Jeff Ellison, PGA
This column is dedicated to our leader, our peer and our friend, Sean Fredrickson, whose journey was cut short just 10 days ago. We opened the Oregon Open on Tuesday with a tribute to Sean. A moment of silence followed with ceremonial tee shots by the professionals from Tualatin and Oswego Lake, Sean’s most recent postings. To carry his memory, a member playing in the championship made buttons with Sean’s name for everyone and we placed his staff bag on the first tee all day Tuesday. His team is still playing ‒ playing just as a three-person team in his honor. The support demonstrated the depth of the feelings for Sean and showed how he touched so many.
A President and CEO have a special relationship. We talk all the time. With Sean it was no different. He was single-minded in his desire to make the lives of PGA Professionals better. Whether developing a mentoring committee or mentoring himself, he just wanted to help. We adopted a number of new programs during Sean’s nine years on the Board and he always wanted to know how it benefitted you, the PGA member. As the Secretary, he took on the Awards Committee and made our process better. As the Vice President, he elevated our financial process to make sure we always focused on maximizing the return to the member. When he took over as President a year early, he dug in and learned what he needed to best serve you. To say he did the work was an understatement. Sean simply did what it took to serve his fellow PGA Professionals.
As you can imagine, the time demands on an officer and especially a President are significant. Sean had the unique ability to compartmentalize his time. Family always came first, and I always admired that. He’d go radio silent and I knew a family time Facebook post was not far away. He served all of us, never let us down, but had his priorities right!
Sean always worried if we were supporting our Associates enough. Mentoring was the key and the progress we’ve made in these last few years was because of Sean’s drive. He inspired all of us to do better for our new professionals and you can count on this continuing because of Sean.
While Sean could be all business, the fun side of Sean was even more compelling. You all have great stories, but who could forget that all-white Portland Timbers warm up! He managed a trip to Australia and New Zealand with his Tualatin members…brilliant, you say. Well the brilliance was the “scouting trip” the year before, just to make sure everything would go properly for his members. That’s a smart man.
Sean touched so many of you in so many different ways. Please think of him and consider how you can carry on the ways he made your lives better. Do that and he’s still with us.
Jeff Ellison, PGA
Doug Doxsie, PGA
My heart is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend Sean Fredrickson and his children. I can’t find the words to accurately express how we all feel about this news. We all deal with events like this in differing ways. My range of emotions have been going in circles; stunned, sadness, anger, reflection and determination are just some. My thoughts are always with Sean’s family and April. The PGA family is here for you and I am confident we will find amazing ways to honor Sean’s memory in fitting ways with your guidance.
My current state of emotions are reflection and determination. I am incredibly lucky to have known Sean for years as a colleague, but over the last two years as a friend because of the PGA of America. Because of the PGA, his role as Section President and mine as District Director, I had the chance to spend the last two years working closely with Sean and am honored to become a friend. All the trips, phone calls, zoom meetings and meals shared together create a bond that is amazing. I will always remember Sean’s incredible energy, passion and caring personality. I am not alone in saying that Sean made me want to be a better friend, PGA Professional, and person.
Determination is a phase that Sean’s memory has created for me as well. His drive to make our Association better, PGA members’ careers and lives better, is unmatched. Sean had the spirit of doing for others like very few I have ever known. I am determined to advocate for diversity and inclusion in our industry. I am determined to find ways to make our PGA professionals’ careers more prosperous. I am determined to help find ways to give golf to those who can’t access it or afford it. I am determined to make the PNWPGA and the PGA of America better. These are just some of the things I have learned and shared in conversations with Sean over the years. What a better way to honor him than to carry on these dreams.
I know I am supposed to give insight about the PGA of America in these articles. In a way, I think I am doing that. Embrace your PGA family, make our Association better and become engaged in your PGA. You will benefit in meeting incredible people that lift you, and you be might be lucky enough to find a friend like I did in Sean Fredrickson. God bless you Sean.
Doug Doxsie, PGA
Seattle Golf Club
PGA District 14 Director
Branden Thompson, PGA - Regional League Manager
I hope you are having a good summer despite the challenges you are facing. Some of you have been able to get your PGA Jr. League season rolling, while others are still on a delay. No matter what your situation is, I know you’ve been busy and I appreciate all the hard work you are putting in this season.
As we roll into fall, keep in mind that your players could be interested in keeping golf on their calendar. You can definitely run a fall season. If you plan on doing that and opening it to new players, you will need to set up a fall registration. I’m more than happy to help you with that. The regular season registration dates end on July 31st at the latest.
This is a great time to look at 2020 objectively. What changes have you implemented that worked well for you and the facility? Take notes and build on those going forward. Who knows what 2021 will bring? However, I do know a lot of us have made changes this year that can benefit us. More people are interested in golf and it is one of the best sports to participate in while being responsible in the community. I think there is a huge opportunity to make golf a central part of people’s lives.
Lastly, I want to share a little about Sean Fredrickson. A lot of us knew him professionally or as a friend. I got to know him as a fellow dad. His son, Hayden, went to the same high school in Newberg that my oldest son attends. They played in the same soccer program. Hayden was a year older, on the varsity team, while my son was on JV. Over the years, I ran into Sean at practices or school functions. We’d chat, mostly about the kids, and rarely about golf. We were just two dads. He was always easy to spend time with.
Last fall I went with my son to watch the varsity soccer game. Hayden was a starter and scored a goal early on. I looked around to see if Sean was there, but he wasn’t, so I texted him with the news. I forget the exact interaction, but it was something like, “of course he did, when I’m not there.” A couple days later, we were at a chapter meeting together and spent a few minutes discussing the goal. He was so proud, humble, but proud. That’s how I’ll remember him... just a proud dad. There can be no higher honor.
Let me know how I can help you,
Branden Thompson, PGA
As golf facilities begin re-opening, it is vital that we do so in a responsible manner that protects the entire golf community. In collaboration with our Allied Golf Organizations and in alignment with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we have developed a comprehensive plan that allows golf to be played while observing recommended social distancing guidelines.
Our industry understands there are various restrictions in different parts of the country and emphasize that all should be adhering to state and local guidelines to ensure our sport comes back in a healthy way. This action plan, broken down into three phases, can be implemented on a statewide or county-by-county basis.
A key understanding for Back2Golf: “Our industry understands there are various restrictions in different parts of the country and emphasize that all should be adhering to state and local guidelines to ensure our sport comes back in a healthy way.”
In other words, use the playbook and guidelines IN RELATION to where your facility is located. We urge you to understand and follow the health regulations in the following order: Your municipality -> Your county -> Your state -> Back2Golf (e.g. If Back2Golf is more stringent than your county, or less stringent, we suggest you operate according to the county guidelines)
Reminder: Let’s Stick Together -- If you are a golf professional, operator or similar with a concern about how your neighboring facility is operating within the “appropriate guidelines” (though all of these guidelines are based on best practices, not legal requirements), please BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR and take the time to go directly to the golf professional who is leading the operation. Ask them about what they’re doing and why…don’t take what you heard they’re doing as fact. Seek to understand their situation and then, only then, can you offer suggestions on how they might improve things (and maybe you’ll learn something you could do differently or better too).
Let’s work together as we “educate” golfers to the appropriate behaviors in our “new normal”.
Host Professional Chris Isaacson invites you to take part in this fun and historic championship! We are excited to return to Wine Valley GC, which Golf Week named one of the top 100 courses you can play in 2019. This event is a 36-hole championship in 2020.
You may register for these events through PGA of America Membership Services by calling 800-474-2776 or online at www.pgatournaments.com.