May 1, 2023

President's Report

Hooray, hooray, it’s the first of May!  Outdoor living starts today! It is so nice to see the sun and 80-degree weather, even if it is only for a few days.  I hope you have had the chance to get out and teach, play, and enjoy the sun. As expected, my members are out in full force every day this week after one of the longest winters on record.  If you’re like me, you have been jonesing to get the season started for the last month! 

Last week, Connor Sproull, Dave Owens and I completed our 100-hole marathon for charity.  I chose the Ronald McDonald House Charity of Western Montana.  Kudos to Molly Cooper for planning another team effort across the Pacific Northwest to raise money for charity and shine a spotlight on our PGA Professionals and all we do for our communities.

Best of luck to the 10 PNW PGA Professionals competing in the PGA Professional Championship this week: Jeff Coston of Semiahmoo G&CC, Derek Berg of PNW Golf Academy, Jerrel Grow of Pronghorn Club at Juniper Preserve, Ross Kukula of Arrowhead Golf Club, Russell Grove of North Idaho College, Mitch Runge of The Home Course, Corey Prugh of the Community Colleges of Spokane, Colin Inglis of Shadow Hills Country Club, Austin Hurt of Wing Point Golf & Country Club and Tim Feenstra of Broadmoor Golf Club. We are rooting for you!

Missoula CC PGA Junior League will start this month.  I look forward to the program each year.  Sixty kids will begin with evening lessons for three weeks in mid-May, and then the competition will be hosted for five weeks after school gets out for the summer. It is a highlight of the year for our professional team.  It was amazing to see the kids that started in PGA Jr League six years ago that are now great players and a strong group of life-long friends. We also just hosted the closing day of our first PGA JAM program on Sunday. It is a testament to all PGA Pros of the value we bring to youth through the game of golf.  Good luck with your junior programs this year!

Every Chapter is now in tournament season, and the Section tournaments are taking off.  I wish you all the best this year with your own games.  Make time to play and enjoy this great game.

I hope you have a spectacular month!

Chris M. Nowlen, PGA

Knowles Prevails in Cold and Wind to Win PNW PGA Senior Players’ Championship

On April 18-19, the PNW PGA Senior Players’ Championship took place at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington. Despite cold and windy conditions, the players put on an impressive display of golf, with Mark Knowles of McCormick Woods GC ultimately emerging as the champion. Knowles shot a two-day total of 143, two strokes better than second-place finisher Birk Nelson of Orange Whip Trainer.

Wine Valley Golf Club, a stunning Dan Hixson design, lived up to its reputation as one of the top three golf courses to play in Washington, according to Golfweek. Since opening in 2009, the course has earned numerous honors. Playing over rolling hills in the shadow of the Blue Mountains, this course provided a challenging but rewarding setting for the PNW PGA Senior Players’ Championship.

In addition to his impressive play, Mark Knowles spoke highly of Wine Valley Golf Club and how much he enjoys playing there. "I really look forward to playing Wine Valley all winter long," Knowles said. "The turf conditions are so good from tee to green and an absolute treat to play; especially after a wet and soggy winter on the west side. I probably played the course in my mind once or twice a week this off-season."

Despite the challenging weather conditions, Knowles remained focused and tried to embrace the challenge. "I did not practice for wind and cold specifically, but I have a lower ball flight and was striking the ball solid over the two rounds," he said. "Round 1 was probably as challenging of conditions that I can remember ever playing. Every single shot was difficult."

Knowles' determination and skill were evident in the second round of the tournament when he found himself four shots off the lead after nine holes. "I thought I needed to shoot 30 on the back nine to have a chance," he said. "I was surprised that on the 15th hole, I was leading after making birdies on 10, 12 and 15. I tried to stay aggressive and keep executing my routine on each shot. I made two par-saving putts on 16 and 17."

Winning the PNW PGA Senior Players’ Championship was a special moment for Knowles, who has been working hard to make his game competitive with the best players in the section. "Winning this event is very special," he said. "Every year I have a goal of winning a major and this is my first."

Billy Bomar and Jeff Coston both shot a 146, finishing tied for third. Low amateur honors went to Bradley Karns of Tri Mountain GC and Michael Cairns of The Home Course. Birk Nelson and Dave Christenson qualified in the Garmany Majors Shootout, a new "closest to the pin" contest. They each advanced to the Garmany Majors Shootout Finale, to be held at Suncadia Resort - Tumble Creek Club on September 18.

The PNW PGA Senior Players’ Championship, the first senior major of the year, is a 36-hole stroke play championship. Overall, it was a thrilling showcase of the skill and talent of some of the region's top senior golfers. The impressive play of Mark Knowles and other competitors served as a reminder of the beauty and excitement of the game of golf, even in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

We are thrilled and grateful to have the generous support of Liz Ogle with Sunice and the City of Walla Walla as our sponsors. We extend our sincere appreciation to PGA Director of Golf Tyler Sweet, the Wine Valley staff, and all the participants for making this event truly amazing!

Final Results

WA Golf Youth on Course Program Continues to Grow

Washington Golf, in collaboration with Youth on Course, the non-profit organization dedicated to opening doors, supporting dreams and transforming the lives of young people through opportunities on and off the golf course, has experienced a significant rise in junior golf member participation in 2022 and into 2023.

Youth on Course membership in Washington and Northern Idaho has seen its numbers grow to 7,884 in 2022, which is an increase of 14% over 2021’s membership numbers, and an astounding increase from the 300 members during the program’s inaugural year in 2016.

These members now have access to nearly 60 golf courses across the state, where green fees start at just $5 with a WA Golf Youth on Course membership. The participating course is later reimbursed by WA Golf for any lost revenue, though some courses don’t seek to be recompensed, as their way of contributing to the growth of the game.

Read More

Holk's Highlights: PGA Professional Championship Qualifiers

The 2023 PGA Professional Championship will be held at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Golf Clubs in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico from Sunday, April 30th to Wednesday, May 3rd. This premier event will feature 312 PGA Professionals representing 41 PGA Sections, with the top 20 finishers receiving automatic invitations to the 105th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club (East Course) in Pittsford, New York from May 18th to May 21st, 2023.

For many players, qualifying for the National PPC is a goal every year.  “I don’t play as much as I once did, but playing and trying to qualify for the National PPC is a goal every year,” stated Jerrel Grow.

Last year, Colin Inglis, Austin Hurt, and Tim Feenstra placed in the top 20 at the PGA Professional Championship, earning spots in the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills CC. Colin Inglis described playing in last year’s PGA as “an unbelievable experience” and emphasized the importance of being patient and taking it day by day. Austin Hurt expressed his honor and gratitude at competing against the nation’s best professionals, stating that, “This time around we hope to enjoy the process.” Tim Feenstra added that, “Qualifying for the PGA Championship last year was a dream come true,” while also jokingly stating that he will stick with his day job.

Jeff Coston, who has qualified for the PGA Professional Championship six times previously, expressed his love for competing and preparing for golf tournaments. “My son Kyle will be caddying for me, which is awesome.”

Derek Berg, Corey Prugh and Russell Grove have also qualified for the PGA Professional Championship in the past, with all three players eager for the competitive challenge. “It’s such a great event and a wonderful experience competing with the best in the country,” said Derek Berg. Corey Prugh called it “a great test,” with Russell Grove adding, “and it’s always a great learning experience that can help us further improve the players we teach and coach.”

Mitch Runge and Ross Kukula are new to the national championship field this year. Mitch Runge said that making the PPC validates the long days and practice and “I can’t be more excited or proud to be a part of it this year.” Ross Kukula shared how he was physically incapable of playing from 2019-2021 and how qualifying for this tournament was also a form of validation of hard work. “It’s confirmation that I can do this the rest of my career after thinking I’d never play in tournaments again,” said Ross Kukula.

We wish all these talented players the best of luck in the 2023 PGA Professional Championship!

Welcome, Kellee Schneider!

Hi everyone, my name is Kellee Schneider. I live in Olympia, WA, but am originally from Kelso, WA. My dad introduced me to the game of golf when I was nine. I would go to little competitions around town. I went to Kelso High School, where I played varsity golf. I have stood at the first hole at Pebble Beach and wondered what it would be like to play that course. My dad passed last year and would have loved to see me in this job.

I am a singer and was in a punk band for several years. I love rock & roll and am always looking for new music! 

I am so excited to be working and bringing fun to the PGA Pacific Northwest Section office as the Office Assistant. 

Twenty-four lucky and hard-working teams will earn a spot in a special event on August 28-29, 2023 at Suncadia Resort – Prospector and Rope Rider courses. Each invited team will consist of one PGA Professional and three amateurs. Learn more.

Upcoming Events

Pelzer Oregon Open Invitational

June 13-15, 2023
Redmond, OR - Eagle Crest Resort
Enter online

PNW PGA Mexican Fiesta Pro-Am

Oct 30 - Nov 4, 2023
Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
TPC Danzante Bay
Enter online

PNW PGA Arizona Sun Pro-Am presented by Mike Worden

Nov 30 - Dec 4, 2023
We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort
Saguaro & Cholla Courses
Enter online

Upcoming Entry Releases


Rosauers Open Invitational
July 12-16, 2023
$345 / $375 with skins (professionals)


Senior Oregon Open Invitational
August 1-3, 2023
$1,280 team entry ($320 per player)/ $1,300 with professional skins

Upcoming In-Person Education Opportunities

May 10 @ Missoula CC, 7:45 am - 4:00 pm PDT – PGA HOPE Professional Training Session

May 22 @ The Home Course, 7:00 pm PDT – PNW PGA Spring Meeting

Employment Opportunities

Monte Koch, PGA of America Employment Consultant

These are primarily “PGA Professional” only positions posted on the PGA Career Services Job Board:


PGA.Coach - Your Biggest Marketing Opportunity

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 ADM certified and create your profile! It takes just a few hours and is completely worth it.

Click here to view the recorded webinar, "Growing Your Business with PGA Coach" presented by Ryan Young, PGA, for a detailed walkthrough.If you are ADM certified and would like to be featured in the next Coach email to our amateur database, please contact Marlena at

Pros on the Move

by Sara Smith, Tournament & Membership Coordinator

Employment Changes
  • Tad Davis, PGA (A - 6) - from Tacoma Country and GC to Canterwood G&CC
  • Michael R. Jones, PGA (A - 13) - from Suncadia Resort to The Club At Snoqualmie Ridge
  • John P. Halligan, PGA (A - 8) - from Iron Horse GC to Whitefish Lake GC
  • Dennis Boothroyd (B - 8) - from Washington National GC to Lake Wilderness GC
  • Kyle A. Davis (B - 8) - from Meadow Springs CC to Golf Universe
Classification Changes
  • Craig Griswold, PGA (The Reserve Vineyards & GC) - from A - 8 to A - 14
  • Zach A. Emery, PGA (Waverley CC) - from A - 8 to A- 14
  • John F. Cassidy III, PGA (The Home Course) - from A - 8 to A - 14

New Associates

  • Jeffrey J. Stange (B - 13) - Eagle Falls GC
  • Aaron S. Lamb (B - 8) - Lynnwood GC
  • Catrina M. Babinecz (B - 8) - Meadow Lark CC
  • Bradley J. Turner (B - 8) - The GC at Echo Falls
  • Mark T. Morrow (B - 8) - Peninsula GC
  • Jackson K. McCracken (B - 8) - Tetherow GC
  • Ryan J. Brown (B - 8) - Circling Raven GC
  • Spencer J. Knutson (B - 8) - Oswego Lake CC
  • Alexander M. Goduti (B - 8) - Laurelwood GC
  • Bailey W. Fee (B - 8) - Tumble Creek Club @ Suncadia
  • Luke J. Schlimgen (B - 8) - Broadmoor GC

Newly Elected Members

  • Laura M Kraft, PGA  (A - 8) - Sahalee CC

Reinstated Members

  • Craig E. Wilcox, PGA (A - 13) - Vashon Island G&CC
  • Kevin L. Wheeler, PGA (RM) - Roseburg, OR
  • John C. Gailey, PGA (A - 14) - Lewis River GC

Transfers OUT of the Section

  • Karl R. Hauptman - from Tahoma Valley G&CC to Georgia Section
  • Maureen S Barolet, PGA - from Gig Harbor, WA to North Florida Section
  • Daniel B. Wickman, PGA - from Yakama CC to Colorado Section
  • Joe Thiel, PGA - from Redmond, WA to Rocky Mountain Section

Transfers INTO the Section

  • Gary R. Bashford, PGA (LMA) to Vancouver, WA from Northern California Section
  • James C. Contreras, PGA (A - 1) to Fairbanks GC from Southwest Section
  • Colton R. Stodghill (B - 8) to Eagle Bend GC from Southwest Section
  • Ryan S. Malby, PGA (LMA) to Kalispell, MT from Southwest Section
  • John P. Henry III, PGA (LMC) to Stanwood, WA from South Florida Section

Half Century Club Members

  • Gary Barter, PGA (LM) - Snoqualmie, WA
  • Jim W. Wallinder, PGA (LMC) - Hamilton, MT

Quarter Century Club Members

  • Jeffrey D. Ritter, PGA (A - 14) - Pronghorn

Deceased Members

Thank You for Supporting Our Sponsors

Gold Level Sponsors
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Grant Holcomb
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National Sponsors
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Partner-Level Sponsors
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