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News from the NWGMA

The Writers' Tee - June 2019

The Writers' Tee

News and notes of the Northwest Golf Media Association

June 2019

Industry news

The future of municipal golf in Seattle – is there one? Should there be one? NWGMA member Cheri Brennan sent along a link that suggests a positive direction in the recurring conversation around the health and financial viability of city golf in the Northwest’s biggest city.

A formal study and strategic plan by the city said Seattle needs to “align its policy priorities to balance the objectives of public access, outdoor recreational opportunities, racial equity and social justice, environmental and habitat protection, open space, and financial management.”

The No. 1 recommendation to emerge from the study: “Commit to golf as a recreational program offered by the City on par with other recreational offerings.”

Brennan also forwarded a story by member Brad Ziemer for British Columbia Golf (and reprinted on the PNGA website) about the departure of Susan White from her job as senior manager of field operations with British Columbia Golf.

Susan plans to spend time with her grandkids… and work on her golf game, Ziemer writes.

Member news

Tom Cade, the senior director of communications and marketing for the PNGA, and freelancer Bart Potter are at Pebble Beach Golf Links keeping tabs on the seven players with Northwest roots competing at the 2019 U.S. Open:

So, here are the locals in the field:

  • Kyle Stanley – Two-time PGA Tour winner
  • Joel Dahmen – 2007 Washington State Amateur champion
  • Alex Prugh – 2005 Washington State Amateur champion
  • Richard Lee – 2008 Washington State Amateur champion
  • Nick Taylor – 2008 & 2009 PNGA Player of the Year
  • Spencer Tibbits – 2016 PNGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year
  • Andrew Putnam – 2010 Pacific Coast Amateur champion

Potter will also be covering Tibbitts, an amateur from Vancouver, Wash., for The Columbian newspaper. Tibbitts, an Oregon State University sophomore in his first U.S. Open, qualified in the June 3 sectional at Wine Valley.

June 5th Minutes

The second 2019 meeting of the Northwest Golf Media Association was held June 5 at White Horse Golf Club as part of media day for the Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup.

President Bob Sherwin told the 10 members present that Kris Jonasson, CEO of the British Columbia Golf Association has agreed to replace Jim Street as vice-president and that Bart Potter will be the new secretary replacing Alfie Lau.

Co-founder Jeff Shelley said he is awaiting word back from Inglewood Golf Club in Kenmore to be the site of the annual fall luncheon and outing. Inglewood is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year as is Rainier Golf and Country Club.

White Horse general manager Bruce Christy made news at the meeting when he said the Legends Cup will be returning next year. The original two-year contract expires this year. The Legends Tour is for women 45-and-older and is the official senior branch of the LPGA.

Sue Fracker of the Legends Tour staff distributed tournament credentials to NWGMA members and briefed us on the two-day, $200,000 tournament that was played June 7-8. Julie Inkster won the tournament.

Late in the meeting, Shelley told members that the City of Seattle is looking at closing one of its public golf courses for low-income housing and other purposes. He said he thinks Jackson would be the most likely to be targeted for closure and said it would be a major environmental and recreational loss for the city. He urged members to pay attention to developments and make themselves heard.

A new member at the meeting was Larry Bausch, who has written "Uncorked, The Life and Times of Champagne Tony Lena."

Minutes submitted by Craig Smith