CEO's Report

Jeff Ellison, PGA

Congratulations to all our Section Special Awards winners! Bill Shea, PGA leads the 2019 group as your Golf Professional of the Year and each of these outstanding professionals in 13 categories will be honored at the Special Awards Ceremony on March 22 at Tualatin Country Club. The winners were announced last week after the Board confirmed the work done by the Awards Committee. The Chapter and Section Awards Committees do a great deal of work identifying candidates, researching bios, confirming accomplishments and determining the winners. This is always our hardest working committee – a big thank you to all who served.

Read about the award winners

PGA Captains registration is open, please register early as parents will be looking soon for where they can register their kids. We were #1 in PGA Junior League participation in 2019 and strong captains will drive junior golf participation and financial support to you and your facility. Be sure you sign up, and why not also recruit your neighbor to adopt PGA Junior League at their facility? You know how great it is, bring them along for the ride.

The Chapter and Section Boards have been busy this winter with business planning and budgeting meetings, with the goal of serving the members and growing the game. The way you take advantage of these offerings is to participate. Whether it’s a Chapter pro-am, and education program or a Section major, you just have to participate to enhance your PGA experience. Plan to get involved in 2020.

2020 PNW PGA Tournament Schedule

One way to get involved is to serve your fellow members. Next year is an election year at both the Section and Chapter level. We’ll be electing new secretaries at both levels and new energized leaders are always welcome. If you have questions about the process, the time commitment or anything else, reach out to your Section or Chapter leaders, they would be happy to talk to you.

One final thank you to the tremendous staff that serves you every day. They are a fantastic group of people dedicated to helping you receive the most from your PGA membership. Whether it’s the crew in the office or the crew working in the chapters, all are here to help you enjoy your membership and prosper in your career. We welcome the opportunity to help you, just give us a call.

Jeff Ellison, PGA
CEO, Pacific NW Section PGA

District #14 Director's Report

Doug Doxsie, PGA

I hope you are all getting a chance to catch your breath from the busy season and get an opportunity to recharge a little. If you are like me, you never really have enough time for everything, but hopefully it is a little less hectic right now! Most importantly, I hope you have a great holiday season and take some time to enjoy your family, friends and other important people in your life.

During this slower time of year, I think it is a great time to discover the many things the PGA of America offers us as Members, Associates and the golf community. I encourage you to take a few minutes to explore some of the great things the PGA is doing and opportunities that exist for all of us. Here are just some of the things that are worth learning more about:

These are just some of the things going on with your Association. While I am settling into my District Director role, I am impressed almost daily about something I learn we offer, provide or are involved with from the PGA of America. In the months ahead, I will be giving you more detailed information about these programs, initiatives and opportunities. In the meantime, take a seat by a warm fire and log into and explore some of these programs. As Einstein said, “the more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know”!

Doug Doxsie, PGA
Seattle Golf Club
PGA District 14 Director

Win the Next Decade

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

Win The Next Decade: Start by Making Humble Leadership YOUR “Go-To Move” for 2020

What is your “go-to move?” Sergio Garcia, pictured here, said in a article, “these are my simplest, go-to keys – they’re not complicated…” that he relies on when he’s under pressure from both internal and external forces.

With this in mind, let’s think about our “go-to move” for being effective as leaders (aka the boss, supervisor and/or team leader). There are really many “go-to moves” that can be utilized. In re-reading an article I wrote in late 2018, Being Thankful & “Ambitious Humility”, I was newly inspired to see the concept of “Humbition” as an effective “go-to move” for effective leadership and influence in our business world today.

Being Thankful & “Ambitious Humility"

In the article above, I shared how, when many of us were assistants, “We all pointed out how the ‘old pro’ we worked for was not thoughtful enough, not appreciative enough of us, not _______ enough and that ‘when we got the chance,’ we would do it so much better.”

I asked in that article and now, as the current decade comes to a close and a new one begins, is a great time to ask:

Would the younger, idealist that you were, agree that you are leading/managing better today (than your old boss, than yourself last year)? Are you continuously improving?

The Setup

The idea of mastering “humble leadership” as a go-to move for all of us in 2020, I would remind us of this quote by Bill Taylor, from his article “If Humility Is So Important, Why Are Leaders So Arrogant?” (from the Harvard Business Review)

“Indeed, humility in the service of ambition is the most effective and sustainable mindset for leaders who aspire to do big things in a world filled with huge unknowns. Years ago, a group of HR professionals at IBM embraced a term to capture this mindset. The most effective leaders, they argued, exuded a sense of ‘humbition,’ which they defined as ‘one-part humility and one-part ambition.’”

If Humility Is So Important, Why Are Leaders So Arrogant?

Taylor goes even further, and since I can’t come close to improving on his wording, I will just let them speak to you (as they did to me). And, I really love this as it so applies to the difficult, emotional and political aspects of being a professional in the golf industry. He writes, “Humility can feel soft at a time when problems are hard; it can make leaders appear vulnerable when people are looking for answers and reassurances.” He continues, “Of course, that’s precisely its virtue: The most effective business leaders don’t pretend to have all the answers; the world is just too complicated for that. They understand that their job is to get the best ideas from the right people, whomever and wherever those people may be.”

Humbition would seem to the “go-to move” for all of us (whether we’re the leader, the executive manager or we’re just aspiring to be a leader). With this in mind, how does “Humbitious Leadership” really work?

The Practice

Dan Cable, the author of Alive at Work, shares several ways to be a successful “humbitious leader” and by extension, build a  humbition-rich team culture. One place he starts is by pointing out the outdated, top-down style of leadership. This is the very same style where command and control, KPIs and outcomes are the yardsticks a team is measured by (and summarily punished with, or because of).

In contrast, he states that the key to any successful team leader is this: “…to help people feel purposeful, motivated, and energized so they can bring their best selves to work.” Servant Leadership is a mindset where the boss, leader or whatever title you apply approaches their role and their relationship with their team as:

Is “Humbitious Leadership” going to require putting aside our self-esteem, our self-value?

No, it’s actually the opposite. A successful “humbitious leader” is actually more confident than the typical controlling leader. It’s because of their confidence, their complete understanding of their role and their attitude about leading that fuels their “servant leadership” approach. Based on their foundation, their infinite game mindset, a servant leader can allow (or let go of the control, the responsibility, etc.) and instead, increase the ownership, autonomy and freedom of those they lead (and supervise) to be able to know “how to think” and not be stuck in “what to think” alone.

Dan Cable makes the following suggestions for those wanting to make “humble leadership” work for them as a leader. Some of these were noted earlier in this article, but let’s spell them out more clearly below:

Cable suggests a new “performance review” meeting model vs. the regular (or irregular) staff meeting that we typically see. He suggests a simple question: “How can I help you deliver ______________?” (eg. excellent service)

This question, when supported by servant leadership behaviors models the right attitude towards service for the employee. So, in turn, they will better serve the customer. (Oh, by the way, this question positively puts the employee on the spot? And, if you keep asking, encourages them to think differently about their job, their role or key activities.)

Similar to the concept above, encouraging time and space for employees to find a better way (even if it’s a best practice) will lead to some incredible outcomes, with some creating savings of funds or of time. Remember this fun thought: every great idea once started as a stupid idea. For real improvement, employees need to push against the boundaries of what they already know – what they already know works, or is approved of or is “time tested.”

Dan Cable sums it up here in a KISS method style. He writes, “Leaders often do not see the true value of their charges, especially “lower-level” workers. But when leaders are humble, show respect, and ask how they can serve employees as they improve the organization, the outcomes can be outstanding. And perhaps even more important than better company results, servant leaders get to act like better human beings.” Now that “better human beings” part sure sounds like someone who is playing #theinfinitegame doesn’t it?

Just imagine what our lives, our careers and our influence can look like in December of 2029 if we can all approach our opportunities to lead with an infinite mindset, fully committed to being servant leaders. What if we modeled a “go-to move” of “humbition” every day, and if we were audacious enough to practice (and be held accountable for) our “humbitious leadership?”

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

Fall was great in the Pacific Northwest Section and I’m sure you have been working hard.  Many of you have already registered and have your programs set up for 2020.  If you haven’t, it’s time to get PGA Jr. League back on the radar for a bit.  Here are some topics for the upcoming season.

Captain Registration
Please register for the 2020 season.  Early registration helps a lot when it comes to getting schedules together sooner, which is what the consumers want.  There are already quite a few new facilities signed up.  To be included in the first draft of the league formation process, register by 12/31/19

Register at:

Player registration doesn’t begin until late January.  Registering now will give you time to fine-tune your program details prior to that date.  That will also allow us to get you in touch with other captains in your league sooner. 

The APS training captains and coaches completed last year is valid for two years.  Only new captains and coaches will have to complete the training this year.

Captain Resource Center
Check out the Captain Resource Center to see your improved resource center.  We created this site as “one stop shopping” for anything you need related to PGA Jr. League.  You will find hot buttons to frequently accessed items like rosters, marketing collateral, game day materials and more on the site.  Bookmark it and make your life easier when the season gets rolling.

League Formation
In January, the preliminary league framework will be sent out (another subtle reminder to register by the end of the year please).  If you are planning to host an “in-house” league, please let me know.  A lot of you have already done so.  If you have plans with other facilities to put together a league, also let me know so I can include this in the framework.  Leagues consist of 4-8 teams.  More than 8 teams require another league to be formed.  The goal is to have all leagues finalized by the end of January so you can have schedules ready in February.

Have a great Holiday Season!

Branden Thompson, PGA

Scholarship Opportunities

PGA WORKS Golf Management University Scholarship Program

The PGA WORKS Golf Management University Scholarship Program application window is open through January 28, 2020. Similar to last year, up to ten $8,000 scholarships will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year.


PGA Financial Assistance Fund Scholarship Program

NEW for 2019-2020, the PGA of America Scholarship Committee and International Scholarship & Tuition Services (ISTS) have worked together to make improvements to the online scholarship application, with new functionality enabling applicants to monitor their progress through the application process. Applicants will be able to upload their supporting documents online, correspondence to the applicants will increase and disbursement of scholarship checks will be processed on a timelier basis.

The PGA of America awarded 185 academic scholarships totaling $400,000 to students for the 2018-19 school year. Help put your kids on the fast-track to success with scholarship money from the PGA of America. 

Apply here (requires login)

Happy Holidays from Holk

I hope to see you in Las Vegas, March 15-19, 2020!

Grant Holcomb

December 15, 2019

Foreword Press