CEO's Report

Jeff Ellison, PGA

Pacific Northwest Section President Greg Morris will be leaving us on August 31 for a new position at the The Summit Club in Las Vegas. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Greg but we will miss both his leadership and his friendship. I’m sure you join me in wishing Greg nothing but the best in his new endeavor.

The departure of our Section President initiated the clause in our Section Constitution that addresses these situations and the transition of leadership. On September 1, Vice President Sean Fredrickson of Oswego Lake CC will assume the role of President and Secretary Howie Pruitt of Aspen Lakes GC will move into Sean’s vacated Vice President seat. Our Constitution provides that the Board of Directors fill the vacancy in the Secretary position, and they have appointed Roger Wallace of Polson Bay GC to serve out the remainder of the 14-month term.

So, what happens in October 2020? Sean and Howie will run for President and Vice President as they were originally scheduled. Roger Wallace will step down and our normal election process for Section Secretary will resume. If you don’t know Roger, he’s a past Western Montana Chapter President, Past Section President and a former National District Director. He was also a National Bill Strausbaugh winner. Roger definitely has the experience to step in. Sean, Howie and Roger are looking forward to continuing to serve you, feel free to give them a call.

The Pacific Northwest Section Merchandise Show is quickly approaching. Scheduled for October 15-16 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, this will be a busy week. Not only do we have a change in city, we moved to the venue near the Moda Center instead of the Jantzen Beach venue. We also moved the Pro-Vendor to Monday night at Topgolf! Finally, Joe Daniels will be presenting education on Monday and Monte Koch will team with Tim McElhinny on Wednesday. Education registration will be out shortly. Please invite your buyers to the Show. Registration is important.

Click here to register for the Merchandise Show

Click here to enter the Pro-Vendor

Only two Section Member Championships remain in the season – the Senior PGA Professional Championship, September 5-6 at Bear Creek CC in Woodinville and the PGA Professional Championship at Indian Summer G&CC in Olympia on September 17-19. These are your championships, open to PGA Members only. The Senior PGA Closes on August 21 and the PGA closes on September 4. Visit for complete information.

Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching and that means Patriot Golf Day. I hope you are planning a fundraising effort to benefit the Folds of Honor. You can collect donations, run an event, just do a special KP contest or anything that works at your facility. If you need ideas, reach out to our new Folds of Honor Director of Golf Relations – West, Michael Haywood. You’ll remember Michael as our District 14 Director a few years ago. He’s there to help you! Contact him at 520-822-6200

A special pat on the back to all of you who engaged in PGA Junior League, either as captains or just host facilities. This is one of the best growth of the game programs we’ve ever seen and I applaud your efforts to make it successful for the kids. As you look to 2020, put PGA Junior League into your plan, make your 13U the focus of your efforts. There will be new bells and whistles dangled out there, grab onto them if they work for you but don’t back off your great work with 13U.

Finally, the 2020 Tournament Schedule is ready for distribution. It’s solid from a date standpoint, we just have a few venues to firm up.  We’ll keep updating the web site as we complete the process.

2020 Tournament Schedule

I hope to see you at one of our Section Member Championships!

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA

District #14 Director's Report

Don Rea, PGA

As a PGA Member, do you have any control over what the PGA of America does?

As a PGA Member, do you have any control over what the Pacific Northwest Section does?

As a PGA Member, do you have any control over what your Chapter does?

How did you answer each one of those questions?  Did you have the same answer for all three? When you disagree with what your Chapter, Section or Association does, what are your options?

Whether it is stars above a logo, shorts in a pro-pro, moving to Frisco, or who gives out the Wanamaker Trophy to the winner of the PGA Championship, the answer is the same.  You most definitely have a voice.  However, after talking to quite a few of you on each of the decisions I noted above, you don’t think you do.

The PGA of America is owned and controlled by you and so is your local Chapter and Section.  You elect your local leaders.  Those first 41 golf professionals that met in New York 103 years ago realized that someone had to be in charge if they were going to form the PGA of America.  They had day jobs and knew that they were going to need to hire staff to be their hands and feet, as well as volunteer leaders to work and direct that staff to serve the member and grow the game.  No doubt, with over 27,000 members and associates, we are much larger today, but the governance structure remains the same.

When you vote for a local Board member, it is incumbent on you to find out about that person.  A 3-minute speech at an Annual Meeting is not enough to know a person.  Call them before that meeting, ask them a few questions, try to learn what is important to them.  It really wouldn’t take long and I am sure that the candidate would love to talk with you.  At the end of the day, we (your current leadership) all run for these positions to serve the member, leave it better than we found it and have some say in how things are run.

Your delegates (usually the President and Vice President of the Section) at the Annual Meeting are representing you when they vote.  When they ask for your opinion, they really want to hear what you have to say.  However, don’t forget they are representing every member of the Section, so they are charged to make decisions and vote based on what is best for everyone in Oregon, Montana, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.  It is much tougher than you think and virtually impossible to please everyone.

My point is that you do have a voice.  It is loudest when you vote for your local leaders but can really be heard by simply reaching out in a professional manner and talking to that Board that you elected.  No doubt I want to hear from you when you are upset about what is going on at the National level, that is my job.  But please make sure you do yours.  Read the emails that your Chapter, Section and Association send you.  Speak up when you have questions, concerns, suggestions and comments.  And always remember, the best way to improve your association is to get involved.  Ask to join a committee, run for a board position, volunteer for a Section or Chapter event.  If you do, you will get more from being a member of the PGA of America and ensure that we will always be a member-run organization.

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

Building a Career on Your Strengths

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

“Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got.” – Jim Rohn

For every NFL football fan this is a wonderful time of year. The NFL season, when games really count, is just around the corner. No matter what happened last year, we can hope for a better result this season. It would seem the same is true for the front office staff, coaches and ownership of those NFL teams. But, for the actual players, specifically the veterans, this time is a time of anxiety, filled with pressure and related.

Why? It’s simple. Someone younger, faster and hungrier is trying to take their job. They used to be the younger one, the one trying to learn the system and prove themselves and their value…and they did it. Good for them. But, are they “resting on their laurels” at this point? Absolutely not. They can’t afford to. These veterans have spent this past offseason healing (because they need to), but they’ve also spent time working on their weaknesses and gaps in skill. They’ve been working with their “team” to help them prepare better, get more out of film sessions, and prove their value even more than ever on and off the field.

Besides working on their weaknesses, they’re also working on enhancing their strengths. These are the talents, abilities and capabilities they came into “the League” with – the very attributes that helped them get the job in the first place.

Is it really any different for us as PGA Professionals? No matter how much we want to think it is a yes, it is a no.

Do you know your strengths? If not, let me encourage you to spend $20 on yourself this fall. Take the Gallup StrengthsFinder profile assessment. In most cases, these strengths are not skills you have learned. They are more likely to be innate than they are learned.

Universities like Stanford, and George Fox in Newberg, OR (GFU), use StrengthsFinders with incoming freshmen (and they require it) as part of their “Idea Center” career advising program. Why? As a parent of a GFU student, the staff shared that it was so they could determine what was “right about our student” and so they could be more effective in advising our student in how to proceed on their education path and, more importantly, help them avoid taking the wrong path.

Application time (you had to know this was coming). Almost every person who takes the Gallup StrengthsFinder profile asks the same questions:

  1. What’s the right career for me?
  2. What should I consider doing now?
  3. What is my best fit?

Question #2 and #3 are going to be what we focus on. Naturally, these are complex questions that involve more than just strengths. Goals, interests and education also play key roles in career development. But strengths must be an important part of your career considerations, and the Gallup development basics (StrengthsFinder) are a great starting point (or midpoint if you’re mid-career or similar).

Kathie Sorenson (a former consultant with Gallup and author) and Steve Crabtree (Senior Editor and Research Analyst at Gallup) state, these “basics are a set of strengths-driven guidelines that help define the ground rules for personal (and professional) development. They offer insights that help us identify our most satisfying career goals and map our progress toward them.” Going further, they share one of the most common questions asked by What principles should guide career planning, and how can we develop an effective strengths-based career plan?

First, let’s review the Gallup development basics that can be applied to the career of a PGA professional.

1) Own your own development.

Nothing is more fruitless than “waiting to be discovered.” Your employer (the owner, the Board, etc.) is not likely to discover your strengths-based value without some help from you. Frankly, it is unrealistic to expect your employer to notice your strengths, consider your interests and your goals and “guide you to the perfect, most fulfilling and rewarding career experience” you’re looking for.

If you “own your own development,” you take charge of your career. Ownership requires you to be intentional and to take action upon the plan or process. Ownership is not delegated (this seems to be obvious, but maybe not). Ownership is active decision-making and follow-through, and it results in career and professional development.

2) You are successful because of who you are, not who you aren’t.

This is directly what the StrengthsFinder assessment is about. Let’s bring the analogy about the NFL athlete again here. There aren't many Bobby Wagner’s out there…that is, linebackers who can stop the run and cover the flat. That is why he’s still with the Seahawks. Just imagine if you applied your strengths with greater intentionality to your professional development, and were able to “envision how your strengths would play out” in career opportunities you have not tried or even considered.

Kathie Sorensen and Steve Crabtree said it better than I can. They wrote, “It can also be tempting to focus on your limitations. When you are faced with a difficult choice, using a process of elimination may help make it easier. So instead of beginning with what you do best, you rule out options for which you feel you lack the requisite experience, education, or contacts. This self-defeating process prevents individual growth, because it moves your career growth outside your sphere of influence.”

3) You cannot be successful alone.

Sorensen and Crabtree assert that, “Individuals who work alone can be limited by their talents and non-talents, as well as by their unique experiences and knowledge base.” In other words, they’re limited by their own perspective. Golf professionals (and anyone else) who seek, build and maintain partnerships with others that mutually add to both parties based on trust and accountability are stronger and more capable of creating success.

Why? Sorensen and Crabtree say it’s “because they can draw on a talent pool—not just their own resources, but also the talents, knowledge, skills and abilities of their partners.” It would seem this simple “network of partners and mentors value” correlates to true career development. According to Sorensen and Crabtree, these include:

Strengths insight. Mentors, coaches, and friends who know you well can lend you considerable insight about your talents and abilities. These people can serve as a mirror, allowing you to see your own strengths reflected in their view of you.  Sometimes you may need to guide their feedback. Try asking your mentors or coaches for their perception of your strengths: What should you do more of? Less of? What qualities do they most admire in you?

Opportunities. Other people will know of opportunities within their own constituencies and circles of influence, including roles you may not have considered. Asking them about such opportunities is a great way to broaden your thinking about future roles. Explain what you are thinking about and ask for their insight and help.

Often, opportunities come through your extended network of relationships. The “law of threes,” as some have referred to it, promises to connect you with anyone within three steps. Let your network know that you are interested in connecting with a certain person or organization and, sooner than you think, someone will be able to provide you with the desired link.

Clearly, there are innumerable roles that “career partners” can and do play in your development process. The truly sad fact is that too many people, including PGA Professionals, practice “self-limiting” by being reluctant to ask them for assistance. How are you doing in the “asking for assistance” department? If you want to get better, I’m ready and willing to assist you in whatever way I can! (Try me.)

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

Summer is winding down and fall is heating up.  There’s a lot to celebrate with PGA Jr. League.  This is also a great time to get a jump on 2020. Celebrating success and planning for the future are both very important, so let’s start with the celebrations.

PGA Jr. League PNW Section Championship
Congratulations to the winning teams from the eight Fab Four Regionals!

All these teams advance to the Section Championship at Eagle Crest Golf Resort on August 24th-25th.  Once again, as a leading section in participation, we will be sending two teams to Regionals to represent the Pacific Northwest Section.

We’re #1!!
The Pacific Northwest Section leads the country this year in PGA Jr. League participation.  We had 3,395 players during the Spring/Summer Rec season, growth of over 17%.  That’s a great testament to our captains, who do an amazing job making the game enjoyable for the kids.  That also makes the PNW PGA the leading section in the country for participation, edging out our friends from New England.

Fall Rec Season
There is still time to get involved.  The latest player/parent newsletter that went out nationally had huge click-through numbers on the fall league section.  Parents are looking for golf programs for their kids.  Run an in-house league at your facility and build off the momentum of a great summer season.

League Formation for 2020 Spring/Summer Season
Begin planning for next year now, when everything is fresh in your mind.  I’ll be sending out a league formation request soon to help everyone get a jump on schedules.  This is the time to let me know if you are planning an in-house league or would like to make one up with your neighboring professionals.  The single largest concern PGA Jr. League parents have is scheduling.  Creating a league early allows you to plan a schedule which makes it easier for parents to commit and fill your teams.

Good luck with the rest of 2019 and your planning for 2020! 

Let me know how I can help,

Branden Thompson, PGA

Open Events

PNW Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac | September 5-6, 2019

Entries close on August 21 @ 11:59 PM for the 2019 Senior PGA Professional Championship. This year's senior championship will be held at Bear Creek CC on September 5-6, with the optional pro-am on September 4 (we will pair you with another PGA Professional and amateurs from Bear Creek CC). Please take the time to enter ALL events you wish to participate in. You have TWO options: 1) qualify for the 31st Senior PGA Professional and play for the purse or 2) only play for the purse.

Learn more

PNW PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA | September 17-19, 2019

Entries are available for the PNW PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA. This year’s championship will take place September 17-19 at Indian Summer G&CC. The entry deadline is September 4th at 11:59 PM. You may register for this event through PGA of America Membership Services online at or by phone: (800) 474-2776.

Learn more

Pacific Golf & Turf Pro-Am Championship | October 3-4, 2019

We are now accepting entries for the Pacific Golf & Turf PNW Pro-Am Championship at Pronghorn Resort on October 3-4. Spencer Schaub, PGA and Jerrel Grow, PGA will be our hosts as we play the Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio courses. The team entry fee includes carts. Enter your team today!

Learn more

Merchandise Show & Pro-Vendor Invitational | October 14-16, 2019

Join us for a brand new Pro-Vendor experience at Topgolf-Hillsboro on October 14, preceding the PNW PGA Merchandise Show at the Oregon Convention Center on October 15-16.

Register for the Pro-Vendor

Register for the show

Coston Wins Senior Oregon Open Invitational

PGA Professional Jeff Coston of Semiahmoo Resort emerged victorious by a one-shot margin at 10-under par over PGA Professionals Steven Bowen of Illahe Hills CC and Rob Gibbons of Arrowhead GC to capture his seventh Senior Oregon Open Invitational Championship. Coston started the final round one shot behind Bowen, and it was a close battle with the lead changing between Coston, Bowen, and Gibbons. Coston’s par on the 18th and final hole of competition secured him the win to avoid a playoff.

Coston scored a triple bogey on the 18th hole during the first round. “I wasn’t too happy about letting that round get away… I knew I couldn’t do anything but start fresh with the proper mindset the next day.” On the final round, he credits Gibbons with helping him towards victory. “My close friend Rob Gibbons hit a tremendous tee shot on 18 which challenged me to do the same.”

Even after winning his third straight title, Coston remarked that this year has been a challenge for him at times. He said, “I have stuck with my templates that I have established over my career. How I practice, my technique, mental preparation, strategy. Being disciplined in each area and my experience has been important. I’ve definitely had to reinvent myself the last few years.”

For the 17th year in a row, Wildhorse Resort & Casino in beautiful Pendleton, Oregon hosted the Senior Oregon Open. This three-day event showcased players aged 50 years or older from all over the Pacific Northwest, competing both in individual and team competitions. The individual competition was stroke play over 54-holes and the team competition was one net and one gross ball at 90% of their handicap over 36-holes. Each four-player team included one PGA Professional and three amateurs.

The winners of the team competition at a score of 251, an excellent 37 under par, were PGA Professional John Freitas of Aldarra GC, Mike Kennedy, Mike Koczarski, and Mike Swingle.

Michael Jackson of Pronghorn Resort took home low amateur honors at 5 under par and Bob Christensen of Coeur d’Alene Resort GC won the amateur net competition. PGA Professional Dave Bobillot of Mount Vernon, Washington shot 147 over the first two rounds to win the super senior competition. Another notable score during the final round was a 64 by PGA Professional Mark Keating of the OGA GC to vault himself into the top ten.

We would like to thank Wildhorse Resort & Casino and volunteers for their hospitality and continued support of our championship. This year, the brand-new clubhouse and restaurant proved to be a big hit with all competitors—and will continue to be a great addition to the golf course in the years to come. Special thanks go to PGA Director of Golf Mike Hegarty and his golf operations staff, along with Superintendent Phil Lagao and his grounds crew. We look forward to returning to Wildhorse Resort & Casino in 2020!

Final results

Inglis Captures His Second PNW PGA Title

by Molly Cooper, PGA - Director of Tournament & Member Programs

PGA Assistants and PGA Associates battled in the National Car Rental PNW Assistant PGA Professional Championship supported by Srixon, Cleveland, XXIO, Golf Advisor, John Deere and the PGA Tour at Arrowhead GC with the hopes of representing the Pacific Northwest Section in Florida in November.  Colin Inglis of Emerald Valley GC captured the title of PNW PGA Assistant Champion by two strokes over Liam Kendregan of Sand Point CC and three strokes over Ryan Malby of Iron Horse GC.

With the win, Inglis earned a spot to the 43rd PGA Assistant Championship which will be held November 14 – 17, 2019 at the PGA Golf Club, Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, FL and will be joined by Kendregan and Malby.

With only three spots up for grabs, the field knew that a well-executed 36 holes of golf would be needed to see their name atop the leaderboard and also earn a coveted spot to Florida in November. The morning round was a 7:30 am shotgun.  Austin Landis of Stone Creek GC and Ryan Malby took an early lead after posting a 2-under par 69.  With many PGA Assistants and PGA Associates within shots of the early leaders, the championship and the spots to advance were still up for grabs.

After a short break and re-pairing for the final round, the players headed out for the second and final round in the hot 90 degree temperatures.

After the conclusion of the 36-hole event, Inglis captured the title and his second PNW PGA title (he previously won the Oregon Open Invitational in 2018).   

Inglis commented after his win when comparing his latest victory to his first section win last June, “It’s a close second to winning the Oregon Open.  The Oregon Open was a larger field and my first big victory so that will always be special, but to be able to win and get to play in the National Tournament is pretty cool.” 

When asked what this win means to him, “It is a huge honor and means a lot.  The support from friends, family and members at our club make it even better.  It is pretty cool to be able to represent the Northwest Section in Florida at the National Assistants too.”

Colin also mentioned “You have to hit the ball straight off the tee and I did that fairly well for 2 rounds. The course got really firm and fast and that is what I am used to coming from Emerald Valley, so I felt pretty comfortable with the conditions.”

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.  Another thank you goes out to PGA Head Professional Rob Gibbons, the Fisher Family and Arrowhead GC for the accommodations and exceptional golf course.  We look forward to returning in October for the 71st Hudson Cup Matches!

Final results

August 15, 2019

Foreword Press