CEO's Report

Jeff Ellison, PGA

The Pacific Northwest Section Merchandise Show takes place this Tuesday and Wednesday in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.  We’ve seen great support from our vendors with our return to Portland–and all we need now is your support of those very vendors.  The golf business is unique here in the great Northwest. We are all in this together so please support our vendors and buy, buy, buy at the Show!

A big thank you to Tara Tokonitz, PGA and everyone at TopGolf for hosting the Pro-Vendor.  It was all about fun–and that is was! The champions and holders of the title belt are David Kass, PGA and Cody Johnson. The belt will be in Cody’s booth - Pacific Golf & Turf, #229.

Join us Wednesday morning at 7:30 for the Annual Meeting and our report on fulfilling the 2019 Business Plan. Traffic is always an adventure, so join us before the meeting for a hosted breakfast thanks to Craig Pelzer and Pelzer Golf Supplies.  I’m old enough to have worked with Craig’s dad, Fred, many moons ago.  Two of our great supporters!

The 2020 schedule is up on our web page and will be updated as we land those last few sites. Scott Leritz recently confirmed Royal Oaks will host our Senior PGA Championship next year.  Thanks Scott.  Letters are out on all events, so stay tuned.

Our final event of the season kicks off Thursday with the 71st Hudson Cup Matches and the 28th edition of the Senior Matches.  This is an amazing tradition and we look forward to seeing the best in the Northwest compete at match play at the always-challenging Arrowhead Golf Club.  With match play the players may just see a couple of those hole locations we usually avoid!  Watch live scoring of the matches starting Thursday.

As we close 2019, we must thank our sponsors–Section, Chapter and National–for all they do to make our programs successful.  Many of the benefits you see are a direct result of the generous support we receive from so many people.  Look at the sponsor page on our website and reach out to a few of our sponsors and just say thanks. It really helps.

It was an impressive year in the Section with our support of local and regional charities.  The chapters stepped up their support and, based on the conversation in the board room, you will see additional local support in 2020.  I’m also pleased to share that our Folds of Honor support is well-placed. While we generate a very impressive $200k each year, Michael Haywood of Folds of Honor shared that this year 97 scholarships totaling $474,000 were awarded to recipients right here in our Section. That’s 97 kids who know that we value the sacrifice their families have made. Thank you all for making this possible.

Have a great fall and please never hesitate to call us in the Section or Chapter offices and let our terrific staff help you maximize your benefits of PGA membership.

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA

District #14 Director's Report

Don Rea, PGA

Non Progredi est Regredi is a Latin quote meaning to not go forward is to go backward.  On a CD that I listen to frequently, Lou Holtz has been telling me for years that something is either growing or dying.  A relationship, a career, a marriage, a business, even an association is either growing or dying.  Simply trying to maintain, even when you are the best, is a trap.  You must always be striving to improve.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, when you are growing, you also leave yourself open for failure. Like I tell Katie, my daughter, a hit wouldn’t feel as good if you never got out.  Yes, the failures are what make the victories so sweet.  No doubt we all know that, as there is no better sport than golf to prove the point.

As you may or may not know, this will be my last article for Foreword Press.  My term as your District Director will end at the PGA Annual Meeting on November 8.  That is when Doug Doxsie will take my place and begin his three-year term as your District Director.  Doug is going to do a great job.  Working alongside Doug this past year, I can vouch for him in three areas that will serve the members of our district well:  Care and Concern for the PGA Member, Researching Issues and Care and Concern for the PGA Member.  Yes, I did mean to type that twice and the reason is because, at the end of the day, it is the most important character trait of a good leader.  Once again, Doug is going to do a great job.

I will see everyone on October 16 at your Annual Meeting. I am really looking forward to it. We won’t have a lot of time to talk about all of the things the PGA is doing, but please don’t hesitate to come up and talk to me at the end of the meeting if you like.  That is my job and I enjoy it. Real quick, here are my top 14 things for you to know (in no particular order).

Once again, thanks for the opportunity to pass on some information.  It has been my absolute pleasure to serve each and every one of you for the past three years.

God bless and thanks for all you do for this great game we all love,

Don Rea, PGA

Building Your Career on the Right Perspective

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

If you’ve spent any time with me, in education, or in 1:1 meetings, you are aware of my appreciation for Simon Sinek and his "Start with Why" concepts. These really are game changers for me and many, many others in our Section and our industry. At a high level, Simon reminds us why we should be in this business (if we look at our employment as a career, which is "more than a job"). His statement, "People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it", will likely resonate with you if you see it that way.

He did a lot of leading with “Leaders Eat Last” as well. If you have 45 mins to invest in yourself this fall, and you want to be a more effective leader, please check out this incredible video:

In this conversation, Simon shares concepts about some key areas of leadership for all of us:


One of his newer areas of focus is on "game theory". More specifically, understanding the "Infinite Game vs Finite Game". As I enjoy doing, I am going to do my best to share applications that I see pertain directly to PGA golf professionals and the golf industry.

“Finite players play to beat the people around them. Infinite players play to be better than themselves.” – Simon Sinek

Most of my poor decisions, both in my career, in my dealings with my wife/kids, my extended family, friends, my career…(I could go on…) have been based on a "finite perspective." I was thinking short-term, was self-focused and probably wanted to "make myself feel better". As we know, sadly, a finite perspective leads to people getting hurt, failures in outcomes, etc.

With this in mind, I’m going to continue to work on my perspective about my career, about my role in service to PGA members and associates (and I respectfully challenge you to do the same). I want my professional life to be more about the “infinite” and more about the helping those I have the opportunity to work with, to impact, encourage and lead. Even though I haven’t figured this out yet (and I am sure I never will), I commit to keep trying and to keep having the will to do it.

Compare this to a finite perspective, where we tend to look at our compensation, how much we are “getting out of the job,” and other things. With an infinite perspective, the only outcomes that really matter from my life and/or my career are:

It’s time to move forward…so let’s move forward (for your benefit, and maybe for those you lead/manage too) together.

I hope to see you soon, or at least talk with you 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

I just passed “The Scrubs” from Bellingham-Skagit while they were playing their practice round at the PGA Jr. League National Championship.  Seeing them battle the wind, laugh and high five each other reminds me of why PGA Jr. League is such a great addition to your player development plan.  The core values of teamwork, friendship and community come to life even at a highly competitive event.  At the end of this competition there may be only one team that can claim they are the best in the country, but there are 60,000 PGA Jr. League players that had a great golf experience because of their PGA Professional. 

Keep an eye out for the broadcast of the championship which will air November 3rd on ESPN this year.  Hopefully it will end with “The Scrubs” holding the trophy. 

As we head into winter, set aside some time to organize your 2020 seasons.  I hope to see you in captain meetings as I travel around the section this winter.  I’ll send out a schedule of dates for each area soon.  Please reach out if you would like to set up an individual meeting or need any assistance.


Branden Thompson, PGA

Berg and D’Amelio Win PNW Pro-Am Championship

by Tanner Montgomery, PGA - Tournament Manager

Pronghorn Resort, both the Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus courses, played host to the 2019 Pacific Golf & Turf Pro-Amateur Championship. Players enjoyed panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains, ancient lava caves, and stunning water features. Pronghorn’s nationally acclaimed golf courses have placed Pronghorn among the 25 Best Golf Communities in North America by as well as Golf Digest’s Editors’ Choice Award 2017: Best Golf Resorts in the Pacific Northwest.

The team led by PGA Professional Derek Berg of PNW Golf Academy and amateur John D’Amelio of Inglewood GC won the championship by shooting a final round score of 59. They finished four strokes over the team led by PGA Professional Jared Lambert of Meadow Lakes GC and amateur Alex Plusquellec of Tualatin CC. The team of PGA Professional Corey Prugh of The Community Colleges of Spokane and amateur Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake CC took home third place.

When asked how the team kept the momentum going, Berg said, “On day one we didn’t really get anything going. We kept in play and didn’t make any mistakes. On day two we definitely fed off one another. We basically alternated making either birdie or eagle the first 6 holes… once you see putts going in, especially when it’s both players, it feels like you can birdie every hole.”

“We played our practice round on the Nicklaus course and saw that there were a lot birdie pins, so we knew we needed a really low round. We half joked about 59 the night before but after being 7 under through our first 6 holes we knew it was in play,” said D’Amelio oftheir amazing final round.

On the topic of winning with his partner Berg said, “It’s always a great feeling to win. That’s why we go. John and I have played a lot of golf together and are great friends, so it is definitely a tournament we always look forward to at the beginning of the year.” 

The Pacific Northwest Section PGA would like to recognize Mark Dawkins and Pete Trudeau with Pacific Golf & Turf for their title sponsorship. We also thank Eric Kobylinski and Mizuno for joining our team as supporting sponsors. Thank you to Pronghorn Resort, General Manager Spencer Schaub, Director of Golf Jerrel Grow, and all the staff for hosting this terrific event!

Final results

October 15, 2019

Foreword Press