March 2023 CEO’s Report

Our Mission is a Long-Term Investment

n an email sent to customers recently, a familiar brand to many in the Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, celebrated its company’s birthday by sharing what it says is next for the company. That email reaffirms a company culture focused on its organizational mission. 

You might recall that last year, Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard, wrote another memorable letter explaining that he decided to give away the company by putting its shares into an irrevocable trust. The goal was to ensure that 100 percent of Patagonia’s profits would go towards causes that benefit the environment. “Earth is now our only shareholder,” Chouinard wrote.  The obvious reaction (at least one of them) would be, “Well, he put his money where his mouth is.”  I’d argue he put his money where his mission is, too.

If you are ok with paying above average prices for outwear and accessories you probably believe in Patagonia’s mission.  This email will probably resonate with you. One sentence, however, stands out for me more than the others. It turns out it’s a powerful lesson for every organization committed to their mission:

“Let’s make things that last longer.”

It’s the third line of the email, and to be honest, I read past it a few times. For some reason, the third time I read through the email something finally clicked for me. I think it might be that those six words so perfectly define the company’s mission, while being the exact opposite of what nearly every other brand does.

It sometimes seems as though companies default towards whatever makes them the most money in the short term, whether it proves better for anyone or not. Making products that fall apart or delivering services that don’t “hold up” is a way to do that. If you make something people want but force them to replace on a regular basis, that might seem like a good business model if you are only motivated by profit.

But how far do you get if you are, instead, motivated by mission?

For Patagonia, their mission is a commitment to their customers that their shirts and socks and jackets will last longer. And customers pay a premium because Patagonia makes better products.

The Section is motivated by our mission to serve the members and grow the game of golf. Golf course owners and operators should hire PGA Members because you are the experts in the game, you are the very best.  You are why the game grows. You are why veterans’ lives are changed.  PGA members, especially the members in this section, are why my sons and I have the opportunity to make special memories on a Saturday. You are committed to your profession. 

Looking “long term” is also good for the organization’s mission. A passion to our mission makes the mission permanent, and a longevity around serving our members and growing our game benefits whoever may be coming next. Nonetheless, thinking for the long-term is hard, especially when you’re just starting out.

Ironically, here we are, at the start of another “season” in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to sell more clubs, lessons, and tee times, worry about costs, and give the bottom line a short-term boost. Let’s not get distracted.  Let’s always think long-term, never taking our collective eye off of our mission. 

The PNWPGA is on a mission. The PNWPGA, its members and our partners are passionate about our mission.  We want it to last. Our shared goal is to build something that will outlast those of us who have the privilege at this moment “to serve the member and grow the game.” As Patagonia shows us, the best way to do that is to “make things that last.”

Some important membership reminders and notes:

Destination events! Team entries are available for the Mexican Fiesta Pro-Am. Entries for the Arizona Sun Pro-Am will be available on March 31.

Look for an exciting new competition presented in partnership with Garmany Golf, coming soon in 2023.

Partners who make this all possible:

My personal and most sincere thanks to Mr. Grant Holcomb for 20 years of being the title sponsor of the “Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am.” By all accounts, the 2023 event was yet another great success.  Grant, thank you, for creating an event whose legacy sets the standard for destination pro-ams across all forty-one sections of the PGA.

Thank you to our 2023 Pro-Assistant sponsors, especially, Jared Bouchey and Farmers Insurance, Sally Schmitz with Bushnell Golf, Bryan Dickson with Sterling Cut Glass, Matt Pollitt with PTE Golf, Ian Crick with Strackaline and Darrell Livingston with GT Golf Supplies.  Thank you ALL investing our section, our members, and our mission.

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