What a month for all of us. A month ago, we had just met to postpone our first round of events and were hard at work planning for the unknown. Since that time it’s been a month of tracking government regulations in five states, helping professionals navigate the ever changing regulatory environment, diving into the details of the CARES Act and other relief opportunities and working with your terrific staff to develop a routine of working together while we all work remotely. Like with all of you, adaptability seems to be the key to success.

Through this process our focus is on our people. It is on all our members and associates, it’s on our vendors and sponsors, it’s on our host facilities, it’s on our golfers and it’s on our staff. For members and associates we built a COVID-19 resource page to pull information together in one location. The Board removed the previously scheduled 2020 cost of living dues increase and is working with National to delay the due date until October 31. The Board also relaxed procedures and requirements for associates. We also just finished our first round of virtual Town Hall Meetings. We’ve reached out to our sponsors to keep them posted on changes, we’ve talked to our early host professionals to make sure we are all on the same page. We are taking steps to manage our business so our staff is safe and still able to serve the membership. It’s been a busy few weeks. Every day the question is what’s coming next and how do we prepare to re-open.

On the National front, I can tell you that the PGA Member and the Sections have been at the forefront of many, many discussions. Doug Doxsie represents us on the Board of Directors and has been on daily conference calls during this period. The efforts made on your behalf have been outstanding and great to witness. Your officers and I have been on a constant stream of calls with the National leadership and it has been impressive to see the progress. National has also created a resource page for you on PGA.org. Please visit it regularly to keep up on the latest information.

With the restrictions in place, whether it’s social distance golf or no golf, many of you are experiencing a financial hardship. If you are laid off, apply for unemployment. The funding is available without the usual waiting period and the CARES Act increased the weekly maximum by $600.

The Golf Industry Relief Fund is designed to help support you in this time and the application goes live on April 16. Please check this out by clicking here and apply promptly at 2:00 PM EDT as the application are approved first come, first served. This fund can provide direct assistance to PGA Professionals.

If you are responsible for your business look into the CARES Act, the resources are there to help you. We have links on our COVID-19 page, click here.  Research the Payroll Protection Program, the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit, the EIDL SBA loans and check your state resources to see what they are offering. The options change daily so keep researching.

The Section Board and staff is working to reschedule events, working through our finances with a completely new budget to manage expenses, maximize purses and work for you on reduced revenues. We are utilizing all the new CARES Act tools we can access including the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit, EIDL SBA loans and even a line of credit with our bank. It’s all in an effort to best serve you while retaining our long-term financial strength. We have contingency plans for our contingency plans and it becomes much easier if we are playing soon! We will be ready when the environment is again favorable for Section and Chapter events and definitely look forward to seeing all of you.

For now, be safe, take care of your people and we’ll emerge from this with a new fire to show the value of golf in providing a safe way out of this stay at home world.

If you need the staff, all the emails are on our web page and you can always reach me at jellison@pgahq.com or on my cell 360-790-6971.

 

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA