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News from the NWGMA

Stephens Receives NWGMA’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award

Stephens Receives NWGMA’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award

In a very close ballot, members named Dick Stephens as the recipient of the Northwest Golf Media Association’s 2018 Distinguished Award. Stephens accepted his award during a ceremony on October 1 at the NWGMA’s annual Tournament-Banquet. This year’s event was held at historic Bellingham Golf & Country Club.

Stephens is a veteran writer, editor, publisher and business owner in Northwest golf circles. He started out as the editor of Northwest Golf magazine. Later, as President of Varsity Communications, Dick was a driving force in the creation of both Pacific Northwest Golfer (produced by Varsity on behalf of the PNGA) and Cascade Golfer (owned and produced by Varsity). The region’s two largest golf magazines have a combined reach of over 200,000 golfers throughout the Northwest.

Dick also helped launch the Seattle Golf Show, of which Varsity was the original co-producer with the PNGA (and which was recently re-purchased by Varsity in 2017). Varsity also owns the Portland Golf Show (combined, the region’s two largest golf expos draw roughly 20,000 golfers a year). In addition, Varsity assisted in the publication of Jeff Shelley and Michael Riste’s influential book, Championships and Friendships: The First 100 Years of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. It also produced the Merrill Lynch Invitational, which brought PGA and LPGA Tour greats to the Golf Club at Newcastle and TPC Snoqualmie Ridge for 13 years, from 1991-2003.

“What has always struck me about Dick Stevens, this year's worthy winner of the NWGMA's Distinguished Service Award, are his equal parts of passion and vision,” said NWGMA president, Bob Sherwin. “It takes both to be the force behind starting golf magazines and golf shows where there is no guarantee of success and where others have failed. But his ability to hire correctly, to find just the right niche and provide the essential content is a tribute to his vision. Congratulations Dick.”

The NWGMA is a nonprofit organization established in 1995. It focuses on the best interests of the game of golf in the Pacific Northwest with the assistance of individuals in the Northwest media.

For more information and a list of previous NWGMA Distinguished Service Award recipients, visit

For media inquiries, contact Jeff Shelley at 206/522-6981 or