supply of companies.  Check this National email and watch for a follow up from the Section in the coming weeks. You can of course go to PGA.org for more information.

We start the Chapter Spring Meeting schedule on February 19, I’ll be making the tour and look forward to connecting with you at your meeting. Be sure to corner me at your meeting if I can be of assistance.  I ask questions when I see the National staff – feel free to do the same to me!


Jeff Ellison