CEO's Report

Jeff Ellison, PGA

Our competitive season is about to shift into high gear and I encourage all of you to spend a little time with the 2019 Rules of Golf.  I’ve been to a PGA / USGA Seminar, taught at our October seminar, will teach Monday at the Sweet 16 and have had two conference calls with our staff ‒ and I still need a lot of work to get ready.  Please make sure you have the new book and Official Guide, spend a little time in it and visit both and to review the excellent information provided to help you prepare for your golf but also educate your membership.  A lot has changed; please prepare for the season so we don’t have to explain the changes to you after you returned an incorrect score card.

Applications went out on February 12 for both the Yamaha Player Development Grants and the Junior Funds’ Youth Player Development Grants.  A total of $24,000 is available to help support YOUR programs.  Our thanks to Ben Foreman of Yamaha for his continued support.  The Junior Fund grants are made possible by the support of the Winco Portland Open and to all of you who contributed to the 1% Club. Applications for both are due no later than March 30.

2019 Yamaha Player Development Grants

Continuing with the theme of what does the PGA do for me – you should take advantage of three programs – the PGA Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship, Perkspot and SupportLinc. 

The PGA Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship awards scholarships to the children and grandchildren of PGA Members.  A few years ago, a change was made to spread the wealth.  If you have not received an award in the past, apply again!  With this application, children of Section members are also applying for the Bunny Mason Scholarship – two chances to win!

PGA Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship Program

Perkspot is a unique program for PGA Members, Associates and your families to receive significant discounts on products and services you use every day. It’s free, all you need to do is register. The product mix is huge and the discounts change every day.

Check out Perkspot on

And lastly, the new Member Assistance Program utilizes a service called SupportLinc to offer you support for life’s challenges.  Whether it’s expert advice on a wide range of topics or counselling for a variety of situations, SupportLinc is there to help.  

Check out SupportLinc on

Drive Chip and Putt registration opens on March 5.  Be sure to share the news with your junior golfers – both expert and beginners. This is a great entry into a simple competition and the kids all have a good time. Send your parents to to register for one of the 13 Local Qualifiers in the Section.

We could not offer the full array of programs we do here in the great Northwest without our sponsors.  I’m happy to report a very busy week in Orlando and we’ll be announcing a few new sponsors in the coming weeks.  Right now, I’m happy to report that TCM Bank is our new affinity credit card provider offering a no annual fee card for both personal and business uses.  Open to all members, associates, family members and even amateurs.  There is a nice rewards program and benefit package with each card. Carry a card with the PGA logo!

PNW PGA Mastercard® Credit Cards

Also, new to the team is Lorente. Mark Felton and Scott Nelson will bring a nice gift package to each of our new members.  Our old friend Kyle Freeman, now of Under Armour, is back to support the Hudson Cup Matches. Muckleshoot Casino, Rosauers and Wildhorse Resort & Casino maintain their high levels of support for our major events. Also continuing their support is Antigua, Imperial, PlayKleen and Certifresh of the Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am.  At the Pro-Assistant, Bushnell, Camelbak, Hole-In-One USA, Cutter & Buck, Sterling Cut Glass, Strideline, ProTag and PTE Golf will lend their support.  The Oregon Open will see Mike Worden, Ren Weaver and Ryan Chin continuing their support.  GT Golf Supplies is back for the Northwest Open. Pacific Golf & Turf and Mizuno return to the PNW Pro-Am. Sunice is also back supporting our operations. We have 17 other sponsors with contracts in front of them to finalize. Thank you all who have sent thank you letters and emails. It really helps our efforts.

I’ll be in Coeur d’ Alene on Sunday for the Inland Empire Meeting and will make it to all four of the other meetings this spring.  The officers and I are there to share what’s new at the Section level and how you can capitalize on your membership. Please never hesitate to seek us out and ask questions. I hope to see you soon,

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA

District #14 Director's Report

Don Rea, PGA

First, let me take this opportunity to say that I appreciate your Board of Directors giving me the opportunity to share with you an update and that I am always here to answer any of your questions.  Please never hesitate to give me a call at Augusta Ranch – (480) 354-0802 #102. email me at:

Evolution of PGA Member Logos
Many have asked me about the change to the rocker of our PGA Logo and the recent change from Professional starting point to a Member starting point.

Previously, everyone wore the PGA Professional rocker. A PGA Professional represents the 24,000+ PGA Members as well as the 4,000+ PGA Associates. After careful deliberation by multiple Member Committees and the Board of Directors, the determination was made that this wasn’t giving enough value to the years spent becoming a PGA Member. Thus, we created a logo that better represented that work and better differentiated between PGA Member and Associates - all of whom are “Professionals”.

Q: Why the change?

To better promote the PGA Member and help employers understand the value of Lifelong Learning in each of the three career tracks.

Q: What is the benefit to members?

We’re going to focus on and promote the value of the PGA Member and members who put in the work to become Specialists, Certified Professionals and Master Professionals to educate employers and ultimately drive value.

Q: Why were the stars removed from the Certified and Master Professional Logos?

This topic was vetted extensively by the Education, Employment and Membership Committees as well as numerous Certified and Master Professionals with the decision made that the stars will no longer be a part of PGA Master Professional or PGA Certified Professional Logos. The reasoning for this change is that in this five-star+ world of reviews we felt that branding our Certified and Master Professionals with only two or four stars would not be an appropriate representation of their skills.

For PGA Members who have earned Specialist, Certified Professional or Master Professional status we will now be providing additional logos which recognize their designation in a chosen Career Path

Does all that make sense?  Are you still thinking… Don, I am a member of Costco, but a Professional of the PGA of America.  I get it.  It was strange to not see a Professional rocker on any of the merchandise in the PGA Golf Shop.  The new rocker was presented to all the delegates, members attending the Annual Meeting in Palm Springs and those streaming the meeting live and I received virtually no response.  However, once the logo was seen at the PGA Merchandise Show in the PGA Golf Shop many have reached out.

So, rest assured, Doug and I will be in the Planning Session in 3 weeks talking with your National Board to make sure that all members are heard on this issue. If you feel strongly either way, please reach out to me.

Once again, thanks for the opportunity, never hesitate to contact me with any questions, God Bless and have a great day. 

Don Rea, PGA

Urgent vs. Priority

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

Leveraging Learnings from The Go-Giver

I have asked you this before? For 2019, how is your professional development coming along? Or said differently, how is the “investment in you” going?  All too often, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the “urgent items” of the day, followed closely by the “important items” of the week or so. Unfortunately, this leaves the “priority items” not completed.

What is the difference between “important” and “priority”? In my mind, the “important items” are typically defined by our employer. Conversely, “priority items” are items that are about our career, like getting started in the PGA Lifelong Learning Pathway, completing an update on your PGA CareerLinks Profile, or completing the PGA Compensation Survey. Each of these need specific focus, with purpose and accountability, or they won’t get done. Yet, it is these “priority items” that can lead to greater career opportunities, more compensation and/or more job satisfaction.

PGA Compensation Survey

As an aid to drive this, I’ve developed a PDF worksheet. If you would like an excel spreadsheet that you can edit/customize, please email me and I’ll be happy to share it with you.

Get the PDF

In the January 2019 issue of the Foreword Press, I focused on the The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from the book, The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann. In the article, I sought to provide a 3,000’ view of the book, whose story focuses on a professed “go-getter” named Joe. In his story, Joe’s “go-getter” ways have only gotten him so far, and that is not far enough.

Read Part I here

Assuming you have the context, I’d like to focus a litter deeper on one of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success, specifically “The Law of Value.”

“The Law of Value — Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” We can see this law applied in compensation. And, in general, we haven’t done the best job of proving our value to our employers. (Certainly, some PGA professionals have done this well, but as an industry the opposite is true.) Please understand, I’m not trying to blame anyone; I’m pointing to a solution, a way to get compensation “trending up” (like we need it to.) For us as PGA professionals, we create value for two distinct groups that are “intertwined.”

CONSUMERS (customers and members): I place them first, because it’s their “demand decision” and what they get from doing business with our facility/our member club, etc. that matters to them. If we can provide more value to our consumers, (remember: their individual definition of what enjoyment means is up to them,) they will give our facility the topline revenue our facility needs to grow, make capital improvements and more.

One key understanding about the demand decision is this: If your facility value delivers on the “enjoyment side” of the equation, the “investment side” doesn’t matter (think about it, the amount of time or the cost becomes less important or doesn’t matter at all.) For some, the combination of performance and social may not be their score, it may be how much fun they had shooting 110!

In the light of the Demand Decision concept, let’s consider what your professional Value Proposition is. What is the Value Proposition? It’s what makes you unique, it’s your combined set of strengths, skills and energy; especially when it’s applied on an individual basis to customers, members and students. Your innovation can also be a difference maker in light of the Demand Decision concept because “customers know what they want, but they don’t always know what it possible.” In that light, please ask yourself the same question (as last month): Do you regularly enhance the value in your customer’s demand decision?

EMPLOYERS (owners, club boards and facility managers): I place them second. Not because they are second, but because their ability to stay in business, capitalize and maintain their facility and provide for their employees, etc. is directly credited to how consumers view, patronize and support their facility. (Hint: this is a great thing. PGA professionals actually have the most significant influence in how this happens. Certainly, it can be challenging, but it’s also a big opportunity. With that in mind, here’s what goes into the “Employer’s Demand Decision.” (Note: the formula is the same, it’s still “Performance/Value >=< Investment” in the eyes of the employer. If their Return on the Investment is higher than their investment, the employee/golf professional in question is going to be much better off, be more valued, etc.)

So, how do we deliver more performance (top line financial performance to be specific,) more value and similar in the eyes of our employer?  (In other words, this is what employers have been telling us about what a “priority item” is for them.)

  1. Player Development Programs (Creating newly inspired, newly motivated golfers, more family units who play golf together is the best niche we can have in the golf business. It’s what makes PGA professionals special and unique to other careers at our golf facilities.)
    1. Merchandise Profitability (This is the perfect balance of higher gross sales, while maintaining a good COGS, while turning over product relatively often. Striking this balance for all three areas is where PGA professionals truly shine.)
    1. Mentoring, Coaching and Training Staff – Equipping and developing our front-line staff so they can be nimble, and correct in their responses with customers and members will enhance both customer activation and retention; plus, it will create more engaged, more loyal employees resulting in less turnover.
    1. Development of New Revenue Streams – Creating new ways to monetize the facility with a small investment, or a clever change of the existing “physical plant” can be huge
    1. Development / Recruitment / Management of Outside Events
    1. Increased Member Participation (Engagement through Activation) – Creating ways to get a couple extra rounds over prior year, a few more purchases from the golf shop, playing in one more event, etc. are all outcomes that are driven by an engaged PGA professional; each leads to greater activity and greater spend.
    1. Member Generation / Retention / Integration – These three are all important, but they feed off each other. If a new member is oriented well, and integrated with other members early-on, they will be more likely to feel like “they belong.” And, if they feel they belong, they are less likely to be unhappy and be “lapsed as a member.” Further, if they are happy, they will often be our best “member recruitment salespeople.”

True worth: In light of the above list of “priority items” for employers, where do you honestly see yourself in terms of the “true worth” you bring to the facility for the employer?  Value: to reiterate, is a part of your employer’s “demand decision” for you, for how they value you and how they choose to compensate you or similar. Question: Do you regularly enhance the performance/value side of the equation in your employer’s demand decision?

Are you still trying to be a“Go-Getter?” Do you focus on what you can go and get, go and take out of the golf business? Or would you like to be a “Go-Giver PGA professional” instead? If you’d like to get together with me to consider these questions, I’m in. When can we can make it happen? I appreciate the opportunity to help you (or those you lead) with your career and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to partner with you on it soon.

Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Cell: 206/335-5260

Career Planning and Coaching

PGA Jr. League

Branden Thompson, PGA - Regional League Manager

It looks like another great year for the kids playing PGA Jr. League.   We are moving into the gathering players stage and early indications are for another big increase in participation.  So far player registration is up 20% over last year through February 10th.  It’s early, but that is a great sign.  Parents are looking at PGA Jr. League as a way to introduce their kids to golf.

Utilize the Captain Resource Center to make running your program a little easier.  We’ve tried to consolidate all the tools you need on one site.  You can find links to edit your registration, best practice ideas, marketing materials and more.
I am working on the league framework and will send it out soon.  With that I will send out my schedule for traveling up and down the I5 corridor to set up league meetings.  I’ve been able to see most of the east side of the mountains so far, which has been really fun.  There are a lot of captains growing their programs despite geographic challenges.  If you haven’t registered yet, please get that done as soon as possible so I can find you a league to play in. 

We currently have about 20 facilities planning on hosting in-house leagues.  This is the best way to capitalize on all the benefits PGA Jr. League can bring to your facility.  There are a lot of great things about having your own in-house league including, ease of scheduling, less travel time, and increased use of your facility by your members and customers.  If you want to explore this idea further at your facility, contact me. 

As you plan your season, keep in mind the lead time needed to receive your team kit and jerseys.  For free standard shipping, team kits need to be ordered 20 business days prior to your first game.  If you need to order the kit inside that window, there is a $25 shipping fee for expediting the order.  Expedited orders will need at least 10 business days lead time.  
Let me know how I can help you.


Branden Thompson, PGA

February 15, 2019

Foreword Press