The 2020 Washington Golf (WA Golf) Volunteer and Club of the Year Award recipients were announced earlier this month at the 99th WA Golf Annual Meeting, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The George Holland Award annually recognizes volunteers who have made extraordinary contributions to Washington Golf and the game of golf throughout the WA Golf territory of Washington and Northern Idaho. These dedicated individuals contribute many hours of time and effort, as well as resources, to our Association, simply for the satisfaction of knowing they are benefiting the game of golf. They are truly the “unsung heroes” of WA Golf. It is named the George Holland Award in honor of longtime volunteer, contributor, and two-time past president, George Holland.
Championship Volunteers of the Year
Kaydee Mounce has been volunteering for Washington Golf since 1993 in all facets of the association. If you have ever played in or attended a Washington Golf championship or USGA qualifier, you have most definitely crossed paths with Kaydee at registration or in the scoring area. In addition to volunteering at championships and qualifiers, Kaydee has also been part of countless course ratings and a longtime leader of one Washington’s largest clubs, the Boeing Employees Golf Association. In 2020, Kaydee led all volunteers in total days worked and became a specialist with COVID-19 policies and procedures while working at the registration table at each event.
Phil Kelley has been volunteering and rules officiating for Washington Golf for the last decade. He is a staple at all Washington Golf championships and USGA qualifiers that take place in the Puget Sound region. When Phil is not rules officiating for Washington Golf, you can find him lending a hand at Washington Junior Golf Association events across the state as well any other golf tournament that needs his services. Phil is a supporting member of Tumwater Valley Golf Club, The Home Course and enjoys playing golf as much as officiating.
Course Rater of the Year
Gaylene began volunteering on the WA Golf Course Rating Team in 2013 and quickly became one of the most valued team members. Living in Spokane, she rarely missed a rating done in Eastern Washington or Northern Idaho. Over the years, she has put in countless miles traveling to ratings, and numerous hours learning the Course Rating System. She has also been instrumental in building up the team in Eastern Washington by recruiting volunteers and serving as a mentor to newcomers. Her dedication and commitment to the team was evident in 2020 when despite having to put in very demanding hours at the accounting firm she owns, Gaylene was still able to take part in seven ratings and help educate newer team members at each.
Handicap Chairperson of the Year
Norm served over 20 years on the Golf Committee at Fircrest Golf Club as Handicap Chair, a role he continued to serve even while later becoming a Senior Member at Fircrest. In 2011, Norm received Fircrest Golf Club’s Distinguished Service Award. He then continued to be of service to the club, even as he battled cancer. He showed up every day with a smile, and made sure the club transferred to the new World Handicap System without any hiccups. In 2018, Fircrest transferred Norm’s Senior Membership to Honorary Membership for his continued dedication to the club despite being unable to play the game the past several years. He and his wife Thelma (pictured) were members of Fircrest for 45 years.
Club Representative of the Year
Trina has been a member of the Capitol City Women’s Golf Association for over 20 years, and has been involved in the club’s leadership for eight years now. She serves as the Handicap Chair, as well as the WA Golf Club Representative. Trina is organized, prepared, enthusiastic and efficient in her roles at the club. She helps organize three separate leagues at the club, and is hailed as being thorough, personable, and involved. Her contributions go beyond what she does at Capitol City – she also serves as the Handicap Chair for the Hawks Prairie Women’s Club, and volunteers regularly at WA Golf and Pacific Northwest Golf Association championships and events.
The Washington Golf Club of the Year Award was established in 2019. The award recognizes the membership of a Washington Golf Member Club for outstanding contributions to its community, the game of golf or the Association.
Club of the Year
Jackson Park Men’s Golf Club
Despite the challenges faced by all this season during the pandemic, the Jackson Park Men’s Golf Club excelled. They hosted over 50 events this year, averaging over 70 players each across their three leagues and match-play events. They saw a 30 percent increase in tournament participation, despite no events from March into May, and increased their regular membership by 33 percent, from 244 to 327 members, while also welcoming over 400 WA Golf Associate members.
They upgraded their software platform to handle contactless-scoring at all of their events, as well as online payments and payouts to help create the safest possible competition environment throughout the season.
The club also organized course-care projects and work parties to improve the conditions at Jackson Park Golf Course. They hosted their third annual charity scramble event (co-sponsored by Seattle Northeast Rotary), raising over $11,000 for non-profits like the Harvest Against Hunger and Northwest Harvest’s Food Lifeline. Their efforts provided 330,000 pounds, or eight semi-trucks full of food donations!
Club Representative and Handicap Chair Jeff Schoening credits a history of great leadership that set a tone for friendly competition as the driving forces behind their success in 2020.