April 5 was like any other busy April Friday, we finally had the pro-am season underway, we were pressing to get checks in the evening mail, kids were arriving at Augusta National for the Drive Chip and Putt National Finals and we were all eagerly awaiting “Masters Week”. On this day a short 14 years ago, we lost a friend to all with the passing of Dale Johnson. For those who did not have the pleasure of knowing Dale, he was our first Executive Secretary, hired away from the Oregon Journal by Section President Bunny Mason. As only the second Section employee in the country, Dale literally defined the role. A humble man with a sharp mind and even sharper wit, he served the members and the game with grace. Dale laid the foundation for much of what we do today and those of you who knew him will agree, the Section would be a very different place if it was not for the leadership of Dale Johnson. We miss the man, but he’s with us everyday in how we serve the members and grow the game.

The PGA Compensation Survey numbers are in and thanks to the 617 professionals who completed the survey we are back in second place! While the placing is just a metric, what’s important is that PGA Career Consultant Monte Koch now has the local data to help all of you achieve your goals. You did your part, now feel free to lean on Monte to evaluate your current position or develop a new opportunity. He’s here to help.

I hope you watched the Drive Chip and Putt National Finals last Sunday. It was great theater and makes you realize what a great game we are involved with. Congratulations to Angela Zhang of Bellevue, WA the Girls 7-9 National Champion and third place finishers Ian Bruchhauer of Anchorage, AK and Anna Huang of Vancouver, BC. Registration is open and I encourage you to reach out to your juniors and parents to register for this year’s competition. We have 13 local sites here in the Section, one must be close to you. You never know who you will watch at Augusta in April 2020!

The Grant Committee just completed their work and 37 Section professionals will be receiving $24,000 in funding from the Yamaha Player Development Grant and the Pacific Northwest PGA Junior Fund Grants to help fund their efforts to grow the game. Our thanks to Yamaha, the Winco Foods Portland Open and all of you who supported the 1% Club for making this all possible.

Entries are open for the first major of the year, the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational, May 20-22 at Meridian Valley Country Club. Superintendent Craig Benson already has the course in tournament condition, so you can expect another great championship at MVCC! Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational entries

The staff heads over to Wine Valley today for the Pacific Northwest Senior Players Championship. We are fortunate to have such a great partner in Wine Valley welcoming us for this and the Northwest Open Invitational. Thank you, Wine Valley!

The 2019 USGA Rules of Golf continue to evolve with the recent release of a new OPTIONAL Local Rule concerning the replacement of a damaged club. We will incorporate this Local Rule into the Section and Chapter Supplemental Rules of Play. See our revised “Hard Card”. Click here to see the full text of the Local Rule on the USGA website.

Please join me in welcoming two new sponsors, Aftershokz and Zeus Battery Products. Kelly Walker brings these folks to us in support of the Washington Open Invitational and Zeus will also be part of the Oregon Open Invitational. I’m also pleased to welcome GT Golf Supplies back to the Northwest Open Invitational. Darrell Livingston and Patrick Coughlin are longtime sponsors of the Section and we look forward to seeing them in August.

I had the pleasure of attending the Western Montana Chapter Meeting in Great Falls, MT on Sunday to make all five chapter meetings this spring. Thank you all for your warm welcome. I’m there to answer your questions and help make that connection so you feel comfortable calling the staff here in the office. If we can ever be of service, please don’t hesitate to call. We are here to help you get the most out of your PGA membership.

 

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA