Happy New Year 2017! Important Section updates from President Greg Manley and CEO Jeff Ellison; Holk's Highlights: Evan Johnsen

President's Report

Greg Manley, PGA

Fellow Section Members,
As I write this it is 18 degrees in Kent, WA, however, I will be packing this afternoon for Hawaii! I don’t tell you this to “rub it in” but to recognize one of our destination pro-ams. The Hawaii Pro-Am that the Section staff runs is set up perfectly for you to take a break from the PNW winter.  Mauna Lani is a beautiful place and playing golf in short sleeves in January is a treat.  Las Vegas in the next destination trip. Consider playing in these destination events with your members, trust me, you will build lasting relationships with your customers.  Please take a look at the 2017 tournament schedule and find an opportunity to play in one or more of our events.  Playing, teaching and promoting the game of golf is what the PGA was founded on over 100 years ago, it is the duty of all 1200 of us to continue that focus.   
The Section business is clearer than ever after the winter planning meeting we had in December.  What also is clear is that our constant from Board to Board and from President to President is our CEO, Jeff Ellison.  Jeff’s role is to lead our team in both the Section and Chapters as well as be the guiding light for alignment and accountability for all involved in our Section and Chapter process. “Serving the members and grow the game” is a pretty clear mission and I can guarantee that your Section Board will not waiver from that mission for the near future, because of the consistency that our CEO offers.
I truly hope you are all planning on making 2017 your best year as a professional yet both at your facility and in your own personal game.  If I can help you in any way with the PGA, or you just want to play a round at beautiful Meridian Valley CC, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Thank you,
Greg Manley, PGA
New Quarter-Century Members:

Daniel S. King, PGA

James C. Skurvid, PGA

New Half-Century Member:

David L. Richards PGA


CEO's Report

Jeff Ellison, PGA

Happy New Year everyone! I trust you are looking forward to 2017 just as much as we are here in the Section and Chapter offices.  This is an exciting time for the PGA and you can expect great things from the leadership and your staff.

The 2017 Section tournament schedule is live on the website. Click here to see the tremendous line up of events and courses.  With over 230 tournaments on the schedule, it is obvious most of you take advantage of some segment of our schedule.  Each year, about 675 of you participate in at least one of these 230 events.  That shows we are offering something you want. Whether it’s our major championships, member championships, destination pro-ams, or the Chapter pro-ams, there is something for everyone on our schedule. Within the parameters of these events you can count on us to deliver quality programs to you.  I received a call just last month from a professional who had played in an event in another Section.  He just wanted to say thanks for the quality of our events.  Our focus is on doing it right for you!

The Board of Directors completed their annual Winter Planning session last month and we are moving forward in an exciting direction.  Two themes will drive our focus: alignment and accountability.  Alignment takes on the concept that we are all working for the same 1,200 professionals. Section programs, Chapter programs, education, tournaments and employment will all recognize and complement each other in both design and implementation.  Accountability is the acceptance that we are going to do what we say we are going to do.  Staff will be accountable to fulfill their roles, committee chairs will be responsible to deliver on the goals of their committees and Boards will stay the course. Two immediate improvements will be more local education offerings and a robust chapter awards process.  You will hear more about this effort at your chapter meetings.

I’ll be heading to the Executive Director Conference later this month and sticking around for a couple days to visit with our sponsors.  As always, your thank you notes and emails really help when I visit with a National Sales Manager.  Please take a few minutes and drop our all-important sponsors one more note of thanks. Click here for sponsor contact information.

As you know, we now utilize Golf Genius to operate our Section and Chapter events.  The outstanding features of Golf Genius helped us improve our presentation for you, especially our mobile presence.  We will be rolling out a few more features in 2017 to further enhance our presentation to you and your customers.  With the USGA partnering with Golf Genius, the WSGA and OGA are hard at work developing an education program to bring you up to speed. The program is not difficult, like most software, you need to learn the structure, terminology and logic to maximize your effectiveness.  I recommend you attend one of these training sessions and utilize the help button in Golf Genius. However, never hesitate to pick up the phone and ask our staff for assistance.  Think of us as simply another resource, just like making a call for help with the Rules of Golf.

As you look forward to 2017 make a purposeful decision to reach out to Monte Koch and Carol Pence to help enhance your skill set and elevate your compensation in your current position or your next position.  We are very fortunate to have two National staff members dedicated to helping Section professionals grow and excel.  Whether it’s learning to drive more revenue or identifying the skills you need for the next career move, these two can help!  If you don’t utilize their knowledge, you can bet you’ll be competing for jobs against those that do!

Registration for Drive Chip and Putt Local Qualifying goes live during the PGA Merchandise Show.  We will host 11 Local Qualifiers in the Section – the same sites as last year with Pasco Golfland back on the schedule.  This is a free program designed to be fun for every kid of any ability.  Sure there are the superstars but they don’t always win and everyone has fun.  Please help us promote this great opportunity. 

The PGA of America is also encouraging you to host a Drive Chip and Putt Prep Clinic to help your junior golfers prepare for the Local Qualifiers.  With 1,400 kids competing in our events, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help your juniors, promote your facility and enhance your bottom line in the process. A simple guidebook is available for you to adapt for your operation if you need a little help getting started.  Send us your information and we’ll post it on our Drive Chip and Putt page to help drive golfers your way. If you don’t think our kids can compete…. 5 of the 8 juniors headed to Augusta from the 2016 Regional at The Olympic Club came through our local sites!

Applications are now available for the PGA Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship. This opportunity is open to both high school seniors and current college students who are children or grandchildren of PGA Members. The process changed a few years ago to spread the wealth around a little so if your child has not received a scholarship in the past, keep applying.  You may remember, we use this very same application for the distribution of our Bunny Mason Scholarships.  We awarded two last year and I’m expecting the same in 2017. Go to pga.org for the application.

The New Year is going to be a busy one, but your staff is never too busy to help you get the most out of your PGA Membership. Please reach out to us if we can ever be of assistance.  Molly, Angela, Rebekah, Marlena, Denise, Michelle, Cecelia, Doug, Dominic, Todd, Jason, Brian and Faith are a great team, just give us a call.

Jeff Ellison, PGA
By now you have seen our impressive list of 2016 Section Award winners.  If not, click here to read about this impressive group.  They will be honored at our Special Awards Ceremony on March 19 at Glendale CC.  These professionals are our very best; please join us at Glendale to celebrate their accomplishments.
This year also marks a joint Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with our amateur partners, the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. Joining the Pacific Northwest Section Hall of Fame are two very deserving professionals – Les Blakley and Roger Wallace.  They are much more than Past Presidents of the Section, both are multiple award winners and are often sought out for advice in their respective chapters. Click here to read more about our newest Hall of Fame members.
PGA Junior League is simply the best program National has rolled out to the rank and file in my 30 years of membership. Need proof – look at the quick adoption by so many professionals and the financial impact it has had on them personally and their facility.  Your fellow professionals hosted 164 teams in the Section last year.  If you want to know why they love this program….just ask them! Click here for a link of last years’ coaches.  This program builds golfers, strengthens the family’s bond with your facility and heightens your relationship with the parents – a definite win for everyone.  Monte Koch and Dominic Marconi are also great resources for PGA Junior League.

Members on the Move

by Denise Bacon - Tournament & Membership Administrator

Employment Changes
  • Kathleen M. Brown, PGA (A-8) - from Esmeralda GC to Twin Lakes Village GC
  • Kyle J. Preston (B-8) - from Three Lakes GC to Alderbrook G&YC
  • Chad J. Wagner (B-1) - from The Cedars at Dungeness to Peninsula GC
  • Kevin W. Iacolucci, PGA (A-4) - from Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia to Swinomish Golf Links
  • Robert L. Sanders, PGA (A-1) - from Lewiston G&CC to Esmeralda GC
Class Changes
  • Justin W. Conlan, PGA (Loomis Trail GC) - from A-8 to A-1
New Apprentices
  • Ben L. Assink (B-8) - Yakima CC
  • Parker J. Berry (B-8) - Cedarcrest GC
  • Thomas M. Graves (B-12) - Corban University
  • Jack R. Kelly (B-8) - Mount Si GC
  • Marshall A Kennedy (B-8) - The GC at Newcastle
  • Matthew P Lipe (B-8) - Jefferson Park GC
  • Lucas J. McLeod (B-8) - Legion Memorial GC
Newly Elected Members
  • Charles O. Holmes III, PGA (A-8) - Tam O'Shanter G&CC
Transfers IN to the Section
  • Justin Thayer, PGA (A-20) - to Nike Golf from Sun Country
  • Robert S. Harbottle, PGA (A-1) - to Tacoma C&GC from Northern California
  • Cody W. Pitz (B-8) - to Pumpkin Ridge-Ghost Creek from Colorado
Holk's Highlights: Evan Johnsen

The First Tee of Greater Seattle

Hometown: Issaquah, WA – currently resides in Seattle, WA

PGA Apprentice Since: 2015

Evan grew up playing and working at golf courses in the Snoqualmie Valley. His first lessons were at Mount Si GC, where Head Professional Matt Campbell inspired him to see golf as a fun and cool sport. His first job, at 14 years old, was at Twin Rivers GC.  He played D3 college golf at Claremont McKenna College in California. After college, he worked in real estate for 5 years before finding The First Tee in 2009. He has been the Program Director of The First Tee of Greater Seattle since 2012.

“I’m working diligently to become a PGA Professional and am currently serving on the WWC PGA Player Development Committee,” Evan said of his immediate career goals.

In 2016, Evan won a Yamaha Player Development Grant from the section. He used this grant to provide free clinics to parents of The First Tee golfers.

Learn about Evan's successful program to introduce golf to The First Tee parents.
How to Set Your Goals for 2017

Carol Pence, PGA of America Employment Consultant

There are multitudes of ways to increase your value as a Golf Professional. The key is to plan and the time is now.  Consider developing specific goals in programming, operations and policies.

Programming Goals

Whether updating existing ones or designing new, it may take a bit of research to determine your approach. Do an audit to see if your current programs engage with all of the different segments of golfers. Examine each program or service to determine if the needs of each segment are being met. Whether purchasing attire or equipment, providing lessons/clinics, course set-up, or having tee times to fit their schedule, assess how your facility welcomes each of these segments.

Operations Goals

Taking a close examination of shop operations is important also. There is a wide range of areas for focus and improvement, such as:

  • Record keeping and reporting
  • Customer/member service
  • Pace of play and tee time management
  • Interaction / communication with customers/members/your employer/other departments
  • Gross profit margin and/or cost of goods percentage
  • Generating traffic
  • Social media sites utilized
  • Member/outside events
  • Database management
  • Club storage utilization
  • Staff development and growth and team building

Facility Policies

Perhaps some facility policies may not be current with today’s culture. Here’s a sampling of those warranting examination:

  • The dress code for the course, practice facilities, and clubhouse- for adults and juniors
  • Use of technology such as cell phones in the clubhouse or music on the course
  • Limitations of who can play and when – such as spouses, kids, guests, etc.
  • Holidays observed or days course is closed
  • Tournament play for those without an established handicap

Think through which policies caused any stir this past season and perhaps it is time to make some changes.

Now is a great time to polish your plan for the 2017 season. Get out your pad of paper and jot down your ideas for goals to achieve. These are important towards increasing your value in the coming year. If you would like to chat about any of these topics, please feel free to contact me. As a former Head Professional, I have experience in these areas and am happy to assist.

Carol Pence, Certified PGA Professional/LPGA
Employment Consultant
PGA of America (PNW and NorCal PGA Sections)
E: cpence@pgahq.com O:(707)282-9252

I, Pencil

Blake Parrish

Are you worried that a person, government or company is going to ruin life as we know it? Well, here is a nice video that may persuade you otherwise. The original essay was written by Leonard Read in 1958, titled I, Pencil: My Family Tree, still holds true to today’s markets. One of my favorite economists, Milton Friedman, has touched on it many times as he attempted to explain that structure and central planning is not always necessary to produce goods and services that people will want to use. In other words, leave all creative energies uninhibited.

Read more

Blake Parrish
Senior VP, Portfolio Manager
Phone: (503) 619-7237
E-mail: blake@bpfinancialassoc.com

Certified Financial Planner Boardof Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.”

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