January 3, 2023

President's Report

Happy New Year!  I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season.

As an officer of the Pacific Northwest Section, I cherish the opportunity to write these articles.  I see it as not only my role to inform you of the business of your Association, but also a chance to encourage you and challenge us all to be better PGA members and community leaders.  December was a busy month for the Pacific Northwest Section.   We lost a close friend and exemplary PGA Professional, announced our award winners for 2022, and honored two of our best with inductions into our Hall of Fame.

One of our best, Harold Bluestein was a very successful golf professional and a great friend to so many.  As a pillar in the Oregon Chapter, Harold led by helping those around him.  He was a mentor to many, a leader in player development and won the Bill Strausbaugh award at the Chapter and Section level multiple times.  For me, Harold was a partner and friend in leadership on the PNW PGA Board of Directors.  I enjoyed serving with Harold.  He always had an infectious smile.  Please keep his wife, Sue, and Harold’s family in your prayers during this difficult time.

As President of our Section, I have the wonderful pleasure of contacting each award winner and being the first to congratulate them on their selection.  It was a special opportunity for me.  Each of them showed great gratitude for their selection as the best of the best in the Pacific Northwest.  Congratulations to Past President, Howie Pruitt on his award as our Golf Professional of the Year.

  • Patriot Award: Vince Domenzain
  • Bill Strausbaugh Award: Steve Prugh
  • Golf Professional of the Year: Howie Pruitt
  • Perry Williams Award: Howie Pruitt
  • Assistant Golf Professional of the Year: Wesley Boone
  • PNW PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Public: Dan Porter
  • PNW PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Resort: Bruce Christy
  • PNW PGA Merchandiser of the Year – Private: Brett Eaton
  • Teacher of the Year: Derek Siesser
  • Player Development Award: Scott Erdmann
  • Youth Player Development Award: Jason Aichele
  • Professional Development Award: Jeff Coston

Additionally, I had the pleasure of contacting Doug Doxsie and Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen on their selection to the Class of 2024 PNW PGA Hall of Fame.  These two honorees exemplify the PGA Professional.  What an honor to notify them that we recognize their accomplishments and contributions to the game and the Pacific Northwest Section.  As a published teacher and national award winner, Kathy has made a career of player development.  Doug has served our Association at every level and is nationally respected amongst our peers.  Their professional success is inspiring.  Congratulations Doug and Kathy.

The Chapter and Section leadership met at the winter planning meeting in the first part of December.  Frank, the staff, committee chairs, and the board reviewed our 2022 business and reviewed goals for 2023.  Your Section is as successful as ever in all areas of our business.  Partnerships are growing, tournaments are successful, professional and player development are thriving, our foundation is developing, and we are aligned in our operations in every Chapter.  2023 is poised to be a terrific year for the Pacific Northwest Section!  Thank you to all involved for your dedication.

Finally, my message to all, including myself, is to be inspired.  I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I am the guy that sets goals and has a plan.  In 2023, I plan to balance my work and life to spend time with my family, grow as a professional, serve my members at MCC even better, and serve this Section well as President.  I will also play more golf (and better, I hope), read more books, and get my tail-end to the gym.  Whatever you have in mind for this year, I wish you the best, and I am here for moral support if you need it.  I do.

Enjoy the links and the slopes if you can!

Chris M. Nowlen, PGA

Team Milton Wins PNW PGA Arizona Sun Pro-Am

The PNW PGA Arizona Sun Pro-Am took place December 4-8 at We-Ko-Pa Resort.  We took 17 teams to beautiful Arizona, enjoying the sunshine and hospitality of the We-Ko-Pa Resort in the second year of our destination event. Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors Foresight Sports and Therabody, with Supporting Sponsors Turtleson, ProTag, Puttview and Cole Haan.

Five-man teams played stableford competitions in the PNW PGA Arizona Sun Pro-Am, with each team consisting of one PGA Professional and four amateurs. There were daily team prizes, daily professional prizes, daily amateur gross and net prizes as well as overall prizes for the professionals, amateurs and teams. 

Congratulations to the team led by PGA Professional Cameron Milton with amateurs Cody Brown, Bill Williams, Scott Frydenlund and Josh Maki for winning the overall team competition! Taking second place was the team led by PGA Professional Brandon Drake with amateurs Monte Yockey, Mark Ossello, Bobby Combs and Shan Graham.  PGA Professional Mike DeLong led amateurs John Beutler, Doug Potter, Mark Arnn and Tom Polito to third place.  The top three teams all received a Therabody massager plus Cole Haan shoes. 

PGA Professional Jason Aichele of Meadow Springs CC won the overall professional competition with Brandon Drake of CDA National Reserve taking second and David Owens of Missoula CC taking third.  Sean Hauser of Missoula CC won the overall amateur competition. There was a five-way tie for low net amateur honors between Ron McLaren of Maplewood GC, John Beutler of Hayden Lake CC, Clark Watkins of Meadow Springs CC, Bobby Combs of CDA National Reserve and Josh Maki of Polson Bay GC.

Teams played Monday on the Saguaro Course and Tuesday on the Cholla Course, before returning on Wednesday for the final round on the Saguaro Course. 

With two award-winning golf courses set in the thriving Sonoran Desert, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club delivers one of the best golf experiences in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. Scott Miller designed the Cholla Course, while Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw teamed up to create Saguaro.  The results have captivated the golf world ever since opening for public play to much acclaim by industry leading publications such as Golf Magazine, Golfweek and Golf Digest. Offering breathtaking views of the McDowell Mountains, Red Mountain, Four Peaks and the Superstitions, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club lies on Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation land that will never be commercially developed.

We look forward to returning to Arizona next winter for another fun Arizona Sun Pro-Am and hope you will join us! 


Holk's Highlights: Jim Wise, PGA

This month we interviewed Jim Wise, PGA Life Member and longtime member of the Section Rules Committee. Before his life as a PGA Professional, he was a Naval Aviator during the Vietnam War. Read his story below! 
  • Facility: Rogue Valley CC
  • Hometown: Medford, OR (born in Redmond, OR)
  • PGA Member Since: 1976

Jim Wise became interested in golf at an early age, caddying for his parents at Juniper GC in Redmond, OR.  When they moved to Medford in 1954, his parents joined Rogue Valley CC and Jim started playing more and more with the many juniors at the club.  As he grew up, he lettered two years at Medford High (1963 and 1964).  He also lettered his first two years of college at SOC in 1965 and 1966, where they placed ninth in the nation in 1965 and 12th in 1966.  He then transferred to Oregon State U and lettered his senior year 1968.  Following college, he spent the next 6 years in the US Navy as a Naval Aviator flying F-4 Phantoms.

Jim enrolled in the Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School in May 1968 and started at AOCS in Pensacola, Florida in September 1968. After 8 months of basic training and aviation schooling, he received his wings of gold in May 1969. He started flying F-4 Phantoms at VF 121 in San Diego in January 1970 and was later transferred to VF 161 (Fighter Squadron 161) in June 1970.

Jim was aboard the USS Midway CV-41 for two combat cruises to Vietnam, April – November 1971 and March 1972 – March 1973. In between the two cruises, he was sent to Top Gun (Navy Fighter Weapons School, January/February 1972). He flew 260 + combat missions in Vietnam, including the last MiG kill of the war in January 1973.

Home from Vietnam in April 1973, Jim started in the golf business at Rogue Valley CC on April 15, 1973. He worked six and a half years as an Assistant Professional and became Head Professional in January 1981. He retired in January 2012 and remains active on the Section Rules Committee for over 40 years. He was elected to the Medford Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

NAM-POW’s – 50 Years of Freedom

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the POW’s held in prisons in Vietnam – some having been imprisoned for over eight years, they are the longest held POW’s in the history of the United States. After the Peace Accords were signed in Paris on January 27, 1973, the POW’s were set to be released starting that February. The last group of POW’s were released on March 29, 1973.

On May 22-25, 2023, the NAM POW’s will celebrate their 50th year of freedom from the deplorable prisons of Vietnam. As part of that celebration, the NAM-POW’s will be hosted at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA for a replication of the historic 1973 White House “Welcome Home” dinner.

This is where we need your help! The 50th Anniversary Reunion will be the last official reunion for all the surviving NAM-POW’s. In order to bring as many of the remaining NAM-POW’s as possible to attend this important milestone event, please consider donating to help offset the cost for this reunion.

“One of my squadron mates was shot down on my wing in August 1972 and became a POW for 8 months until his release in March 1973. He happens to be the go-to man for the NAM-POW Reunion, so I am honored to assist him in raising funds for the reunion in May 2023,” stated Jim. “The relationship we have is unique in the fact we lived through life and death situations in combat and the friendships are lasting and close.”

To donate, visit nam-pows.org and click “Donate”. NAM-POWs Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(19) Veterans Corporation recognized by the IRS.

PNWPGA expands PGA HOPE program with Jeff Bojanowski as first ambassador

by Tom Cade, WA Golf

The Pacific Northwest Section PGA (PNWPGA) has contracted Jeff Bojanowski to be its first ambassador to oversee the Section’s PGA HOPE program.

Taught by local PGA professionals, PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is a free, adaptive program introducing Veterans with disabilities to golf, to use the game as a therapeutic outlet, and to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.

The PNWPGA is currently in the process of growing its PGA HOPE program to serve the hundreds of thousands of Veterans and active duty military who call the Pacific Northwest home.

PGA HOPE Pacific Northwest currently operates four program locations serving Veterans in Tacoma, Spokane, Missoula (Mont.) and Southern Oregon.

Bojanowski’s role as ambassador for the PGA HOPE program is to find PGA professionals to teach the clinics, find golf courses on which to conduct the clinics, tell veterans about the program, create continued golf opportunities for veterans once they graduate from the program, and to raise funds for the program.

He also wants to create golf events and men’s and women’s clubs for the Veterans to continue with the game after they have graduated from the program.

Bojanowski’s journey to taking the lead of this Section’s HOPE program has been a long one, but golf has been its through-line.

He was born in Astoria, Ore., where his father was a PGA instructor at Astoria Golf and Country Club. His father, who had twice been a state high school golf champion, then became the lead PGA instructor at what is now called RedTail Golf Center in Beaverton, Ore.

“He cut down a 7-iron for me to hit balls with,” Bojanowski recalls. “I had junior clubs before junior clubs were a thing.”

He played on the Corvallis (Ore.) High School golf team for two years. “I’m the guy who skipped school to go play golf,” he says with a laugh. “If I skipped school to just goof off, then I got in trouble from my dad, but if I skipped school to play golf, then I didn’t get in trouble. That’s how much my family loved the game.”

Bojanowski enlisted in the Army in 1998 at the age of 22, and would serve as a Cavalry Scout. The job of a scout is to do reconnaissance missions to clear the area – in other words, go out and see if the enemy is in an area and report back to the commander. In other words, it’s a dangerous job.

He was deployed to Iraq in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Christmas Night of 2004, while out on a reconnaissance mission, Bojanowski was injured from a car bomb explosion. He was sent home for convalescence, to have shrapnel removed from his face and for the hole in his right arm to heal. He was awarded the Purple Heart.


Upcoming Events

Pelzer Golf Hawaiian Paradise Pro-Am

January 12-19, 2023
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Kaanapali Golf Courses
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Upcoming "Stay Involved" Education Webinars

Jan 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT – PGA JAM (Junior Ambassador Membership) – presented by Chris Nowlen

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Jan 12 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am PDT – How to Use Social Media Effectively – presented by Keith Bennett

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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 Sara Smith, Tournament & Membership Coordinator

Employment Changes
  • (none)
Classification Changes
  • Thomas D. Hinton, PGA (Rose City GC) - from A - 8 to A-1

New Associates

  • Travis R. Cox (B- 8) - Sahalee CC
  • Corinne A. Phinney (B - 8) - Meadow Lakes GC
  • John M. Raffaele (B - 8) Heron Lakes GC

Newly Elected Members

  • William R. Lewis, PGA (A - 1) - Interbay GC
  • Nicole J. Matiatos, PGA (A - 8) - Tacoma C&GC

Transfers OUT of the Section

  • Loren E. Jeglum, PGA - from Palouse Ridge GC to Rocky Mountain
  • Christopher J. Haffly, PGA - from 2K Innovations, Inc. to North Florida

Transfers INTO the Section

  • Melinda C. Murray (B - 14) - to Topgolf - Hillsboro from Northern California

New Quarter Century Club Members

  • Monte E. Hanson, PGA (A - 1) - Bend GC
  • Michael J. Nelson, PGA (LM) - Newport, OR
  • Blake M. Smith, PGA (A-6) - Anchorage GC

Deceased Members

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