One of the things that I had to adjust to when I moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest back in September 2020 is the fact that this part of the country has seasons. Southern California, where my family and I moved from, has effectively two seasons: hot and hotter. But the Pacific Northwest, despite all the talk about “so much rain,” is very beautiful in very distinct, different times throughout the year.
Seasons exist, too, in our business. In business there are very discernable seasons of growth and retraction. It’s natural and try as we might, we can’t ignore the ups and downs of the business cycle.
In spring, you build business plans, create new services and products and design new marketing materials. In summer, everything is in full swing. You’re busy serving your clients, and you continue to promote your services to attract a growing list of new ones. In autumn, the pace of work starts to slow. You still have a core group of clients, but your services and promotional materials begin to grow dated. Then, in winter, the cold settles in, with no growth or new clients in sight. You’re dependent on what you’ve stored away in preparation for this season.
If you refresh your offerings and plan for the seasonal changes, winter’s grip will loosen, allowing new opportunities to flourish and breathe life back into your business. Most in our business would like to make the warm, busy days of summer last forever. But too much sun and heat — too much work — will dry things up and create cracks. Both you and your business need periods of rest. You must give way to autumn to recover from the summer frenzy.
If you fail to plan during the spring by not putting in the effort to create the right conditions for your business to develop and grow, you’ll likely have short summers and long winters.
Use the seasons to your advantage: the autumn and winter moments to rest and recharge, and spring to devise new strategies and equip yourself better for the next growth cycle in your professional life. Often easier said, than it is done, here are three quick ideas to consider as you leverage spring to your advantage:
Things and events in business just don’t happen randomly. Our job as business leaders is to understand the system of business that includes the supply chain, your existing key competitors, the unseen competitors who may come into your market, the competitors who may redesign your environment, and of course, your various types of customers.
There are always weak signals of trends that are entering your business environment. These “stealthy” movers enter the market very quietly, unseen, until one day you awake left with only a fraction of your former market share. Blockbuster didn’t pay attention to the trend of streaming video. Kodak ignored the trend of digitization. Legacy food and consumer companies thought “all natural” and “organic” was just a fad. Paying attention to the trend setters on a regular basis will spur new ideas and insights that will enable you to anticipate new demands and new technologies—or even expand your current business in directions you never dreamed was possible.
Like car sales, restaurants, big ticket consumer goods, and airline tickets, the Pacific Northwest golf industry is cyclical. A cyclical industry is tied to business cycles where growth of revenues is typically sensitive to external conditions. For us, revenue is typically higher in warmer months, in times when our clients have greater economic freedoms, and when the desire to play the great game of golf is “up.” When negative cycles and patterns hit, many companies don’t have the agility to deal with them effectively. For example, in an economic downturn companies will make layoffs and cut expenses to counter the cycle. In economic growth, companies will pay hiring bonuses and provide higher salaries to retain key talent. Having the skills to understand these cycles and patterns is the basis for anticipating trends and making the right decisions to ride out the changes of a cycle or take advantage of the opportunities.
Having already made the start of the spring a great success, our collective “thank you” goes out to Mr. Grant Holcomb for his generous support of the Holcomb in One Las Vegas Pro Am. We are excited to prospectively celebrate his 20th Anniversary as the title sponsor of this perennially popular and successful event in 2023.
As the Section continues to prepare for a successful 2022 tournament and education season, my personal welcome to one of our newest sponsors, Evolve Golf. My thanks to Benjamin Maloy and Max Lerner for joining our family of partners. In addition to supporting Section activities and as part of our agreement, Evolve will also be the 2022 “Presenting Sponsor” for the Inland Empire Chapter’s Pro/Pro event at Black Rock this coming October. This is a great example of the Section working alongside our partners in the service of our Chapters.
Last spring, the PNWPGA began our consumer marketing initiative. Today, we boast approximately 60,000 unique golf consumers, all of whom eagerly receive PGA Professional promotions. This is a fantastic, new channel for us to promote our Members to a growing audience of enthusiasts. These are your current and future clients. This database is constantly growing. On April 21 we will go live with our 2022 “Year of Free Golf” Sweepstakes. My thanks to each of the facilities who are participating in this promotion. This is a cost-effective, innovative opportunity for your facility and your larger business operations. The Section would LOVE our professionals to contact us for inclusion in an upcoming email to our growing golf consumer database. Those of you registered on PGA.Coach are especially encouraged to contact Marlena Cannon, Director of Marketing and Communications at:
As always, if I or our phenomenal Section Staff can be of any service to you, please do not hesitate to contact any one of us.
Frank Talarico, CEO
Doug Doxsie, PGA
Perhaps you have heard me mention or have read about the new PGA REGIONAL MODEL. It’s fair to ask, “What is this and how does it benefit me, the PGA Member or Associate?” Here is a broad overview of this new structure, something the National Board of Directors, Staff, and PGA Regional Teams are extremely excited about. After a year of development, this plan is being rolled out right now and will grow and evolve in real time.
Our great team of Career Services, Player Engagement, and Section Business Operations staff will be combined into seven (7) regional groups. The regional approach will drive more support locally to sections and chapters and focus on the priorities and needs at the local level. Simply said, staff resources will be engaged more locally at the grassroots level where our PGA Members and Associates live and work. This model will provide greater collaboration, eliminate redundancies, and align the PGA Strategic Plan at the local and national level. More PGA staff has been hired to support PGA Professionals in their sections in all matters of Career Services, Player Engagement, Recruiting and Section support. As this model evolves, more resources (staff and financial) will be added in the areas of Human Resources, Finance and other direct section resources support.
So, what does this all mean? Our regional group will have more PGA staff than previously to assist us with career services, player engagement programs, and section support for the programs we conduct. For example, most of us are struggling to find quality employees for our facilities. Through this model, our regional team will be actively recruiting talent into our industry by visiting career fairs, colleges, golf events, etc. If a section has a human resources or finance situation, our regional team will be able to provide support. All of these things that we experience locally will be supported at no additional cost to sections or chapters.
Finally, you may ask, are the Career Service, Player Engagement and Section Business Operations departments going away? No. Each of these departments will continue to work with the PGA Board of Directors and Staff Leadership to ensure goals, products, and results are being developed and accomplished. Senior Directors in each department will continue to provide the necessary training, expectations and product consistency to the teams in each region.
Our own Monte Koch has been hired as the new West Coast Regional Director. Congratulations to Monte for this promotion where he will oversee all West Coast PGA staff in this model. Monte will still be actively performing career services duties while directing the West Coast region. Congratulations Monte!
I am confident that over the next year or so, we will all see the benefits of this new approach for all of us PGA Professionals. Please reach out to Monte or me if you have any questions, we are happy to talk to you!
Doug Doxsie, PGA
Seattle Golf Club
PGA District 14 Director
Branden Thompson, PGA - Regional League Manager
As we get close to the beginning of the regular season play, here are some items that I hope you find useful. Also, please join the Postseason Information Sessions listed below. Good luck with your PGA Jr. League season!
The site below has a ton of great information and has been overhauled to be easier to navigate for Coaches and Consumers. There are step-by-step instructions and videos to help you with almost any technology-related task regarding PGA Jr. League. Visit this site and bookmark it for quick reference:
Below are two opportunities to join a webinar dedicated to the Postseason and Play Days. We will cover eligibility, rules overview, format and how to take advantage of the new Play Day pathway. You can click the links next to the dates to join at the proper time or email me to have you added to the calendar invitation.April 19th at 2:30pm
Find printable scorecards, gameday checklists, and other useful tools to help you out during your season. We will be adding more tools as the season progresses.
We are getting close to the PGA Championship, which means a big marketing push for PGA.Coach. You don’t want to miss out on the leads that could come your way, so get your profile created soon!
We’ve added some new content focused on creating more value from PGA.Coach and more revenue in your pockets. Log back into PGA.Coach and check out the following courses.
Using On-Course Assessments - Drive deeper engagement with your students and increase your revenue by getting on the course with them. This is a great tool to move your students up from just a couple lessons and into a full coaching program.
Want to discuss PGA Jr. League or just bounce some ideas around? The following link will take you to my Calendly page where you can choose a time that works for you, and eliminate the need to email back and forth.
Branden Thompson, PGA
Our PNW PGA Section offers wondrous diversity. Geographically we are the largest section by land mass in the country. We have amazing facilities as destination resorts, public facilities and private clubs reaching millions of potential players. Our PGA Members are just as diverse as they serve in our section for the good of the game. We are spread among five distinct chapters that serve our members and grow the game. Each chapter and their professionals offer their own challenges and needs.
These facts create both opportunities and challenges for our section leadership and staff. We must look for opportunities to draw from this wide range of experiences and opinions.
Conversely, we cannot be naïve to the challenges we face with such a diverse section. Specifically, our Professionals in the Central Washington, Inland Empire and Western Montana chapters face geographic challenges that our Professionals in Oregon and Washington do not. Each PGA Member deserves the same service, programs, career development and support no matter where that Professional may hang their badge.
As a chapter, Oregon offers the same challenges. During my time on the Board of Directors and as an officer, we have made significant strides to increase the diversity of all Chapter operations to represent all PGA Professionals in Oregon. The Board of Directors, our PGA Lead candidates, award winners, tournament venues, and other actions and initiatives now represent all parts of Oregon. Most recently, our chapter BOD conducted a “Targeted Regional Survey” to first understand and then address the diverse needs of all Oregon Chapter Professionals. This comprehensive survey will allow us to target professionals all over the state.
It is with this passion and detailed steps I plan to follow as Section Secretary. My role is to listen, inquire, empathize, and respond to the needs of all Section PGA Members. I look forward to continuing our efforts to support all Chapter Professionals as your Secretary.
Thank you and please reach out should you have any questions.
John Grothe, PGA | Head Professional
Oregon PGA Chapter President
Willamette Valley Country Club
900 Country Club Place • Canby, Oregon 97013
Golf Shop: 503-266-2102 • Direct: 503-266-0140
Happy Spring, everyone! It certainly doesn’t feel like it quite yet as snow is falling outside my window in Yakima as I write this. This month’s topic is one that I’m very passionate about, but I’ll do my best to share my thoughts briefly.
Aligning the three smaller chapters with the two larger ones has been one of my goals since entering the Central WA Chapter back in March of 2020. I am familiar with both the large and small chapter governance models, successes, and challenges having served on the Western WA Chapter board and currently serving on the Central WA Chapter board as Vice President. Both models have the mission to serve the member and grow the game just as our PNW Section does. However, they require different approaches to follow the mission due to the unique dynamics that each chapter provides. For example: geographic location, number of chapter members, and budget are all much different in the smaller chapter model than the larger chapter model. The key to making all PGA Professionals equitable and receive the same services regardless of chapter size is developing reasonable goals and strategies within each chapter and communicating these objectives often to the members so they understand the means and the importance of getting involved.
Each chapter needs an executive director and board that buys in to the strategic plan of the chapter that they serve. The Western WA and Oregon Chapters currently have great leadership with their boards and EDs in Brian Coury and Dominic Marconi. The IE, CW, and WM Chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents recently re-defined the “3 ED” role and worked diligently on hiring Jayme Eberle as the Executive Director of these three chapters. She has been a rockstar! The governing boards of the three chapters have communicated an alignment strategy to allow this position to focus on member programming, community outreach, sponsorships, and tournament participation. Goals, objectives, and strategies in these categories have been identified and supported by the Section.
I stated in the March issue of Foreword Press that my goal as your Section Secretary is to add value to the careers of our PGA Professionals by educating the PNW community on what we do and how important we are to the game of golf, which ultimately increases your compensation. Providing equitable services across all chapters helps every one of our Section Members because we have the opportunity to educate a larger population of our community on our value as PGA Professionals.
I hope to see many of you at the Northwest Open at the Home Course in May!
Chas Holmes, Certified PGA
Head Golf Professional
Yakima Country Club
Office – (509) 452-2266 | mobile – (206) 550-5135
CWC PGA Vice President
This “offseason employment/recruiting cycle” has continued to be strenuous. In order to mitigate employee turnover, we must create a culture of Equipping, Engagement and Excellence. In my previous article, I addressed the topic of recruitment: how to Build a Brand of Being an “Employer Who Equips” and how to Become a Gardener to Grow Your Own Talent. In this issue, I’d like to talk about the other side of things: Retention.
What other ideas or solutions have you seen or would like to see that might apply in the narrative above? I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading this issue of the Foreword Press. Looking forward to seeing many of you at Section tournaments and Chapter pro-ams.
Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional, CEIP
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Business, Operations & Career Coach in the Pacific NW and Rocky Mountain PGA Sections
Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com | Cell: 206-335-5260
April 23 @ Sahalee CC, 5:00 PM
May 16-18 @ The Home Course
June 14-16 @ Sunriver Resort - Crosswater
Oct 31 - Nov 5 @ Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa/TPC Danzante Bay
December 4-8 @ We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort