As we look into the future operations of the PNWPGA- how to you see our section evolving?

Hello fellow PGA Professionals. I hope that this article finds you all healthy and are enjoying the boost in rounds our facilities have been experiencing this past month. These are certainly interesting times.

One of the biggest changes coming to our Section within the next few months will be the addition of our new CEO. We had many excellent applicants pursuing this position and have narrowed the search down to a few candidates. Our hope is to have that position filled by July 1st and have that person on-site by August 1st. The new employee has some big shoes to fill as we have been extremely fortunate to have Jeff Ellison steering our ship for 16 years. He is regarded nationally as one of the best CEO’s of our 41 Sections. It has truly been a pleasure working with him these past six years. I applaud him for his tireless efforts in supporting our professionals and growing the game. He is a true ambassador.

One lesson I have learned through this pandemic is how all businesses have had to change and adapt to an unpredictable shifting environment.  Although golf is now allowed throughout our Section, I wish I had a crystal ball to see what it will look like the remainder of this year, into 2021 and beyond. So strange to watch the Charles Schwab Cup today without any spectators. The word “normal” is hard to say without putting “new” in front of it. There are certainly some practices that I see us evolving to.  On-line communication is one. Zoom stock value was $66.79 on December 31st of 2019 and today it is worth $222.07. For it to increase almost 3 ½ times its value in 6 months greatly indicates how meetings are evolving. The PNWPGA is the largest geographic Section in the country covering 5 different states. If any one Section is particularly prone to more of these types of communication, I would imagine that it would be ours.

I also feel that we have become a stronger section during this time and expect that to continue in the future. The collaboration with our section board these past few months has been amazing. Five individual chapters like fingers on a hand spread out have now come together as a fist and share one common voice and vision.  We have become more efficient, resourceful, and forward thinking in our approach to all topics.

The PNWPGA has one of the strongest tournament programs in the country. We have seen both cancellations and adjustments from 54-hole to 36-hole events in some of our majors this season. A shorter event can not only affect the size of the field, but potentially sponsor interest levels as well. Sponsor recruitment and retainment plays a crucial role in our financial stability. Now is an incredibly important time to strengthen those relationships and show great appreciation for previous years involvement. However, I am confident golfers want to compete as I prepare to host our annual Best Ball tournament this weekend at Dungeness with a sold-out field of 160 players.  We have had to change certain criteria to the event to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, but the desire to get out and play is extremely evident. Looking at new event formats in our chapter and section tournaments could be crucial. I have had the pleasure of working for a casino the last 13 years. This experience has enabled me to have the insight and understanding that we are in the entertainment business. Golf just happens to be our vehicle instead of a craps table. Players come to us hoping to win, expecting to lose, but above all else wanting to have a good time. Venue, format, price, and course-setup are all paramount to the level of a player’s enjoyment.

To thrive in constant change, we must learn to transition. As William Bridges states in his book Managing Transitions, “ Nimble people and teams survive and thrive in a changeable world because they have the capability and resilience to anticipate, initiate and respond to change, and even more importantly, to transition.”

Now is the time to heed this advice more than ever. Remain confident that your Section leaders are poised as a collaborative fist and are proactively prepared for whatever challenges threaten our Section next and will transition accordingly to the best interest of serving our membership and growing the game.

I hope you and your families continue to be healthy and safe.



Bill Shea​, PGA

Director of Golf ‑ General Manager, The Cedars at Dungeness

O: 360.582.4903 | M: 360.775.0714