Friday night, April 28, we inducted Les Blakley and Roger Wallace into the Pacific Northwest Section Hall of Fame. The joint ceremony with the Pacific Northwest Golf Association also saw the induction of Mike Davis (yes our Mike Davis), Jackie Little and the late Ruth Jessen into the PNGA Hall of Fame. This was our fourth joint induction ceremony and it was a nice evening celebrating the very best in Northwest Golf. Congratulations to all.
Thank you all for supporting our effort to develop comprehensive data on professional compensation through the PGA Compensation Survey. Thanks to all of you, we hit the 76% mark in participation, second among all sections. Your efforts will help you and your fellow golf professionals in your quest to elevate your position. Please utilize our PGA Employment Consultant in the process.
We are in the middle of championship season here in the Section. With four events behind us, we now have entries out for the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational, Oregon Open Invitational, and the 30th Anniversary Rosauers Open Invitational. Meridian Valley will again host the Muckleshoot, Oregon returns to the Harbottle-designed Juniper Golf Club, the Rosauers is once again at Indian Canyon, and the Assistant Professional Championship will be held at Willamette Valley CC.
Entries will soon be out for our member championships – the PGA Professional Championship (PPC) and the Senior PPC. Look for e-mails from National on these important championships during the month of May. You may remember the universal deadline was replaced last year with a normal entry close date. For that reason, there will not be a late entry process for these three championships. Be sure you enter on time! One real benefit is no longer entering all these events the same month that your dues are due!
PGA Junior League is the single best National initiative in my 30-year PGA career. If you are not hosting a team, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to build relationships with junior golfers, earn the respect of their parents and most importantly develop additional revenue for your facility and yourself. Visit with a Junior League champion in your chapter – Monte Koch, Dominic Marconi, Jason Aichele, Derek Siesser or Cameron Milton – they can help you get started. For the record, Cameron started out to host 4 teams this year in little ole’ Polson, Montana and ended up with 71 players! That’s Player Development, folks.
The Section will host 11 Drive Chip and Putt Local Qualifiers in 2017. This free program is for every kid of every ability. Parents love this program as it’s a 60-minute trip to the course. Think our local kids can’t make it to Augusta? Think again! Of the eight kids from our region in Augusta last month, five came through a Section Local Qualifier.
The grant committees are happy to announce they received a record number of requests for support this year. In all, we received requests for $53,000 in support of your Player Development initiatives. The requests were very creative and well presented. The committee worked hard to spread the money around and support the most professionals possible. In the end, we distributed $14,000 under the Yamaha Player Development Grant program and another $10,000 through the Pacific Northwest PGA Junior Golf Fund. Thanks to our friends at Yamaha and donors to the Junior Fund we were able to help grow the game! We look forward to great things from our recipients.
We continue to work with National on our PCI Compliance process. One result of this process is the cessation of receiving entries with credit card information written on them. Credit cards will only be taken through our online process or via a swipe terminal on site. We are finalizing a few things to make this process even better for you.
The PGA of America will be sending dues bills shortly. Please remember your dues are due and payable no later than June 30. If you have an email in the system, your bill will only come electronically. Don’t wait for a paper invoice, it’s not coming.
Your chapter staff is very busy right now going full-speed with your pro-ams. Help them out by utilizing the benefits of ForeTees to add, move or cancel your tee times and please take a few minutes to ensure the data you enter through Open Registration is complete and placed in the correct fields. While it may be inconvenient for you to collect accurate data on three amateurs, consider that your staff has 150 to worry about. Please help them out.
Let’s count on a little more sunshine in May as you play, teach and promote this great game.
Jeff Ellison, PGA