June 2017
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Welcome to the NWGMA


About the NWGMA
The Northwest Golf Media Association was founded in 1995 by and for people who write, edit, discuss, produce and otherwise impart golf-related articles, books, columns for newspapers, magazines, television, radio, internet, social media and all other forms of communication. The nonprofit organization was originated to assist in the collaboration of efforts of the working media who cover golf in the region.

The NWGMA seeks to bring attention to the region’s golf heritage, and it hopes everyone in the media gives golf equal status with other sports. It also strives to educate the community about all facets of the golf industry and what each entity brings to the game of golf. Its members facilitate this by creating a network among colleagues for sharing story ideas and creating a community for discussing and disseminating Northwest golf news.

NWGMA Mission Statement
The Northwest Golf Media Association shall focus on the best interests of the game of golf in the Pacific Northwest with the assistance of individuals in the Northwest golf media.


From the News Room


Varsity Communications Purchases Seattle Golf Show

SEATTLE – Varsity Communications, Inc., producers of Cascade Golfer magazine and popular golf shows throughout the United States, announced on June 22 that they have purchased the rights to the Seattle Golf Show, Seattle Bike Show and Travel-Adventure-Gear Expo from Seattle-based Big Boys Toys and Travel Show, Inc. (doing business as Cascadia Events), and will be bringing their successful brand of consumer golf shows to the CenturyLink Field Event Center in 2018.

The three shows are latest addition to the portfolio of high-end consumer expos produced nationally by Varsity, a marketing, communications and event production company with a strong reputation for providing outstanding values to U.S. consumers.

Since its formation in 1985 in a booth at Ravenna's Varsity Inn restaurant, Varsity has grown into one of the largest producers of consumer golf events nationwide, with golf shows in Portland, Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha, Indianapolis, Louisville, Connecticut, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Varsity has also launched or managed several successful local events, including the Merrill Lynch Invitational golf tournament, the Seattle Dog Show, the James Beard Foundation's Taste America, and the flagship tasting events for both the state's wine and craft-distilling industries — Taste Washington and PROOF: The Washington Distillers Festival.

In addition, Varsity has played a significant role in the promotion of golf throughout the region. The company helped create both Pacific Northwest Golfer (with the Pacific Northwest Golf Association) and Cascade Golfer magazines, the latter of which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month. Varsity was also the original producer of the Seattle Golf Show in 1998 (when it was owned by the PNGA and Pacific Northwest Section of the PGA), produces the Northwest Golfers Playbook and Cascade Golfer Players Card, and operates numerous tournaments throughout the region each year.

In all, Varsity currently reaches nearly a half-million golfers annually through its various platforms.

Cascadia Events co-owners John Tipping and Owen Hoskinson have owned the Seattle Golf Show since 2007, when they purchased it from the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and the Pacific Northwest Section of the PGA. Varsity CEO Dick Stephens says that carrying on the legacy built by Tipping and Hoskinson is a privilege the company is eager to embrace.

"John Tipping and Owen Hoskinson are gentlemen that have cared for these shows, poured their time and talents into them and have backed the sports of golf, cycling and adventure in a way no one else did here in Seattle," Stephens says.

"We are honored to own and produce these events and are excited to be reunited with the Seattle Golf Show, which we first ran 20 years ago," he continues. "It's an exciting time for our company, and we are looking forward to building on the traditions and legacy of Owen and John."

Tipping and Hoskinson both stated that they are confident the transition will be a smooth one.

"Our objective from the beginning was that the entire golf community would consider this their show, and I hope we achieved that," Tipping says. "We're thrilled that Varsity Communications will continue on a lot of what we tried to do — and we think they will improve on it. Quite frankly, Varsity was in the saddle when the golf show started — now they get to retake the reins.

"I want to personally thank all of the exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, and volunteers; everyone who contributed to the success of the show — and there are hundreds of them," Tipping continues. "Thank you for helping us make the show the largest on the West Coast. I think Varsity will take it to new heights, and look forward to being there in March and checking it out."

In addition to the golf show, Varsity will also produce the Seattle Bike Show and Travel-Adventure-Gear Expo, which represent exciting forays for the company. Hoskinson was instrumental with Tipping in the production of each of these events, and sees the future is bright for both as businesses with Varsity moving forward.

“John and I have known Dick and his business partner, Kirk Tourtillotte, for a long time," Hoskinson says. "Of all the show producers out there, we felt they were best suited to build on what we have accomplished. We are looking forward to helping them grow all three shows in any way we can. I also want to give a special thanks to Tom Cade, the PNGA and the WSGA for all of the support they have given us over the years. They have been great partners."

The addition of these shows, and in particular the Seattle Golf Show, to Varsity's local portfolio — including the Portland Golf Show, Cascade Golfer magazine and its affiliated products and events — brings a synergy to the Northwest's consumer golf scene that should show strong results for Northwest golfers.

"We are very excited about how Cascade Golfer and The Seattle Golf & Travel Show, through their combined efforts, will elevate golf to new levels in the Pacific Northwest for both our audience and corporate partners," says Kirk Tourtillotte, Vice President of Varsity Communications. "As a company, we also look for new ventures to pour our passions into and feel the Bike and Adventure Shows are a perfect fit moving forward.”

To learn more about Varsity Communications, visit www.VarsityCommunications.com. For interviews with company representatives and show organizers, contact Brian Beaky at 888-367-6420, x103.

Amateur championship returns to Sahalee

by Paul Ramsdell


John Oda, an early commitment to the 23rd Sahalee Players Championship (SPC), will be riding a hot hand when the amateur championship returns to Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. next month after a one-year hiatus.

Oda, a senior-to- be at Nevada-Las Vegas, topped the field at the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying in California, shooting a 64 at Newport Beach Country Club and a 68 at Big Canyon Country Club for an 11-under total to lead the field by two shots.

After playing at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin later in June, Oda is set for Sahalee on July 5-7. The 72-hole stroke-play event is conducted over three days, and returns after taking last year off because of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship that was held at Sahalee in 2016.

The SPC is an elite men’s amateur championship with a 66-man field and an envied roll call of past champions. The championship is ranked among the top 25 amateur events in the world by the organization Scratch Players Group.

Competitors in this year’s championship will play 18 holes on Wednesday, July 5, then 36 holes on Thursday, July 6, and the final round on Friday, July 7. For tee times, pairings, bios of each ofthis year’s competitors, and to follow along with live scoring during the championship, visit www.sahaleeplayerschampionship.com.

Oda, currently ranked 33rd in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, told reporters after the U.S.Open Sectional that he played two “calculated rounds” to qualify for the Open. That’s been pretty much the case all year long for the Runnin’ Rebel, who was the Mountain West Conference Golfer of the Year and led his team to the league title and a finish in the Elite Eight at the NCAA Championships. The 5-foot- 7, 150-pounder from Honolulu currently has the second-best career scoring average in UNLV history at 71.38, trailing only Ryan Moore, the 2004 winner of the Sahalee Players Championship and the man who secured the Ryder Cup triumph for the U.S. last fall.

Besides his rising golf exploits, Oda is in line to be an all-America scholar and makes the Dean’s List at UNLV as an economics major. He also told reporters at the Sectional he can play a mean ukulele.

“Growing up in Hawaii, it’s pretty standard for elementary classes to play the ukulele and I kind of went that route. Growing up there, that was our instrument and it’s a very friendly instrument. It has a sweet sound to it,” he said.

Another early commitment to the SPC who qualified for the U.S. Open through the Sectional in California is Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills, Calif., who had a 71 at Newport Beach CC and a 65 at Big Canyon for a 7-under 136 to tie for fourth.

It wasn’t looking too good for Theegala, a junior-to- be at Pepperdine, after being just even par at Newport Beach and then taking a double-bogey on the par-5 second hole at Big Canyon.

“I thought I’d have to go super low after that,” he told reporters afterward.

He did just that, with seven birdies in a stretch of eight holes for the 65, which was the second lowest score on the day at Big Canyon.

“I’m super excited, obviously,” he said. “At the start of that stretch, being realistic, even if I played well here, I’m not going to make it. So I’m just going to have fun, hit shots and see whathappens. And I got a run of birdies, starting making everything. I felt confident in my ball-striking and felt like I could hit it anywhere near the hole and have a chance of going in.”

Theegala’s sophomore season for the Waves gave every indication that hot stretches like this are possible. His scoring average of 70.95 was the second lowest single-season average in Pepperdine history. He was named the Co-Player of the Year in the West Coast Conference and finished tied for 19th at the NCAAs while helping his Waves to a 13th-place finish.

The field for the SPC is once again shaping up to be filled with top amateurs from around the world, and for U.S. players it includes potential recognition to be considered for the Walker Cup team.

Moore, a Northwest native, owns the tournament record with a 16-under 272 when he won in 2004. Other winners who have gone on to successful pro careers include Jason Gore, Kyle Stanley, Daniel Summerhays, Nick Taylor, Casey Martin, Arron Oberholser and Peter Uihlein.

The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) began partnering with the Sahalee 15 years agoto create the “Western Swing” by scheduling its Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship the week following the SPC, to give elite amateur players the opportunity to compete in two quality events on the same trip to the Northwest. The 116th PNGA Men’s

Amateur Championship will be held July 10-15, 2017 at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort in Creswell, Ore. Visit www.thepnga.org for more information.

Chambers Bay to celebrate 10-year Anniversary

The world-renowned Chambers Bay Golf Course, site of the 2015 U.S. Open, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the public is invited to a Gala and Auction on June 24 at the Pierce County facility.

The non-profit Chambers Creek Foundation is hosting the event that will be held at the Chambers Bay Pavilion. It will be an evening of dining, silent auction and entertainment to celebrate the accomplishments over the past decade.

The Foundation, with its partners Pierce County and KemperSports will be showcasing the past, present and future of the Chambers Creek Properties and honoring those whose visionary ideas have created the Properties currently existing and plans for the future for Chambers Bay and other recreational features.

“I look forward to celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the opening of Chambers Bay,” Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier said. “I applaud the forward-thinking people who worked tirelessly to reclaim and remake the property allowing residents of Pierce County and beyond to enjoy this site for generations to come.”

All funds raised from the Gala will be used by the Chambers Creek Foundation to help build additional trails in Chambers Creek Canyon, support recreation projects and other public access features on the Properties.

For tickets register at: https://chamberscelebration.eventbrite.com. For donation and volunteer information see: http//www.chambersckfoundation.org.