April 1, 2022

Secretary's Report

Hello fellow PGA Professionals,

For those of you who missed it, we had an amazing night of celebration last week at our Special Awards Ceremony. I’d like to congratulate all of our impressive winners. Reading their bios was a privilege, but hearing their stories in person was very inspirational.

Tanner Montgomery – Perry Williams Award
Debby King – Player Development Award
Noah Horstman – Youth Player Development Award
Chas Holmes – Professional Development Award
Bill Morach – Patriot Award
Doug Doxsie – Bill Strausbaugh Award
Ryan Cutter – Deacon Palmer Award
Michael Neff – Teacher of the Year Award
Carrie Degree – Assistant Golf Professional of the Year Award
Bryan Tunstill – Golf Professional of the Year Award

I would also like to thank David Kass, Ryan Young, Chuck West and Marcus King for their outstanding work as presenters. Special recognition to Angela Hinzpeter for her tireless efforts putting it all together.

I recently started a monthly meeting with the secretaries of each chapter. One of our goals is to review the awards process to ensure that it is equitable for all professionals within the Section and to make sure that there is continuity among us. Several great ideas came from the meeting, of which I will now address two.

The Merchandiser of the Year awards have a very early deadline. Some chapters within our section have only had two months of business to report. While we can’t change the deadline, we did get clarification that the information submitted in the bios can be from the previous year’s financials. 2022 nominees are encouraged to use 2021 financials. This will give each nominee, regardless of chapter affiliation, 12 months of business.  

The second point is that although the deadline is in late June, your awards committee as well as any Professionals are encouraged to notify other deserving Professionals as early as possible that they will be nominated. By starting early, it gives the nominees a chance to build their bio, take display pictures, create video content, etc. We want to ensure that we are always recognizing the best of the best. With such a huge section, we need your help.

Best of luck in the upcoming season. I’m excited to open the doors at Suncadia this Friday after a very long and snowy winter. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.


Bill Shea, PGA
Pacific Northwest PGA Secretary

The Home Course Brings Home PNW PGA Pro-Assistant Championship Trophy

by Tanner Montgomery, PGA - Manager of Tournament Operations

The team from The Home Course—PGA Head Professional Mitch Runge and PGA Assistant Professional John Cassidy—came away with the victory after just edging out the competition. They won by one stroke over the Orchard Hills CC team of Head PGA Professional Kevin Coombs and his Assistant David Patterson, as well as the second team led by Mitch Runge with Assistant PGA Professional Shane Prante.

"Winning the Pro-Assistant is always one of our shops goals, so starting the year out by playing well and accomplishing a goal for the golf shop is a great way to start the season," Runge commented on the win. "It’s an event we all enjoy playing and winning it with a friend and member of the staff is a huge bonus!"

"The Pro-Assistant Championship is special for me because it gives our staff the chance to spend a couple days together away from our typical day-to-day jobs. That creates a bond and friendships that go well beyond our professional obligations," Cassidy added. "And anytime you get to etch your name on a trophy at a section event it’s a special moment."

Asked what it is like to play with multiple assistants Runge said, "For me the dynamic is great. I’ve got two horses in the race, both of which are good players and friends of mine on and off the course. Having assistants with the playing ability and demeanor of John and Shane are what make us a good team and it is a very positive experience with good vibes and everyone rooting for each other."

Dating back to 1919, Inglewood Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in the Pacific Northwest. The handsome clubhouse, an architectural masterpiece, was built in 1926 and has recently been restored to enhance and reflect its rich French Provincial influence. The golf course was designed by noted British Columbia course architect, A.V. Macan. A top amateur golfer in the Pacific Northwest and Canada (1913 Washington State Amateur and Pacific Northwest Amateur Champion), Macan became one the most prominent golf architects in not only the Northwest but also the country. Over the past six years with the assistance of golf course architect Jeff Mingay, the club has worked on restoring Macan’s original design, with the majority of the work completed in spring of 2021. Professionals will find a fair, yet very challenging course!

Special thank you to Jared Bouchey of Farmers Insurance for his title sponsorship of this prestigious event!

Thank you also to presenting sponsors Sally Schmitz of Bushnell and Bryan Dickson of Sterling Cut Glass, supporting sponsors Matt Pollitt of PTE Golf and Darrell Livingston of GT Golf Supplies, and of course a big thank you to Head PGA Professional Mike Gove and his staff for hosting this amazing event!


Team Young Wins Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am

by Tanner Montgomery, PGA - Manager of Tournament Operations

The Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am celebrated its 19th year! This year we had 27 teams in beautiful Las Vegas for the week, enjoying the sunshine and hospitality at the famous Caesars Resort. It was an exciting week of great weather, excellent golf, delicious food and a few games of chance.

The Holcomb-In-One Las Vegas Pro-Am is a five-man team of one professional and four amateurs playing stableford competitions. There were daily team prizes, professional prizes, amateur gross and net prizes as well as overall prizes for the professionals, amateurs and teams. There were many different ways a player could cash besides at the casino!

Ryan Young, PGA and his team set the lead after round one at the storied Las Vegas CC, and a similar story played out on round two at Bali Hai GC. On the final round, a valiant effort by PGA Professional Darren Black and his team at the scenic and somewhat windy Anthem GC made the final few holes very interesting!

At the end of the week, the team led by PGA Professional Ryan Young with amateurs James Pope, Joel Micka, Chris Kiel and Jeff Tarbox ended on top for the win! PGA Professional Darren Black of Rainier G&CC won low PGA Professional honors while Erik Olson won low amateur honors and Patrick Scoccolo won the low amateur net.

Special thanks to Grant Holcomb with Antigua and Imperial Headwear for returning as our title sponsor! This event would not be possible without Mr. Holcomb and we are forever grateful for his continued support. Thank you also to Gordon Schenk of ProTag for being a supporting sponsor.

What are you doing Memorial Day Weekend? All money raised through Patriot Golf Days will go back to the community and PGA section where it was raised during May 1 and June 9, 2022. 

Holk's Highlights: Michael Neff, PGA

This month we profile Michael Neff, PGA, who was awarded the 2021 PNW PGA  Teacher of the Year award. For those who missed the special awards ceremony at Inglewood GC on March 20, we asked Michael to recap his success in 2021, his unique analysis of the golf swing and his much-talked-about golf training aid, GEARS. Plus, learn how the "nipper curve" got its name!

Facility: GEARS Golf

Hometown: Portland, OR

PGA Member Since: 1996

How did you get started in your golf career and who were your mentors?

I got my first job in the golf business at Bonneville Golf Course in Salt Lake City while I was attending University of Utah. I played college golf at BYU Hawaii and I realized I would not play professionally while I was playing college golf.  I really didn’t want to do anything else, so I found my way in golf through that channel. 

My mentors are:

  • Dick Kramer – Utah Section
  • Cathy Mant – Head Golf Coach at Georgia State University
  • Bryan Tunstill – PNW PGA Past President & Columbia Edgewater CC
  • Dominic Marconi – Oregon Chapter ED
  • Adrian Burtner – Columbia Edgewater CC
  • Jim Dunlap
  • Craig Griswold – The Reserve Vineyards & GC

Can you tell us a little bit about your unique analysis of the golf swing and the “nipper curve”? 

Gears is the only product in golf that measures both the body and the entire club at the same time, at research-grade accuracy.  This has allowed instructors to measure very important aspects of both the body and the club that cannot be seen by the naked eye or with your typical 2-D camera view analysis. It also allows you to overlay or compare one swing via the next.  This helps you see and feel the changes you are trying to make. The value of this is improved comprehension, diagnostics and speed of learning the principles you are teaching. 

Nipper curve is a kind of a play on words. Nipper is my nickname (from being the youngest in my family) and the curve is the lie angle curve that we would bend a set of clubs to. The generic curve with most clubs has the wedges at 64-degree lie angle and going down to 58-degree lie angle for the 3 iron (roughly at 6-degree curve). My curve is based on robot testing and how the shaft droops. The longer the shaft the more it droops, so the Nipper curve is bending the lie to compensate for the amount of shaft droop.  The wedges end up being flatter and the long irons end up being more upright.  This process makes them all roughly the same lie angle.  So it’s really not a curve. More like a flat line.  

The Nipper curve is kind of a funny way for me to explain how to bend clubs to compensate for shaft droop. For example, let’s say you demo a 7 iron and you hit a std lie 7 iron perfect and exactly how you want.  Let’s say that lie angle is 61 degrees.  What I am saying is that all of your clubs will be roughly 61 degrees (give or take a little here or there to compensate for irregularities in the shaft itself). If all your clubs are 61, then that means your wedges are flatter and your long irons are more upright. 

What has been the main benefit of the collection of Tour data and amateur data?

The main value is that we can point to commonalities that Tour players have, which helps us assist amateurs diagnose and how to improve their swings. The more data we get, the easier it is.

Do you have any links you can share to the articles and podcasts you have been featured in recently?

Twenty-four lucky and hard-working teams will earn a spot in a two-day event at Gamble Sands Resort & GC on August 29-30, 2022. Each invited team will consist of one PGA Professional and three amateurs. To receive an invitation, all you need to do is earn your facility a spot on the PNWPGA Callaway Golf Challenge leaderboard during the Challenge Year, January 1 - July 15, 2022.


Upcoming Events

The 118th Northwest Open Invitational is set to take place May 16-18 at The Home Course in DuPont, WA. The Pacific Northwest PGA and WA Golf enjoy a long history of partnership serving the great game of golf, its participants, and its professionals.  Both allied associations are, in fact, celebrating their respective centennials this year. Moving our oldest section major to the Home Course is an amazing opportunity for us to deepen the relationship that has served the Pacific Northwest these last 100 years.

PNW PGA Mexican Fiesta Pro-Am

October 31 - November 5, 2022
Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
TPC Danzante Bay

PNW PGA 100 Hole Marathon

April 18-29, 2022

Drive, Chip & Putt

2022 Schedule

Employment Opportunities

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

These are primarily “PGA Professional” only positions posted on the PGA Career Services Job Board: https://jobs.pga.org


Pros on the Move

by Robin Lindsey, Tournament & Membership Coordinator

Employment Changes
  • Brad Ebberson, PGA (A-1) - from Tualatin CC to Elk Ridge GC
  • Doug Barnhouse (B-13) - from The GC at Hawks Prairie to Washington National GC
  • Mark Keating, PGA (A-14) - from OGA GC to Meriwether National GC
  • Jim Mancill, PGA (A-1) - from The Governor's Towne Club to Port Ludlow GC
  • John Kawasoe, PGA (A-1) - from Astoria G&CC to Pumpkin Ridge GC
  • Matt Lollar (B-8) - from Meadow Park GC to Canterwood G&CC
  • Steve Stevens II, PGA (A-8) - from Iron Horse GC to Whitefish Lake GC
  • Eric Sjogren, PGA (A-11) - from Royal Oaks CC to PNGA
  • JT Compher (B-8) - from Meadow Springs CC to Zintel Creek GC
  • Nicolaus Cawley-Murphree (B-8) - from Double Arrow Golf Resort to Meadow Lark CC
Classification Changes
  • Jamie Stilwell (Tri-Mountain GC) - from B-8 to B-15
  • Trevor Jensen, PGA (Latah Creek GC) - from A-8 to A-1
  • Andy Mackimmie, PGA (Coeur D'Alene Resort GC) - from A-1 to A-4
  • Steve Nelke, PGA (Latah Creek GC) - from A-1 to A-4
  • Roger Wallace, PGA (Polson Bay GC) - from A-4 to A-8
  • Chip Sullivan, PGA (Woodburn Estates G&CC ) - from A-1 to A-13
  • Grant Cation (Alderbrook Golf and Yacht Club) - from B-8 to B-1
  • Kirk Gleason, PGA (Maplewood GC) - from A-8 to A-1

New Associates

  • Spencer. Skipper (B-1) Prairie Falls GC
  • Zach Rawls (B-1) Lewiston Golf & CC

Newly Elected Members

  • Bradley Elzie, PGA (A-1) - Zintel Creek GC
  • Damian Hawley, PGA (A-8) - White Horse GC
  • Ross Kukula, PGA (A-14) - Arrowhead GC
  • Wallace Small Jr., PGA (A-8) - Sahalee CC

Transfers INTO the Section

  • Marcus Lynch, PGA (A-8) to Seattle GC from Iowa
  • Jeff Ogden, PGA (RSV) to Vancouver, WA from Unaffiliated
  • Steven Elbe, PGA (LM) to Medford, OR from Southern Texas 
  • William Foust, PGA (A-13) to The Wilderness Club from Northern California
  • Mark Savoy, PGA (A-13) to The Powder Horn GC from Rocky Mountain 
  • Alex Clemens, PGA (A-8) to Stock Farm Club from Tennessee 
Transfers OUT of the Section
  • Adam Swenson, PGA - from Club Green Meadows to Wisconsin 
  • Zach McArthur, PGA - from Old Works GC to Minnesota 
  • Blaine Ward - from Whidbey GC to Colorado 
  • Casey McCoy, PGA - from The Dalles CC to South Central 
New Quarter Century Members
  • Robert H. Gelinas, PGA

Thank You for Supporting Our Sponsors

Gold Level Sponsors
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Holcomb-In-One Sponsors
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Silver Level Sponsors
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National Sponsors
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Partner-Level Sponsors
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