CEO's Report

Jeff Ellison, PGA

April 5 was like any other busy April Friday. We finally had the pro-am season underway, we were pressing to get checks in the evening mail, kids were arriving at Augusta National for the Drive Chip and Putt National Finals and we were all eagerly awaiting “Masters Week”. On this day a short 14 years ago, we lost a friend to all with the passing of Dale Johnson. For those who did not have the pleasure of knowing Dale, he was our first Executive Secretary, hired away from the Oregon Journal by Section President Bunny Mason. As only the second Section employee in the country, Dale literally defined the role. A humble man with a sharp mind and even sharper wit, he served the members and the game with grace. Dale laid the foundation for much of what we do today and those of you who knew him will agree, the Section would be a very different place if it was not for the leadership of Dale Johnson. We miss the man, but he’s with us everyday in how we serve the members and grow the game.

The PGA Compensation Survey numbers are in and thanks to the 617 professionals who completed the survey we are back in second place! While the placing is just a metric, what’s important is that PGA Career Consultant Monte Koch now has the local data to help all of you achieve your goals. You did your part, now feel free to lean on Monte to evaluate your current position or develop a new opportunity. He’s here to help.

I hope you watched the Drive Chip and Putt National Finals last Sunday. It was great theater and makes you realize what a great game we are involved with. Congratulations to the Girls 7-9 National Champion, Angela Zhang of Bellevue, WA. Congrats also to third place finishers Ian Bruchhauer of Anchorage, AK and Anna Huang of Vancouver, BC. Drive Chip and Putt Registration is open and I encourage you to reach out to your juniors and parents to register for this year’s competition. We have 13 local sites here in the Section, one must be close to you. You never know who you will watch at Augusta in April 2020!

The Grant Committee just completed their work and 37 Section Professionals will be receiving $24,000 in funding from the Yamaha Player Development Grant and the Pacific Northwest PGA Junior Fund Grants to help fund their efforts to grow the game. Our thanks to Yamaha, the Winco Foods Portland Open and all of you who supported the 1% Club for making this all possible.

Entries are open for the first major of the year, the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational, May 20-22 at Meridian Valley Country Club. Superintendent Craig Benson already has the course in tournament condition, so you can expect another great championship at MVCC!

Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational entry

The staff heads over to Wine Valley today for the Pacific Northwest Senior Players Championship. We are fortunate to have such a great partner in Wine Valley welcoming us for this and the Northwest Open Invitational. Thank you, Wine Valley!

The 2019 USGA Rules of Golf continue to evolve with the recent release of a new OPTIONAL Local Rule concerning the replacement of a damaged club. We will incorporate this Local Rule into the Section and Chapter Supplemental Rules of Play.

See our revised “Hard Card”
Click here to see the full text of the Local Rule on the USGA website

Please join me in welcoming two new sponsors, Aftershokz and Zeus Battery Products. Kelly Walker brings these folks to us in support of the Washington Open Invitational and Zeus will also be part of the Oregon Open Invitational. I’m also pleased to welcome GT Golf Supplies back to the Northwest Open Invitational. Darrell Livingston and Patrick Coughlin are longtime sponsors of the Section and we look forward to seeing them in August.

I had the pleasure of attending the Western Montana Chapter Meeting in Great Falls, MT on Sunday to make all five chapter meetings this spring. Thank you all for your warm welcome. I’m there to answer your questions and help make that connection so you feel comfortable calling the staff here in the office. If we can ever be of service, please don’t hesitate to call. We are here to help you get the most out of your PGA membership.

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA

District #14 Director's Report

Don Rea, PGA

After attending your Spring meeting a few weeks ago, I was asked by one of our fellow members if I was worried about the future of our game because of my answer to the question about the golf courses at our new national headquarters in Frisco, TX possibly losing money the first year they are open.

I thought I would share with you my email response to his concerns, just in case you felt the same way.  Here it is…

Believe me, nobody is more bullish than me when it comes to this industry, we both love.  Please don’t take my response to Marcus’ question as anything but an honest answer about any new facility or new business that opens.  The first year is always a challenge.  First year marketing allocations will be higher than subsequent years and so will staffing.  However, rest assured the CAGR of a 5-year proforma for Frisco will be industry leading and should be.  Valhalla is very successful, and the only reason PGA Golf Club doesn’t turn a profit is because we focus on the member benefit and not just profitability.  We maintain those facilities at the very highest levels and spend more than the industry norm on capital improvements.

I am a golf course owner myself and sit on the NGCOA Board of Directors.   I believe in the industry and believe that PGA members can and should make a very good living in this business.  Here is what I feel the PGA is doing for the industry and its members to ensure that golf is a viable and growing business.

All that being said, some say that we are now in a golf course over supply situation, and they may be right.  Some golf courses will suffer because of competition.  However, just over 50% of the public golf courses in the US have a PGA member.  That is a big opportunity.  The members that leverage the four items I mentioned above will run facilities that out perform their competition.  ORCA, dynamic pricing, leveraging big data, and utilizing technology are new fronts that we must understand and effectively manage.  However, at the end of the day, it will always be about the personal relationship a PGA member has with his members, loyal customers and beginner golfers. I am assuming that you are familiar with Simon Sinek.

If not, you should watch this short video…

The Why of a PGA member must be founded in the benefits of this great game.  Family, Fitness, Fun, and many others. As Simon says in the video, profit is just a result, it can’t be your goal.

I believe that if we keep our Why first, the courses we (PGA members) run will always be not only viable, but industry leading and the Gold Standard.

Please don’t hesitate to call me if you ever want to talk.  Thanks for taking the time to send your email.

Please never hesitate to give me a call at Augusta Ranch – (480) 354-0802 #102. email me at:

Once again, thanks for the opportunity, God Bless and have a great day. 

Don Rea, PGA

Are You in Control of Your Own Career?

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

I have asked you to consider these questions before: How is your career doing? Or do you feel like you’ve just got a job? Either way, there is always more for you in your career or there’s a way to make it more than just a job. Maybe we can get there together?

ARE YOU THE PILOT, OR ARE YOU JUST A PASSENGER? It’s a great question. And, we all need to be asking it. Not just once or twice during our career, but probably once or twice a season. For a great perspective on the question – specifically on utilizing “the power of agency,” visit this article by Michael Hyatt here:


A simple, obvious way for you to utilize “the power of agency” is within your CareerLinks Profile:

CareerLinks Profile

In the past several months, I have had this conversation (or something very close to it.) Pro1 says: “Why didn’t I get that job posting?” Or, I find out they were interested in opportunities in a certain Section, or in a specific career role, and I knew of an opportunity they would, in fact, liked to apply for.

Regarding your CareerLinks Profile – we on the PGA Career Services team know your work experience, where you’ve worked and period of time you were employed at each facility. But, the other Career Consultants and I don’t really know what your “employment preferences” are (especially if you don’t keep your CareerLinks Profile updated). When we meet with golf professionals in our markets, we collect data on these preferences, but we don’t have it on the majority of our professionals.

When you annually update, you’re helping the Career Services team help you. In the profile survey, simple, but very important questions I need to help you with your career:

Less than One-Third of PNW professionals are up to date. Earlier in April 2019, I was given data about the “last time” every one of our PNWPGA professionals (in active classifications) completed an update on their CareerLinks Profile. Frankly, I was shocked at what I found when I did a little sorting. Here is a snapshot below:

Are you in the “red zone?” If you are, maybe you need to consider being more of a “pilot” of your own career? (Are you in the “orange zone?” There’s really not much of a difference between orange and red here.)

Maybe you are thinking, “I’ve got a great job, I am going to work here until I retire…I’m all set.” Well, let me tell you a story.

I know a PGA professional, a very good one. Incredibly well respected by his ownership, his staff, in his PGA chapter, Section and even around the whole of the Association. He was “all set” in a job, a location and facility that he loved (and the feeling was mutual).

Then, his ownership decided to sell the Club/resort that he had been working at for about 20 years. Soon after the sale closed, the new ownership decided they didn’t need him to be the general manager/lead golf professional at the facility. In fact, they eliminated his position. He went from “all set” to “all shook up.”

His advice to me (paraphrased,) “…no PGA professional should be smug…no one is all set, because change is inevitable and sometimes it’s not the change we want or expect. I’m going to share my story in my Section, in my Chapter because our PGA peers need to stay vigilant with their career…getting stronger with professional development, but also staying vigilant on their CareerLinks profile.”

If you’d like advice on how to edit your CareerLinks Profile, how to answer the survey questions so that you get the most information on opportunities based on your employment preferences, I would like the opportunity to help you.

How can I help you with your CareerLinks Profile, or help you with your career plan?

As your Career Consultant, and your business coach, this is my goal. I hope to help you find job satisfaction, greater career stability and increased income and help you progress in your career. I look forward to the chance to learn more about you, your facility and your career vision.

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

We are heading toward the end of player registration for many teams.  Get the word out to fill your remaining roster spots.  As we get closer to the start of your season there are some items to get accomplished.


To roster your players to your team(s), click the grey rostering button on the left side of the screen on the PGA Jr. League site.  You will be taken to a page with your team(s) on the right and your players on the left.  Simply drag your players and drop them onto the team to get them rostered.  Once that is complete you can move on to the next step…

Ordering Team Kits

Once your players are rostered you can order the team kits.

Go to

Click the Order Team Kits link and you will be taken to the request form.  This is where you will enter the team name for the jerseys and request a ship date.  Keep in mind as the season progresses the lead time for standard orders is up to 20 business days.  This year we are offering expedited orders to get jerseys within 2 weeks for a $25 fee.  Standard shipping is free. 

Conditions of Play

There are some changes this year resulting from your feedback.  Both documents can be found at Here are the direct links to the 2019 Conditions of Play booklet and a summary of the changes:

2019 Conditions of Play

Changes for 2019

Managing your team

Download the SportsEngine app from your applicable app store.  Once you install it an log in with your SportsEngine credentials you will be able to see your teams.  The app is a great tool for:

Get your parents to download the app so they can take advantage of the RSVP function.  This is an easy way to keep track of what players are available.

Website Help

New for this year is an online chat feature that you can use for web site help.  On any PGA Jr. League webpage you will see a Need Help button on the right hand side of the screen.  Click that and a window will appear with help articles and other resources.  One of those is a Contact Help button. Click that and you can start a conversation with tech support.  They can help extend a registration deadline, increase a maximum number of players, and many other issues that may arise. 

Have a great season!

Branden Thompson, PGA

2019 National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship

Assistants – plan on entering! Bosses, give your Assistants time off to play in their Championship!

Entries are now available for the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship on August 5, 2019. The entry deadline is Wednesday, July 24 at 11:59 PM. Please pay close attention to the entry deadline! You may register for this event through PGA of America Membership services at 800-474-2776, or at:

get the flyer

“The National Car Rental PNW Assistant PGA Professional Championship is one of my favorite events of the year.  The event is always held at great venues, with strong fields vying for the chance to qualify and compete at the National Championship.” – Bryce Fisher


We would like to thank National Car Rental for their title sponsorship. Thank you also to our supporting sponsors Srixon, Cleveland Golf, XXIO, Golf Advisor, John Deere and the PGA Tour.


You must be employed as an A-8 or as a PGA Associate (including Associate Head Professional) as of July 24 to be eligible to play in the National Car Rental PNW Assistant PGA Professional Championship.

View full eligibility requirements (pdf)

Grooves and Punch Mark Specifications

In making a stroke, the player must use clubs that conform to the groove and punch mark specifications in the Equipment Rules that took effect on 1 January 2010. Ping Eye 2 irons manufactured before 31 March 1990 with a groove spacing to groove width ratio of 2.3 to 1 are allowed for play under Rules of Golf, even when this Local Rule is in effect (See Model Local Rule G-2 in Committee Procedures).


The PGA of America uses a 5-year calculation to determine the spots we are playing for and purse calculations.

The top 3 finishers will advance directly to the 43rd National Car Rental PGA Assistant Professional Championship, held November 14 – 17, 2019 at the PGA Golf Club, Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Arrowhead GC

Situated on 135 verdant acres in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Arrowhead Golf Club remains the hidden jewel of Clackamas County. Guarded by old-growth forest, the 18-hole championship golf course meanders across lush meadows and rolling hills, crossing paths with the pristine Molalla River and Wrights Creek before beginning its final approach back to the clubhouse. Its demanding layout and manicured surfaces result in a dynamic playing experience.

History of the Championship

This year’s Assistant Championship marks the 43rd Anniversary as a National event but the PNW Section has been conducting the event since Fred Pelzer donated the trophy in 1965.

Last year, Bryce Fisher of Arrowhead GC won the championship by two strokes over Derek Berg of PNW Golf Academy, John Cassidy of Arrowhead GC, Shane Prante of The Home Course  and Bradley Lanning of University of Oregon.

View all champions


APRIL 15, 2019

Foreword Press