As the world has dealt with COVID-19, what have you learned over the last few weeks about your Section, the Chapters and the PGA of America?

It is a very interesting question as there have been so many challenges throughout this process.

Each state has guidelines as to what is allowed in terms of golfing opportunities. Since the PNW Section is the largest geographical Section in the country covering 5 states, we face our own set of challenges trying to accommodate and plan for future events. As I sit here and write this article, Washington State has been open for 3 days allowing twosomes only while some places in Oregon have never shut down. Every Chapter is unique to this pandemic. Your Section Board has been having weekly meetings for the past month. We have been collaborating on ideas, policies and structure changes to ensure we are as financially sound as possible, while providing safe and healthy measures for our return to the “new normal”.

I feel like our section has been doing a good job providing different resources to our membership while communicating effectively on a consistent basis. The survey that was sent out on how individual facilities were responding to COVID-19 crisis was well received with over 230 responses. The results of that survey will be released shortly.

The Section also has some excellent resources on the PNWPGA website. There is a link through ForeTees that will take you directly to some very informative sites. The PGA link is very helpful as it gives detailed information on the Back2Golf 3-phase plan outlining the guidelines for operational playbooks. It also outlines all the Federal resources available including the Payment Protection Plan, the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. You can also find valuable information on Best Practices including golf course maintenance, golf operation recommendations and teaching and coaching guidelines.

Although many of you were hoping for a reduction of dues this year, unfortunately it is not possible with our IRS classification as a not for profit 501 c 6 organization.  However, there are some payment options available to you. You can delay your payment until the end of October without any late fees or penalties. The PGA also has partnered with ITHINK Federal Credit Union that will give you a 4.99% loan for up to $1200 paid back over 12 months.

The PNWPGA has created some great “Stay involved” webinars to keep us all connected. There are 4 more scheduled in May. Topics and sign-ups are on the education link.  I was fortunate enough to be a panelist in one last week and received a tremendous amount of valuable information from professionals around our Section. I really have appreciated everyone’s feedback and the open discussions on how we can all help each other with innovative ideas and solutions during this crazy time. We have strength in numbers with over 1200 professionals in our section and working collaboratively will only make us stronger.

I hope many of you have taken advantage of The PGA Golf Emergency Fund. Phase one took place last month with grant values at $500 or $1500 for a $5 million disbursement. In the coming weeks phase two application process will be announced with grants valuing up to $3500 based on need. National is hopeful for another $5 million to be distributed from our organization as well as donations from our partners.

I feel as an organization the PGA has done a good job with the dissemination of information as it has become available to us. The Golf Emergency Fund is a big deal and clearly sends a message to us that we are all in this together. I have had countless conversations and email correspondences with golf professionals throughout our Section this past month. Although we felt frustration about being closed and some angst in the re-opening process, the general sense of those interactions has been very community driven. The sense of teamwork, collaboration and support these past six weeks has made me extremely proud to be a PGA member.

I hope that you and your families continue to stay healthy and safe and wish you all the best.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime.

 

Bill Shea​

Director of Golf ‑ General Manager, The Cedars at Dungeness

O: 360.582.4903 | M: 360.775.0714