greg morris

President's Report

After all the weather the Northwest has received over the past three weeks, I think we are all searching for some good news. Here you go: daylight savings time begins March 10th and March 20th is the first day of spring. That means green grass and golfers ready to shake off the winter blues.

I had the pleasure of attending the Inland Empire Chapter meeting on February 17th. It was great to see the chapter board at work, under the direction of Chapter President Chris Runyan and assisted by Executive Director Jason Letus. The Inland Empire Chapter is in good hands and they have a great plan in place for 2019. Jason will be taking on a new role this year, he is now the Executive Director of the Inland Empire Chapter and the Central Washington Chapter. Jason will be taking on this role while working out of the section office. You will also see Jason at our section majors as he helps the rest of the section staff with our tournament programs. This move will allow us to better serve the members in these two chapters and enhance communication levels.

I would also like to welcome Dana Pugh. Dana will be the new voice answering the phones at the section office. As we welcome Dana to the staff, we have to say goodbye to someone. Cecelia Morales (Cece) is leaving the section team for a great new exciting opportunity. Thank you Cece for the last 5 1/2 years of hard work on the behalf of the section members. You will be missed but I know you will flourish in your new job.

Compensation Survey, COMPENSATION SURVEY, there is a reason why I said it twice… If you haven’t filled it out yet at, you have until March 31st to earn 2 MSR’s and help your fellow PGA Professionals at the same time. The goal is to make this year’s PGA Compensation Survey the most successful ever. In 2017 we were second in the country with a completion rate of 72%. In 2018 that dropped to around 48%. The main reason why this survey is so important is it helps us all! The data produced is used every day by your fellow PGA members, Associates and Career Consultants to make a case for improved compensation. The survey is completely confidential and your individual data cannot be seen or accessed. Please go online to and fill it out today.

You have until March 30 to apply for the Yamaha Player Development Grants. Two separate Player Development Grants are offered, Youth and Adult. Our goal is to provide as many grants as possible, with a maximum of $1,000.00 per grant. The section has $24,000.00 to give out to those professionals that apply. There are two requirements, provide documentation in the form of receipts on the use of the funds and also write a short one-page “Best Practice” on your program that we can share with other professionals on our website.

As the officers make their rounds to the chapter meetings, please reach out to us and let us know your thoughts and concerns, we are here to serve the membership.

The Spring Meeting is right around the corner at Seattle Golf Club, see you there!


All the best,

Gregory C. Morris, PGA
President, PNWPGA
Head Golf Professional, Iron Horse GC

molly cooper

Tips on Learning the New Rules of Golf

#3 The Easiest Penalty to Avoid

Molly Cooper, PGA
Director of Tournament & Member Programs

Welcome back to our monthly rules article to help guide you to a successful 2019 season and beyond! Today we are going to learn more about the easiest penalty in golf to avoid. Advice and Help; Caddies which are both discussed in Rule 10. This topic seems perfect to release in March as it precedes our first couple team events of the year, the Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am and the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship.

This rule has already been so controversial on the Tours that the USGA and R&A recently released a follow-up on the new rule. Click here for the full updated Rule.

Rule 10.2b (4) discusses the restrictions on a player’s caddie standing behind the player. A partner standing behind the player would also be in violation of this rule.

Rule 10.2b (4) does not allow a player to have his or her caddie deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason when the player begins taking a stance for the stroke. Reference to “the stroke” means the stroke that is actually made.

The player begins to take the stance for the stroke that is actually made when he or she has at least one foot in position for that stance. If a player backs away from the stance, he or she has not taken a stance for the stroke that is actually made, and the second bullet point in Rule 10.2b (4) does not apply (Bullet point 2 reads - If the player takes a stance in breach of this Rule, he or she cannot avoid penalty by backing away).

Therefore, if a player takes a stance when the caddie is deliberately standing on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball, there is no penalty under Rule 10.2b(4) if the player backs away from the stance and does not begin to take a stance for the stroke that is actually made until after the caddie has moved out of that location. This applies anywhere on the course.

Backing away means that the player’s feet or body are no longer in a position where helpful guidance on aiming at the intended target line could be given.

Recently on the, a player earned a two-stroke penalty for breaching this rule. The player got penalized two strokes even though his caddie was already walking away before the player started his stroke. The penalty may seem harsh to some but the rule clearly states that it was not allowed. The player dropped out of the top 10 with his two penalty strokes. This is one reason they issued the change. Click here to view the full article.

Please keep in mind one important fact about this rule.  This rule is not about where the caddie or partner is at the time the stroke is made but where the caddie or partner is when the player started taking their stance.  That’s it. 

This is a major change from the previous rules of golf.  This rule will be applied on the location the caddie and/or partners was standing at the time the player started taking their stance, if they player then goes ahead with the stroke.

Rules 22, 23, and 24 confirm that in forms of play involving partners, a player’s partner and the partner’s caddie may take the same actions (with the same limitations) as the player’s caddie may take under Rules 10.2b(2) and 10.2b(4).

Jeff Ellison says it best – “You have all the rights and privileges of a partner...and all the responsibilities!”

As you gear up for team competitions or individual competitions, keep in mind to make sure your partner(s) and caddie know where to stand when you start taking your stance. 

It’s easy to avoid penalty strokes by just having your caddie and/or partners stay off your extension of the line of play when it is your turn to play.  My advice – have them stand off to the side (like a 90 degree angle) well off your line of play!

To continue learning more about the new Rules of Golf, visit

Sr Players

PNW Senior Players' Championship

Wine Valley GC host professional Chris Isaacson welcomes you to sunny Walla Walla this spring! The team entry is now available for the Senior Players’ Championship on April 16-17. The deadline for this popular event is Wednesday, April 3.

The course will play at 6,416 Yards, Par 72. There are individual professional and amateur competitions with gross and net payouts. The team four-ball competition will be based on gross scores only.

The Section's Senior Team Event 

Seniors, bring an amateur and play in the first senior major of the year! You won't want to miss this fun competition. Last year, PGA Professional Jeff Coston of Semiahmoo G&CC won the PNW Senior Players’ Championship by one stroke over PGA Professional Mike Gove of Inglewood GC. In the team Four-Ball competition, PGA Professional Steve Stull of Richland, WA and amateur Brad Karns of Royal Oaks CC won by three strokes after shooting Four-Ball scores of 70-65-135, 9-under par.

View all champions

Wine Valley GC

Wine Valley Golf Club has been rated “One of The Top Three Golf Courses to Play in Washington” by Golfweek.  It has been awarded many other honors since opening in 2009. This stunning Dan Hixson design unfolds on a grand scale, playing over rolling hills in the shadow of the Blue Mountains.  Wine Valley GC has broad fairways, dramatic bunkers, and bold, undulating putting surfaces.

Why We Love It

“Every year I dearly look forward to driving over Snoqualmie pass looking at the melting snow, knowing I’m headed towards rolling hills and the Wine Valley Golf course.  I get to visit with all the great professionals I competed against over the years.” – Tom Sovay, 2017 Champion

Online Entry


Entry Form (pdf)



PNW Pro-Assistant Championship

We are still accepting entries for the PNW Pro-Assistant Championship at Seattle GC on March 18-19. The Spring Meeting will take place immedietely following round one.

Enter online

PDF entry form


PNW PGA Special Awards Ceremony

Please join us in celebrating the 2018 PNW PGA Special Award Winners, March 17 at Seattle GC. Reception begins at 5:30 and the ceremony begins at 7:00

RSVP Online


Holk's Highlights: Bryce Poulin

This month we interview Bryce Poulin, winner of the 2018 PNWPGA Player Development Award. He has created multiple player development programs at Camas Meadows. His “Pathway to Programs Guide” provides students of all abilities with a guideline to choose from his plethora of programs. He accurately tracks all programs to increase activity at non-peak times and increase revenue to his facility.

Facility: Camas Meadows GC

Hometown:  Originally from Truckee, CA

PGA Member Since:  2017

Tell us a little bit about your career. Who or what inspired you to become a PGA Professional? 

I recall being 13 years old asking my golf coach Pete Smith, PGA, about being a golf professional and what route he took to become a teaching professional. In a way I felt confident that my life and career would keep me in golf, though I had no idea back then how it would unfold. In 2014, I accepted a USGA Boatwright Internship with the Oregon Golf Association, and Director of Junior Golf, Robyn Lorain, PGA to begin my formal golf industry career. Following the internship, I was hired for the role of Director of Player Development Camas Meadows by Chris Garrison, PGA. The last 5 years have been filled with immense challenges and successes, and I am very thankful for the team and network of golf professionals I’ve been surrounded by to help assist my career and growth as a person.

Can you briefly tell us about your player development programs (or pick a favorite)?

The player development programs at Camas Meadows range from a full scale Youth Golf Academy, to weekly Adult Programs and Classes. My personal favorite part of the player development pipeline, or ways of continuing to generate buzz for your programs and grow the game to new customers, is through our community events. For example, our annual GolfZilla event in June allows our program to teach golf in local elementary schools in the spring to promote the event. In addition, I’ve been fortunate to build some relationships with local business owners to further expand our reach to new families and community members. In the end, the belief in giving to the community to share the experience of golf will always be vital to long-term growth of new golfers and advocates of your facility.


Pros on the Move

by Michelle Parish, Tournament & Membership Coordinator

Employment Changes

  • Vince A. Domenzain, PGA (A-13) - from Unaffliated to Stone Ridge GC
  • Bradley M Elzie (B-8) - from Salish Cliffs GC to Zintel Creek GC
  • Michael J. Fosnick, PGA (A-9) - from Jefferson Park GC to Premier Golf Centers
  • Paul C. Lavin, PGA (A-1) - from Gateway GC to Holmes Harbor GC
  • Joseph J. Hise, PGA (A-21) - from Seattle GC to Golf and Corporate Solutions
  • Scott Lusk, PGA (A-13) - from Stone Ridge GC to Eagle Point GC
  • Terrance Q. Parnell (B-8) - from Columbia Point GC to Walla Walla CC
  • Carissa A. Simmons, PGA (A-6) - from Meridian Valley CC to Griffin Golf
  • Eric E. Stevens (B-8) - from Lake Spanaway GC to Jefferson Park GC

Class Changes

  • John G. Hildebrand, PGA (Trophy Lake G&CC) - from A-8 to A-1
  • Tony Wilkins, PGA (Jefferson Park GC) - from A-1 to A-13

New Associates

  • McKay D. Flanagan (B-8) - Lewis River GC
  • Taylor A. Giacomini (B-1) - Widgi Creek GC
  • Jeffrey D. Hardee (B-8) - Canyon River GC
  • Julian S. Martin (B-8) Salem GC

Newly Elected Members

  • Cole J. Clearman, PGA (A-8) - The Club At Snoqualmie Ridge
  • Robert W. Gooden, PGA (A-8) - Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
  • Michael A. Jankovich, PGA (A-8) - Hayden Lake CC
  • Marshall A. Kennedy, PGA (A-8) - Seattle GC
  • William G. Roberts, PGA (A-8) - Orchard Hills CC
  • Bryan K. Stevens, PGA (A-14) - The Club At Snoqualmie Ridge

Transfers INTO the Section

  • Brian P. Bussinger, PGA (A-8) to Chambers Bay from Colorado Section
  • Baylor B. Comstock, PGA (A-8) to Meridian Valley CC from North Florida Section
  • Mikal W. Harpster, PGA (A-1) to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort from Gateway Section
  • Brady J. Phillips, PGA (A-8) to Reames G&CC from Southern California Section

Transfers OUT of the Section

  • Caitlyn G. Doyle, PGA - from Columbia Edgewater CC to Northern California Section

Tax Facts

Blake Parrish, CFP®

Tax filing season for 2018 is still open through April 15th of this year, leaving many individuals to wonder: Did my taxes actually go down in 2018 as policymakers promised? Too many will be tempted to compare their 2017 tax refunds to their 2018 tax refunds and make a judgment that way. But that sort of analysis misses a key part of the equation: the impact that changes in tax withholding have on an individual filer’s tax refund (or taxes due).

First, let’s recap what we know about individuals’ tax liabilities in 2018 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The new tax code lowered tax rates, doubled the standard deduction, doubled the child tax credit and expanded eligibility, and limited the alternative minimum tax. It also limited several deductions, such as for state and local taxes paid and mortgage interest.

These changes impact taxpayers differently, but the majority of Americans had a lower tax liability in 2018 than they would have otherwise. Approximately 80 percent of filers had their taxes cut by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, while only 5 percent saw their taxes increase. Individuals wanting to estimate their tax savings can use this calculator.


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