Bill Shea, PGA, Director of Golf at The Cedars at Dungeness, received the Section’s highest honor in being chosen as the 2019 Golf Professional of the Year. Bill has the depth of commitment and dedication to service that make him the model PGA Golf Professional. Currently President of the Western Washington Chapter, Bill has served the PGA for over 20 years. He has also coached the Sequim High School Boys Golf Team for the past 12 years and the Clallam County Special Olympics Golf Team for the past 10 years. Bill prides himself on bettering his community, the PGA of America, his fellow professionals and himself. In 2019, he received his PGA Certification in General Management. Join us in celebrating Bill and the class of 2019 award winners, March 22 at Tualatin CC.

  • Hometown: Grew up in Westport, CT; living in Sequim, WA since 1997
  • Attained PGA Membership: 2000

Tell us a little bit about your career. Who or what inspired you to become a Golf Professional?

My dad traveled a lot and he played golf on Saturdays when he was in town. I started caddying for him when I was 9, and then playing at age 10. It was a great opportunity to spend time with him and I just fell in love with the game. I have been playing ever since.

In college, my dad told me to find something I was passionate about and then figure out how to make money doing it. After graduating from Lynchburg College in Virginia, I started my career at The Country Club of Darien in Connecticut under Ed Nicholson. He was a great initial mentor. I moved to Seattle in 1994. I thought I was a pretty good player and tried a few different mini tours. In 1996, I traveled from BC to Ontario all summer chasing the Monday qualifiers for the Canadian Tour. Tan and penniless, I decided that playing wasn’t my forte, but that I still loved the game and wanted to be involved with it.

In 1997, I sent my resume to Dungeness Golf Course, and have been here basically since then. I had great mentors in Ron Hagen, Ron Hoetmoor and Rick Adell and raised two great kids in Sequim (Jack & Sarah) with Cathy, my wife of 24 years.

How did you get involved with chapter governance? What advice do you have for Professionals interested in getting involved?

Getting involved in governance wasn’t a big plan, I was just new to the area and wanted to meet other professionals and network within our industry. I started on the Assistants Committee with Craig Moore, Dan Harrington and a few others. 20+ years has led into continual serving on several different Chapter and Section Committees, Chapter Board and Presidency, and this summer I will be running for Section Secretary. I strongly recommend getting involved in governance to any professional. I have meet so many people that I wouldn’t have otherwise and I have gotten back way more than I have given through my service.

Congratulations on earning your PGA Certification in General Management. What do you feel is the most valuable to PGA Professionals in achieving PGA Certification?

To me education is power. Becoming higher educated will only help you in your career. It doesn’t matter if you are an instructor, a sales rep, a club-fitter or a Head Professional. Getting certified in general management has made me better at my job. I learned a great deal in the process and can now apply that knowledge to make The Cedars at Dungeness a better experience for our guests. It is also a way to separate yourself from other candidates if a professional is looking for employment at a new facility.

You also coach the Sequim High School Boys Golf Team and the Clallam County Special Olympics Golf Team. What do you enjoy most about coaching?

With my role as GM, I don’t have a ton of time for individual lessons, so I really enjoy my time with both the High School Team and our Special Olympics Team. Most of these players are beginners and incredibly excited about the game. Seeing their improvements and the happiness it brings the players is my favorite part. Helping others accomplish something they didn’t think they could is priceless.

Congratulations, Bill Shea!