Congratulations to the Rainier G&CC team of Darren Black and Brad Faller for their win at the PNWPGA Pro-Assistant Championship held at Willamette Valley Country Club. WVCC and Head Professional John Grothe were terrific hosts and the course was in impeccable shape. Thank you to John and his staff and to the board members of Willamette Valley CC! It was an honor to hold our Section Board Meetings, Special Awards Ceremony and Championship at such a beautiful club.
It’s tournament season and I hope your games are ready! The new Section app is very cool and will allow you to look up Section facilities and vendors, check scores, parings and even enter our Section Championships ‒ all from your smart phone! Professionals, get it at the web portal: http://web.foretees.com/pnwpga. The handbook is gone and it will be a slight adjustment to get everyone comfortable with the new app, but I promise you that it will be much more useful and convenient! Thank you to Jeff, the Section staff and ForeTees for their hard work in the development of this app. If you have any questions about the web portal or app, call the Section office and they will be happy to assist.
Your Section Board was hard at work in Willamette Valley planning everything that goes on in our very large Section, especially because 2018 is an election year. We will be electing a new Section Secretary and a new District Director this fall and a National Secretary as well. It will be a busy end of the year for your Board, but I can promise you that each Board member is fully committed to acting on your best behalf and under the guidance of our Section Mission of “Serving the Members and Growing the Game”.
Finally, I wish you the best of success this season. Please remember that you are the leader in this great game and you have a chance each day to impact a life through golf. We serve important roles, especially critical when it comes to the growth of golf. If I can ever be of help please let me know. I look forward to seeing all of you this season in my travels and at one of our Section Majors!
Greg Manley, PGA
Meridian Valley CC
March has been a very busy month in the Section – chapter meetings, section meetings, awards ceremony, two tournaments, working with sponsors, onboarding new chapter staff and of course supporting all the education and pro-ams ramping up in the chapters. I’m sure it’s busy for you and as well. As we dive into April, let’s hope the sun shines and gives you a good financial boost to start the year.
The first week of April means The Masters and on Sunday, the National Finals of Drive Chip and Putt will kick off the week. We have six young people enjoying a trip to Augusta who started their quest in our local qualifiers. I hope you will tune in to watch. I’m sure you will be inspired watching these young athletes. Please help us promote the 13 local qualifiers we have in the Section this year! While you are at it, develop a DCP Prep Clinic to help your juniors improve their game and don’t forget to send us the details so we can promote your clinic on our website.
The PGA Junior League playoff schedule is almost complete. If you have not formed your team, do it now and reach out to Branden Thompson to let him know your plans: email@example.com.
Last Friday the Grant Committee studied, debated and agonized over how to divide up $24,000 in player development funds between $60,000 in requests! In the end we helped a lot of deserving programs with a wide range of needs. A big thank you to Ben Foreman and Yamaha for supporting the Yamaha Adult Player Development Grant program. Your contributions to the 1% Club helped the Junior Fund pass out a healthy grant program as well. We’ll publish a list of the grant recipients soon.
New this year is our Pacific Northwest Section App. This is our replacement for the Member Handbook. Not only does it offer the opportunity to instantly access and contact members and vendors, it will always be current! The print version was nice but always out of date the day we shipped it. Please revisit the email sent last week on how to access the app and the accompanying web portal. Larry Aspenson of ForeTees deserves a big thank you for working with us to bring this app to you. More features are coming, so stay tuned.
It’s important to continually recognize our sponsors and this month I’m happy to announce the Club Car Skins which will be contested at our five majors. In addition to your normal skins entries, your local Club Car distributors are adding $1,000 to the skins game at each of our majors. That translates to about a 30% increase in YOUR skins payouts. You just have to enter! Our thanks to Rob Rasmussen and all five of our Club Car distributors for making this fun new program possible.
We’ve also added two sponsors to the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open in Haas Jordan and ProTag. Thank you Todd Blackmar and Gordon Schenk. Entries for the Senior Players Championship at Wine Valley close in a few days. Thank you Ken Allen and Club Glove for once again sponsoring this championship.
Finally, this issue marks the beginning of our process to elect a new Section Secretary. The person you elect will be an officer for the next eight years moving up through the chairs to serve as your President in four years. Be sure you become familiar with Marcus King and Howie Pruitt so you can make an informed vote this fall.
Finally, a big thank you to the staff serving in chapter roles. Dom, Doug, Brian, Jason, Faith, Dave, Aaron, Casey and Scott will all be working hard on your behalf this season. Please support them by using ForeTees and especially updating any changes in Golf Genius BEFORE they start printing score cards on Sunday! You have one team to manage, they have 50…. please help them out.
Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA
Meet the Candidates for Section Secretary
Howie Pruitt and Marcus King
Howie Pruitt, PGA
I am delighted and honored to be running for Secretary of our Section. As the process begins, I think it is important for you to get to know me and why I want to be your Secretary.
I am a late arrival to golf as a profession, although I have played the game since I was a teenager. I started my journey towards a career in golf when, after moving from Silicon Valley to Bend, Oregon, I made the decision to change careers to follow my passion. In 2004 I started working at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon, as a retail counter person. I entered the PGA Golf Management Program later that year. During the next three years I progressed from Assistant Golf Professional to First Assistant. I became a Class “A” member in 2007 and subsequently became the Head PGA Golf Professional at Eagle Crest Resort for all three golf courses. Over the course of the next eleven years, I have held positions in private, public and military golf courses including Head Professional, Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development. Currently, I am the Head Professional/Director of Player Development at Aspen Lakes GC in Sisters, OR. Additionally, I serve on the Chapter Board of Directors, I’m a member of the Chapter Education Committee, the New Member Orientation Committee and the Section Rules Committee. I am also the winner of the Chapter 2017 Patriot Award. This variety of experience has allowed me to gain a wealth of exposure and experience within our industry.
My golf career is one facet of my professional career. Prior to moving to Bend and joining the golf industry, I worked as a Human Resources Executive in Silicon Valley, CA. I was responsible for all facets of HR from recruiting, employee and management development, compensation and benefits and executive coaching in companies ranging in size from 150 employees to over 1500 national and international employees.
I went to college on my parent’s “dime”, but I was not ready for the academic rigor, and after two years of wasting time and my parent’s money, I left school and joined the US Army. During my time in active duty, I went to Officer Candidate School, Ranger School and Helicopter Flight School. I served a year in combat and became a decorated combat pilot.
I left the Army after my last tour of duty in Germany and stayed there for another ten years. I became a Department of the Army Civilian working in Equal Employment Opportunity and Organizational Effectiveness. It was there that I met a fellow Army Civilian who became my best friend and wife of over thirty years. In the late 1980’s we returned to the United States and began new careers in Silicon Valley.
So why am I motivated now to run for Section Secretary? I’ve always followed my passions and I’d like to leverage my experience and training to give back and contribute to our Section. A couple of years ago, the PGA of America initiated the first leadership development program called LEAD. The purpose of the program is to identify and train future leaders of the PGA of America. Over 1400 PGA professionals across the country applied, and I was one of fourteen selected for the inaugural program. Over the next two years, I received training in all facets of our Association’s operations; I also spent quality time with our Association’s leaders, past and present. The intent of this training, and the exposure it provided, prepared me to apply this learning as a leader at the Chapter and Section level.
As Section Secretary:
- I will support our Section mission of supporting our members and growing the game through the execution of our strategic plan.
- I will work with our committees, such as the tournament and outreach committees, to ensure we are providing great playing and community outreach opportunities for our members.
- I will work specifically with our Education Committee and our Career Consultant to support the development of “Business First Programs”, thereby enhancing our value to our owners/employers beyond playing and teaching.
- I will work with you, our members, to identify and develop the future leaders of our Section.
- I will ensure that our story, as one of the best and most productive Sections in the PGA of America, gets told. The Herb Graffis Award is designed to recognize a PGA of America Section for extraordinary and exemplary contributions and achievements in Player Development. I believe our section should be nominated and win this National Award.
I have been a member of Rotary International, a service organization, for over twelve years. Our motto is “Service above Self.” I am ready to serve as your Section Secretary and I am truly excited by the opportunity.
Howie Pruitt, PGA
Marcus King, PGA
My name is Marcus King, I serve as the PGA General Manager of Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Washington, and I am tossing my hat into the ring in my bid to serve as your next Section Secretary. I appreciate this opportunity to return to the leadership cadre of our Section and help steer the ship for the next eight years.
Let me start by saying that I am entering this race with my friend and great PGA Golf Professional Howie Pruitt. He is an extremely experienced and intelligent man, he is a standout graduate of the PGA LEAD program, and I am looking forward to not only running shoulder to shoulder, but also learning and soaking up his wisdom as we meet you all throughout the Section in the fall. You can rest assured that you will be well-served no matter for which of us you vote.
I’ve been asked to introduce myself and provide an answer to the question: “What is your motivation to run for Section Secretary?” Thank you in advance for your indulgence.
I grew up in Seattle playing Jackson Park Golf Course and caddying at Seattle Golf Club, eventually earning an Evans Scholarship, and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science. I avoided law school and instead entered the United States Peace Corps, serving in Honduras and working as a social worker, small business specialist, and special education teacher. After my service ended, I entered the PGA apprentice program with my lifelong 5 handicap, twitched my way through 4 PAT’s, and finally earned my PGA membership in 1990. I have served as the Head Golf Professional at a municipal golf course and private club, and as the General Manager of a resort and three private clubs, experiencing every corner of our industry. Most of my time off is spent with my wife Jonette and our 9-month old son Axel or volunteering with Special Olympics. Currently, I am serving as the Golf Commissioner for the Special Olympics USA Games here in Seattle July 1-3.
| Back into the Fire
I’ve been fortunate to serve on our Western Washington Chapter PGA Board twice, the second time also serving on our Pacific Northwest Section PGA Board of Directors and serving as your Section President from 2013 to 2014. I’ve served on almost every committee and am completely familiar with how our Section operates and thrives. I’ve been with the Section through some tough times and some great times, all the while committed to continuous improvement. As an officer of your Section, I’ve contributed to making our collective voice known at PGA national, and I enjoy shaking up the “establishment” of our organization, questioning, prodding and poking the collective conscience to advance the difficult conversations. I bleed PGA blue and gold…except in the fall when I bleed UW purple and gold.
And now, I am looking to wind back up and run for Section Secretary a second time. Why?
I have only one motivation: to help us all stay relevant.
I am absolutely dedicated to assuring that we PGA Professionals remain relevant, important, and the true leaders of the game. As demographers point to the challenging decades ahead for the golf industry, I will work to make sure we continue to be the tip of the spear and the “go to” professionals in the game and business of golf. We have some tough sledding ahead, my friends, as the Millennial and Gen Z generations become the base of the golf world, and I hope to help lead us to actions that will help keep us relevant and in-step with those generations while preserving the relevant traditions of our forbearers. I have the skills, the drive and the time to accomplish this personal mission, and I’m happy to say that my personal mission aligns well with our PGA mission to “Serve the member and grow the game.”
Thank you for your indulgence, and I hope to earn your vote in the fall.
Marcus King, PGA, CCM, CCE
Overlake Golf & Country Club
Rainier G&CC Duo Wins PNW Pro-Assistant Championship
By Molly Cooper, PGA
Director of Tournament and Member Programs
The duo of Head PGA Professional Darren Black and Assistant PGA Professional Brad Faller of Rainier G&CC won the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship at Willamette Valley CC. They won by four strokes over The Home Course team led by PGA Director of Golf Justin Gravatt and Assistant Professional Shane Prante, as well as a second team from Rainier G&CC consisting of Head PGA Darren Black and Assistant Professional Brandon Mohl.
Going into the final round, Black and Faller fired a first round score of 9-under par 63. This put them in a two-stroke lead over Columbia Edgewater CC’s team of PGA Director of Golf Bryan Tunstill and Assistant Professional Kyler Beebehiser.
“I won’t attempt to describe how honored I am to win the PNW PGA Pro-Assistant Championship with my boss, my college teammate, and great friend! Thank you, immensely, to all the sponsors that have supported our PGA of America events, my career, and this incredible game of golf,” Faller reflected on the win.
“It always feels great to win any Championship, but to share the experience with an Assistant Professional is truly exceptional. It is about the team unity as Rainier employees and the members love it!” said Black.
Rainier G&CC has a history with the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship. In 2016, Black won the event at Tualatin CC with longtime baseball player Uriel Jimenez.
“That was his first win in the sport of golf, so it was a remarkable feeling witnessing that and being a part of it. This time with Brad, it is truly an honor. We have known each other for a long time… and it feels amazing to win a championship with a dear friend,” Black responded when asked how the wins compared.
Willamette Valley Country Club boasts one of the most highly respected 18-hole championship golf courses in Oregon. The club and Section staff set up a diverse set of hole locations that were highlighted by impeccable course conditioning nearly unseen in this part of the country, this time of year. When asked how the course showcased their strengths in the best ball competition, Faller remarked on their teamwork.
“I had so much confidence in Darren when he got into a good scoring position. He took advantage of every good birdie opportunity he had. When he came through with a birdie, I’d respond on the following hole with one too. Great best ball recipe to success. He’s one of the most naturally talented golfers I’ve ever played with, especially in competition. He made me play better, just like he did when we were teammates at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho.”
Darren added that where he struggled with the par 3’s, Brad excelled. “They were the majority of my bogeys, but Brad was able to make par easily and a couple birdies as well.”
“Our team dynamic is very good; we are all pretty sarcastic with each other and it keeps us laughing most of the time,” said Darren, noting that the Pro-Assistant Championship is a great team bonding experience and “a chance for Head Professionals to spend time away from work with our team and, in a way, give back to them. They work hard for us all year and this event gives us a chance to say thank you to them for all their hard work.”
For their victory, Black and Faller earned $2,750 and the title of 2018 PNW Pro-Assistant Champions. In addition to their first place check, Sally Schmitz gave both men a Bushnell new rangefinder and hat. Also, all participants received a Cutter & Buck shirt from Bryan Dickson and a pair of Strideline socks with their golf course logo on it.
Our thanks to Sally Schmitz of Bushnell, Bryan Dickson of Cutter & Buck, Kelly Coleman and Riley Goodman of Strideline, Matt Pollitt of PTE Golf, and David Nelson and Andrew Workman of Hole-In-One Insurance for their support. A special thanks to host Head PGA Professional John Grothe and his staff – especially to superintendent Larry Raschko and his crew for a fantastic golf course.
15th Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am
By Molly Cooper, PGA
Director of Tournament and Member Programs
27 teams, for a total of 135 players, participated in this year’s 15th Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am. The teams took on the “old school style” Las Vegas CC, the challenging TPC Las Vegas and perennial favorite Anthem CC. All players enjoyed a week of great golf in fantastic weather in mid-70’s temperatures.
Congratulations to the Chewelah G&CC team led by PGA Professional Jason Pitt with amateurs Randy Kirby, Travis Towles, Brent Naccarato, and Brenton Harting for taking the title of 15th Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am Champions. They won by eleven stableford points over the team led by PGA Professional Billy Bomar, Larry Buss, Joe Chandler, Dave Faulk, and Greg Sanders and the team of PGA Professional Gordon, Corder, Ben Folger, Jay Affleck, John LeFriec, and Jay Garthwaite.
“We enjoyed the entire experience. From the welcome reception and awesome tee prizes, to playing three great golf courses in the sunshine with some great friends! Of course, getting to hoist the Team Championship Trophies was the ultimate highlight,” said Pitt of his team’s win. It was Chewelah G&CC’s first time at the Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am.
Low amateur gross honors went to Derek Mills of Kitsap G&CC. In second place were Erik Olson of Riverbend GC, Greg Sanders of Alaska Golf Association and Cameron Whittle of Moses Lake GC. Low amateur net honors went to Brenton Harting of Chewelah G&CC. In second place was Perry Ponti of The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.
PGA Professional Darren Black of Rainier G&CC won low professional honors. Eric Briggs of Druids Glen GC and Jason Aichele of Meadow Springs CC placed tied for second.
“It’s a perfect time of year for all of us to get out of the cold rain/snow that we have up in the Northwest,” said Darren. Early spring weather is a gamble in the Northwest, but a sure thing in Las Vegas. Rainier G&CC has brought three teams for the past six years.
“I think the most exciting part for the members is getting a chance to spend time with the professional staff in a fun environment. They also love starting the season off with playing courses where they can see the ball bounce!”
It really is about the golf. All three courses were fantastic to play, so even for those who don’t care about Vegas’ vices, “there is still great golf, and many activities for all! I can’t thank Grant enough for sponsoring this event for the last 15 years, and hope he continues for another 30!” said Darren.
Jason agreed, adding, “Grant Holcomb was a wonderful host, and my team can't wait to go back and defend in 2019.”
Grant Holcomb along with John Anderson of Antigua, Ed Kowachek of Sun Mountain Sports, Mike Wrightson of Imperial Headwear, Travis Teeple of Play Kleen, Bill Porter of Certifresh Cigars, and Jon Sjostrom of Range Servant sponsored this event, making it our best year yet. Each participant in the event received two Antigua pieces – a golf shirt and pull over, a Sun Mountain jacket, a Play Kleen Towel, Certifresh Cigar and stocking hat from Imperial Headwear.
Thanks to Grant Holcomb for another great year, our fifteenth year with Grant as our sponsor! For those of you that have yet to experience the Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am, it’s a great one and Grant is “ALL IN” for next year, so start working on your team and join us March 10-14, 2019!
Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational
We are accepting entries for the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational at Meridian Valley CC, May 21-23. Don't miss your chance to play in this 54-hole individual stroke play NO CUT championship! We hope everyone will take the opportunity to play this beautiful one-of-a kind championship golf course in one of our Section’s most prestigious events. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 2.
This event pulls in many of our great players from around the Northwest. 2016 champion Jeff Coston of Semiahmoo G&CC is expected to return, as well as 2015 champion Darren Black of Rainier G&CC and 2014 champion John Cassidy of The Home Course. They are expected to go up against 2013 Champion Chris Griffin of Griffin Golf and former two-time champion PGA Professional Tim Feenstra of Broadmoor GC, who won this event in 2007 and 2011.
Holk's Highlights: Shanda Imlay, PGA
Facility: FUNdaMental Golf & Oregon Golf Association
Hometown: Born in Missoula, Montana; has lived in Oregon since 1987
PGA Professional Since: In 1982 she became the first woman elected to membership in the PNW PGA
When she was 10 years old, Shanda played little league baseball with dreams of being in the major leagues. When the local golf professional, Jimmy Wallinder, heard about this girl playing baseball, he contacted her parents to see if she’d want to try golf.
“I took an interest to the point I would sit on a bucket on the range and watch Jimmy give lessons. At the age of 10 I started my journey because I couldn’t think of anything else I would rather do then be a PGA Golf Professional,” said Shanda.
Pros on the Move
by Michelle Parish, Tournament & Membership Coordinator
- Patrick J. Ackerman, PGA (A-14) - from Puetz Golf Range to Snohomish Valley GC
- Tony Cuchessi, PGA (A-8) - from Unaffliated to Liberty Lake GC
- Larry G Dealy, PGA (A-4) - from Unaffliated to Salishan Spa & Golf Resort
- Koll M. Farman, PGA (A-6) - from Gregg Rogers' Golf Perf Center to Chambers Bay
- Frederick K. Green, PGA (A-1) - from Unaffliated to Sunland G&CC
- Benjamin R. Halter, PGA (A-8) - from Unaffliated to Glendale CC
- Shanda Imlay, PGA (A-11) - from Fundamental Golf & Learning to OGA
- Robyn Lorain (A-8) - from OGA to Willamette Valley CC
- Caleb J. Kraus, PGA (A-1) - from Harbour Pointe GC to The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge
- Tyler A. Martin, PGA (A-8) - from Unaffliated to Village Greens GC
- Stuart A. Reese, PGA (A-13) - from Club Green Meadows to Salem GC
- Robert Rymer (A-8) - from Unaffliated to The Oregon GC
- Christopher C. Smith, PGA (A-14) - from Pumpkin Ridge GC to Eugene CC
- Mark Gardner, PGA (The Creek at Qualchan) - from A-1 to A-4
- Joshua R. Garza (Horn Rapids GC) - from B-8 to B-1
- Timothy R. Marritt, PGA (Colwood GC) - from A-6 to A-14
- Colin M. McMahon, PGA (The Creek at Qualchan) - from A-8 to A-1
- Bob H. Turnquist, PGA (The Oregon GC) - from A-1 to A-4
- Joshua T. Compher (B-8) - Horn Rapids GC
- Kyle J. Larson (B-8) - McCormick Woods GC
- Alden J Peterson (B-1) - Coos GC
- James G. Thomas (B-8) - Interbay GC
Newly Elected Members
- David A. Nuhn, PGA (A-12) - University of Idaho
Transfers INTO the Section
- Matthew C. Baum, PGA (A-1) to Gamble Sands from Sun Country Section
- Jason M. Jerman, PGA (A-1) to Avondale GC from Rocky Mountain Section
- Garrick A Little (B-8) to The Creek at Qualchan from Southwest Section
- Casey A. Moen, PGA (A-1) to Unaffliated from Minnesota Section
- Trever B Wilson (B-8) to Running Y Ranch Resort from N. California Section
Transfers OUT of the Section
- Mark J. Atchison, PGA - from Riverside Golf & CC to Iowa Section
What Are You Selling in 2018?
Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant
Are You Selling Your Belief, Your Skills or Just “Stuff”?
March 2018 was an amazingly diverse month. Warm days, then snow, then hail, then warm sunny days again…and that is just on the west side of the Cascades! As golf professionals, we are alike in some ways and we are different in many other ways.
One of the similarities most PGA professionals have is an aversion to the idea of selling. If you’re like me, when you hear salesperson/salesman, you may picture someone “hawking something” in a sort of way that you find unprofessional or unappealing. But, here’s the reality. We are all salespeople, starting with ourselves and our ability to lead people, create followers and connect with the people we are privileged to influence. With this in mind, I’ve got some questions for you...
Don't Be an April Fool
Blake Parrish, CFP®
“I’ve heard the winner of the Masters hosts the dinner. If I ever won it there would be no suits, no ties, and McDonalds.” – John Daly
We want to talk about the big picture this month as it relates to building wealth, the kind of wealth that can augment your paycheck now and replace your paycheck during retirement.
Before you even consider investing in your future, you need to accomplish three very important tasks:
- First, you must pay off all your credit card debt. Even if you’re a one-in-a-million investor, it won’t matter if your gains are getting wiped out by credit card debt that carries insatiable interest rates.
- Next, you must have health insurance. Don’t be a fool about this stuff, medical emergencies are still the single biggest cause of bankruptcy in America.
- Finally, everyone must have disability insurance. Without it, you could find your savings wiped out in an instant. You must be able to support yourself if you become injured and unemployed.
Once you have your bases covered and are debt-free and fully insured, then it’s time to start thinking about investing...
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.”