This spring, we are highlighting PNW PGA Professionals who have contributed Best Practices to the Section. We hope their programs will inspire you! Search the full Best Practices archive at https://www.pnwpga.com/bestpractices.

Name: Paul Cobleigh, PGA

Facility: Suntides GC

Hometown: Yakima, WA

PGA Member Since: 1990

Who or what inspired you to get into golf?

I began golfing in 1973 (age 12) when a good friend invited me to play. Ironically, we played Suntides GC. It was difficult but fun, and I thought how cool it would be to be a professional in this sport. I golfed 2-3 times a week that summer and next summer. My father got me a membership at Yakima Elks, where he would drop me off on his way to work and pick me up on his way home.  I played high school golf at Selah and college golf at Columbia Basin CC and Central Washington University. I graduated CWU in 1984 and turned pro that fall when the assistant professional position became available at Suntides GC. I had worked for Don Williams, PGA at the Elks picking up range balls with shag bags from ‘77-‘81 and was now his assistant at Suntides. In 1991, Don cut back his schedule to focus on teaching and I became the Head Professional. In 2001, I was elevated to General Manager and became co-owner of Suntides Golf, Restaurant, and RV Park. Today I spend lots of time with the grounds crew and doing all the bookwork for the three corporations we own. It’s different everyday so it never gets old.

Who are your mentors?

Don Williams, PGA. I’m a product of his junior program at Elks and he has been my mentor, instructor and confidant.  Also, Scott Galbraith, PGA and Kelly DeShaw, PGA have been longtime friends and colleagues since junior golf and college teammates.

Fun Fact: I have been working at Suntides since 1982 and married to the same lady since 1985.

You had success running a First Tee Summer Camp in 2019 at Suntides GC. Please tell us a little bit about this program.

Partnering with The First Tee has been a huge success in bringing a quality junior program to the Yakima Valley. Molly Thola, LPGA directs the instruction with many volunteers.  They have classes 3 times per day, 4 days a week here at Suntides and classes in the inner city parks to reach even more kids.  Like other chapters of The First Tee, they teach life skills as well as golf skills.

You recommended offering adult lessons during the same time as kid’s lessons or “Family Days”. Is that in the plan for 2020? Are you are making any changes to your program to accommodate social distancing?

Suntides has started an adult beginning golf clinic for parents and others interested in golf, taught by J.R. Mercer, PGA and new assistant Chad Cameron. The junior and adult clinics are already socially distanced for safety reasons, especially with newcomers swinging clubs for the first time. Class sizes have been reduced to help further accommodate this.  The program hopefully will continue this summer starting in mid-June, assuming we are able due to the current situation. We’ll hope for the best.

Read Paul’s Best Practice Here

Search the full Best Practices archive at https://www.pnwpga.com/bestpractices.