See You at the Merchandise Show in Portland!
sean fredrickson

President's Report

PNW PGA Professionals,

I hope everyone is enjoying their fall season.  Fall is my favorite time of year. The golf season is starting to wind down and I can start the process of recharging my batteries for the next go-around.  It also doesn’t hurt that I can watch college football, the NFL, the MLB playoffs, the MLS Cup playoffs and NBA basketball all at the same time!

A big shout-out to all the PGA professionals who hosted PGA Junior League golf teams this past season.  It was recently announced that the PNW PGA leads all sections with 3395 Junior League participants!  I would also like to recognize Rick Blakenburg of Bellingham Golf and Country Club, as his Team Scrubs qualified for the National PGA Junior League finals in Scottsdale, Arizona next month.  Good luck, Rick – bring home the trophy!!!

Congratulations to Corey Prugh for his victory at our Section Championship.  Special thanks to Indian Summer Golf and Country Club for hosting this prestigious event. Corey, Russell Grove, Brady Sharp, Jeff Gove, Derek Berg, Tim Feenstra, and Brian Thornton will represent the PNW Section at next year’s Club Professional Championship at Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas.

I hope to see you all next year at Canyon River in beautiful Montana for the 2020 PNW PGA Professional Championship.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Portland, Oregon for our Merchandise Show and Fall General Meeting at the Oregon Convention Center. This is an action-packed week for our section; we have education opportunities for you to attend and we will report to you on the business of the Section during the general meeting on Wednesday, October 16th. 

Please make sure to take the time to make appointments and write some orders at the show.  Your support of the merchandise show is critical to the success of your Section.

I also encourage you to attend our annual Pro-Vendor on Monday, October 14. Topgolf will host this year’s event and the format will encourage friendship, competition and plenty of entertainment.  I can’t think of a better way to connect with your favorite sales rep!

Finally, the merchandise show week is a great opportunity to NETWORK with your fellow Professionals from around our great section.



Sean Fredrickson
Head PGA Professional – Oswego Lake Country Club
PNW PGA President
Callaway Master Staff Professional

molly cooper

Tips on Learning the New Rules of Golf

Tip #10: 19.3: Relief Options for Unplayable Ball in Bunker

Molly Cooper, Certified PGA Professional
Director of Tournament & Member Programs

Welcome back to our monthly Rules article to help guide you to a successful 2019 season and beyond. I can’t believe it is October already!

I chose my tenth topic to discuss 19.3: Relief Options for Unplayable Ball in Bunker, as we have experienced some questions on this rule this year.

Rule 19.3: Relief Options for Unplayable Ball in Bunker

19.3a Normal Relief Options (One Penalty Stroke)

When a player’s ball is in a bunker:

  • The player may take unplayable ball relief for one penalty stroke under any of the options in Rule 19.2, except that:
  • The ball must be dropped in and come to rest in a relief area in the bunker if the player takes either back-on-the-line relief (see Rule 19.2b) or lateral relief (see rule 19.2c).

19.3b Extra Relief Option (Two Penalty Strokes)

As an extra relief option when a player’s ball is in a bunker, for a total of two extra penalty strokes, the player may take back-on-the-line relief outside the bunker under Rule 19.2b.

Another thing worth mentioning, that has come up numerous times in Section events this year, is confusion over whether a ball is in a bunker when it is in the grass above the bunker. If you learn the definition of a bunker, you can figure out pretty easily if you are in a bunker or not.

Bunker - a specially prepared area of sand, which is often a hollow from which turf or soil was removed.

These are NOT part of a bunker:

  • A lip, wall or face at the edge of a prepared area and consisting of soil, grass, stacked turf or artificial materials
  • Soil or any growing or attached natural object inside the edge of a prepared area (such as grass, bushes or trees)
  • Sand that has spilled over or is outside the edge of a prepared area
  • All other areas of sand on the course that are not inside the edge of a prepared area (such as deserts and other natural sand areas or areas sometimes referred to as waste areas)

Bunkers are one of the five defined areas of the course.

A Committee may define a prepared area of sand as part of the general area (which means it is not a bunker) or may define a non-prepared area of sand as a bunker.

When a bunker is being repaired and the Committee defines the entire bunker as ground under repair, it is treated as part of the general area (which means it is not a bunker).

The word “sand” as used in this Definition and Rule 12 includes any material similar to sand that is used as bunker material (such as crushed shells), as well as any soil that is mixed in with the sand.

More times than not, you can find the answer you are looking for just by simply going to the definition. This is something I have to continually remind myself—always go to the definition first!

I know I say this every month, but please download the new Rules of Golf App on your phone. I can not stress how convenient it is and how easy it is to use. The search engine on the App is amazing! You just type in what you are looking for and you immediately have the answer at your fingertips.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Prugh Wins PNW PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA

By Molly Cooper, PGA - Director of Tournament and Member Programs

PGA Professional Corey Prugh of Community Colleges of Spokane won his second Pacific Northwest PGA Professional Championship title by two strokes over defending champion Russell Grove of North Idaho College and Brady Sharp of Wine Valley GC. Prugh’s win earned him the $9,000 first place check and his first victory since he won this event in 2016 at Astoria G&CC.

Prugh compared Section Championship wins thoughtfully, saying, "You know, both here and Astoria meant a lot to me, not only because of the victory but because I had missed making it to the Nationals the previous year or so. Every course and tournament has its challenges, but I was pleased how I was able to battle all the elements this week gave us to come out on top. Comparing one win to another is hard, I would say that this was harder and more satisfying for two reasons. First, it is the first win with my daughter Charlotte in my life, it was so cute hearing her say 'Congratulations Daddy.' And second, I hadn’t won since Astoria and it felt great to get back over that hurdle."

Our Section Professionals played for almost a $76,000 purse with half the field getting paid. The PNW PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA also served as a qualifier.

In addition to Prugh, Grove, Sharp, Jeff Gove, Derek Berg, Tim Feenstra and Brian Thornton all earned spots to advance directly to the 2020 PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA, held at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas on April 26–29, 2020. Additionally, the low 20 scores at the 2020 PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA will earn a place in the 102nd PGA Championship at Harding Park Golf Club in San Francisco, CA, May 11-17, 2020.

When asked how coaching collegiate golf has changed his game and mindset for the sport, Prugh mentioned, "I know that coaching collegiate golf has helped me get back into playing smart golf and practicing better. I feel like being able to watch and react with the kids has helped me see that golf isn’t about the awesome shots you hit but really managing the bad ones. That and short game, short game, short game. Being able to play well, either getting wins or top finishes, is great professionally as a coach. With social media these days I believe it helps bring great exposure to the program as well as help with recruiting. Also it’s pretty cool to have the support from the kids on the team and I think gives them more pride in the team, plus it makes them realize that they should listen to me."

Prugh also commented, "Nationals is the best experience. They treat you so well, the courses are awesome, and I really look forward to every time I get to play in one. You really feel like you are playing in a big tournament when you tee it up, and I love that stage and hope to play in many many more."

What an exciting finish to this year's Section Championship! The Hudson Cup and Senior Hudson Cup Teams were also announced after the PNW PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA. Visit to see which of your friends earned a spot on these coveted teams, which will represent the PNW PGA against the top 10 amateurs on October 16-18 at Arrowhead GC.

Special thanks go to PGA General Manager Kevin Myers and the staff at Indian Summer G&CC. We also had some amazing Presenting Sponsors with Cadillac, Club Car and Omega, along with Supporting Sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, Nike and TaylorMade, Golf Channel and the PGA Tour.


Final Results

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OMEGA Player of the Year Points

1. Russell Grove - 480

2. Derek Berg - 420

3. Corey Prugh - 417.5

OMEGA Senior Player of the Year Points

1. Jeff Coston - 542.5

2. Joe Carranza - 405

3. Tom Sovay - 290


Assistant Player of the Year Points

1. Colin Inglis - 587.5

2. Ryan Malby - 517.5

3. Shane Prante - 480

Hudson Cup Points

1. Corey Prugh - 445

2. Derek Berg - 410

3. Shane Prante - 365

Senior Hudson Cup Points

1. Jeff Coston - 890

2. Joe Carranza - 747.5

3. Brent Murray - 615



Holk's Highlights: Rick Blankenburg

This month we interview Rick Blankenburg, whose PGA JLG team “the Scrubs” of Bellingham-Skagit recently won their second consecutive PNW PGA Junior League Regional Championship. The Scrubs qualified for the National PGA Junior League finals in Scottsdale, Arizona next month.

Facility: Bellingham G&CC

Hometown: Born and Raised in Everett, WA; moved to Bellingham, WA in 2006.

PGA Member Since: 1997

PNW PGA Tournaments & Awards Won:

  • 2014 PNW PGA Assistant Golf Professional of the Year

Tell us a little bit about your career. Who or what inspired you to get into golf? I started in the golf business in 1993 straight out of college working at the Everett Golf & Country Club for Bob Borup. After college, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do, but one thing I knew for sure was that I loved golf. When I decided to get into the golf business, I got lucky that there was an opening for an Assistant Golf Professional at my home town club. I stayed at Everett until 2008, when I get the opportunity to move to the Bellingham Golf & Country Club working for Mike Montgomery. It was a good time in my life to make a change, and to have the opportunity to work for an up-and-coming Golf Professional like Mike was perfect for me. Since Mike left for Sahalee, I have had the pleasure of working for Cameron Fife. Cameron has really allowed me to do what it takes to grow PGA Junior League at our course and covered for me while I have been gone to matches. I have been at Bellingham for the past 13 years, love the club, love the city.

How did the “Scrubs” feel about their second consecutive win? The Scrubs are a confident, fun group of kids. They enjoyed the competition at Eagle Crest, and the chance to repeat as Section Champions. This team has been together for so long, and are so incredibly talented that they expect big things. We take every match seriously. The competition this year so far is much tougher than it was last year. Hopefully, all these incredibly talented kids playing PGA Junior League and achieving so much has inspired other elite level junior golfers to also compete in PGA Junior League. The Scrubs look forward to the next challenge….

We’ve been seeing great success with this growth-of-the game program. What do you feel are the benefits of PGA JLG? It is the best way to grow the game from the ground level. Our league with the Bellingham G&CC and Skagit G&CC obviously has some elite golfers. But among the 60-70 kids that played, the vast majority are beginners. PGA JLG allows us to introduce the game to kids in a fun, team format that is appealing to kids. With families being so busy, it is best to have something scheduled like other sports do. Regular practices and matches give us more opportunities to teach the game. Although making it to the National Championship has put this team on the map, all the future all-stars we are working with and introducing to golf is what will make the game strong in Bellingham and Skagit County for years to come.

Any advice for professionals thinking of captaining their own PGA JLG team? First off, do it. Captaining a PGA Junior League Team is financially beneficial, but more rewarding in so many other ways. The opportunity to introduce the next generation to the game and watch the excitement as they hit great shots, make putts and make friends in awesome. I encourage all Golf Professionals, especially Assistant Pro’s to get involved.

Some ideas I have after my years as a PGA Junior League Captain are:

1). Think outside the box. The PGA has set up a great program but it is ok to do things in a way that make sense for your facility and the kids you have. The biggest reason I was able to convince the high level golfers to play was allowing them to play from longer tees in matches. But I also match them with younger kids several matches a season and let the younger kids play up. The one tee fits all approach doesn’t necessarily work for all kids, especially when you have a 7 year old that hits the ball 20 yards and you have a 13 year old State Champion that hits it 270.

2). Hold weekly practices. Make them fun like you would any other Junior Golf Event. Encourage older kids to mentor younger kids. Let them play games. Have the kids do practice matches of 3 holes. If the kids are not looking forward to coming to practice, something is wrong.

3). Don’t let matches last too long. We set a time when all matches need to end, usually 2.5 hours after start time. If a league gets too big, playing a full 9 hole match may take over 4 hours. That is too long for the younger kids to be on the course. If a match doesn’t finish a flag due to time, we just award both teams 1/2 flag.

4). Be part of the post season. Even if your team or league doesn’t have many experienced golfers, it is still nice to be part of the all-star season and to give kids the opportunity to call themselves all-stars. The PGA gives every all-star a prize, like a headcover or scorecard holder to recognize their accomplishment. We had the opportunity to host a fab four this year and one of the coolest things was having a team from Alaska down to compete. They were so excited to be part of the fab four, had a great time visiting Bellingham and playing the club, and got to play a match against the all-stars from Harbour Pointe. Even though they lost first match, I will guarantee you they will be back next year.

Thank you, Rick, and good luck to the Scrubs at the National PGA Junior League finals in Scottsdale, Arizona next month!



Pros on the Move

by Robin Lindsey, Tournament & Membership Coordinator

Employment Changes

  • Todd O'Neal, PGA (A-13) - from Lewis River GC to Riverside G&CC
  • Thomas Graves (B-1) - from Persimmon CC to Salishan Spa & Golf Resort

Class Changes

  • Kathy Wake, PGA (Fairwood G&CC) - from A-8 to A-1
  • Stephen Lyon, PGA (Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club) - from A-8 to A-1

New Associates

  • Bryan J. Gandara (B-8) - Meadow Lake Golf Resort

Newly Elected Members

  • Bo Baker, PGA (A-8) - The Creek at Qualchan
  • Matthew Epstein, PGA (A-8) - Inglewood GC

Transfers INTO the Section

  • Brandon Dixon, PGA (A-4) to Iron Horse GC from Southern Texas
  • Scott Hendrick, PGA (A-1) to Circling Raven GC from Utah
  • Peter White, PGA (A-8) to Everett G&CC from Southern California

Transfers OUT of the Section

  • David McMillan - from Lake Cushman GC to Southern Texas
  • Gregory C Morris, PGA - from Iron Horse GC to Southwest
  • Kurt Valley - from The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge to North Florida
  • Michael Williams, PGA - from Longview CC to Southwest

Politics and Investing

Blake Parrish, CFP®

“I’m going to pass a law that no one can ask me my golf score” - Dwight D. Eisenhower  

The frenzy surrounding a US Presidential election cycle often causes investors’ concern about how their portfolios will fare under a Republican or Democratic administration. Perceptions, including beliefs about which political party will be better for investors, may overshadow their investment strategies. But a long-term look at the performance of the S&P 500 index can help investors stay on course. Here are some reasons to stay the course during the next election cycle.

Read More

"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."

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