Northwest Golf Community Loses One of Its Giants With the Passing of Bill Mays

William H. “Bill” Mays, a longstanding and extraordinary volunteer of the PNGA, WSGA, PCGA, USGA, and The Home Course passed away on Tuesday, August 21st. He was 79.


Since 1979 – for more than three decades – Bill Mays made countless and selfless contributions that have resulted in the Associations achieving a level of excellence and respect within the golf community that would otherwise not have been possible.


“There is no one person who has contributed more to the betterment of golf in the Pacific Northwest than Bill Mays,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director of Rules, Competitions & Amateur Status, who worked closely with Bill Mays for his 21 years as Executive Director and CEO of the PNGA, WSGA, PCGA, and The Home Course. “His selfless contributions to the PNGA, WSGA, The Home Course, USGA, and Pacific Coast Golf Association leave a lasting legacy that will endure for generations. Bill was a great, great friend to the game and we will miss him greatly.”


Bill served as a volunteer club representative to the PNGA and WSGA for over 30 years, first as a member of Yakima (Wash.) Country Club, and later as a member of Canterwood Golf and Country Club in Gig Harbor, Wash. During this time he served in practically every volunteer capacity each Association affords. Whether it was volunteering his legal expertise to rewrite the Association by-laws or serving as a volunteer chairman for PNGA and WSGA championships at his own club, Bill gave very generously of his time.


Bill served on the PNGA Board of Directors from 1982-1995. He chaired or served on almost every committee, was Treasurer, and served as PNGA President from 1989-1990. When he stepped down from the PNGA Board in 1995, he remained very active in a non-voting capacity on the Board as Legal Counsel, until fully retiring from legal practice in 2007.


In 1992, when the PNGA and WSGA cooperatively reorganized the structure and services for each Association, Bill played a leading role in the restructuring. He voluntarily took on the monumental task of re-writing the by-laws of each Association, which charted the path of success for both organizations.


He served on the WSGA Board of Directors since 1992 and was the WSGA President from 2001-2003. Since 1992 he also served as Legal Counsel on the WSGA Board of Directors until 2007. Amongst many things, he was instrumental in creating the George Holland “WSGA Volunteer of the Year” Award in honor of one of our dedicated volunteers and past presidents.


In 1999 Bill was awarded the PNGA Distinguished Service Award, the Association’s highest honor in recognition of selfless volunteers who have donated their time and effort simply for the betterment of the game.


Additionally, Bill served as a volunteer Trustee for the Pacific Coast Golf Association for over 20 years, representing the PNGA and WSGA. Again, under his tenure, he crafted numerous amendments for and re-written by-laws, and served as PCGA President twice (1995 and 1999), one of only three Trustees ever to do so in the 46-year history of the Association. In 2006, his fellow PCGA Trustees afforded him Trustee Emeritus Status, as a tribute to his longstanding volunteer service.


Bill’s longstanding dream for over 20 years was for the PNGA and WSGA to one day cooperatively acquire, own, and operate a golf course that would serve as the home for Northwest Golf House, the future permanent offices for the PNGA, WSGA and Allied Associations. In 2007, Bill’s dream became a reality for the PNGA and WSGA. His remarkable leadership led to the purchasing of a golf course in DuPont, Wash., now named The Home Course. From the beginning, Bill played an integral part in negotiations, spending hundreds of hours negotiating this successful conclusion.


Bill became the foundation of The Home Course and was elected President of the Board of Directors of PNGA/WSGA Properties, Inc. (The Home Course), which is a separate, for-profit Subsidiary Corporation established and owned by the WSGA to operate the golf course. His leadership led The Home Course to be chosen by the USGA as the Assisting Course for Chambers Bay Golf Course in hosting the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship. Then, in May of 2012, The Home Course was selected by the USGA to host the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. An extremely proud moment and dream for Bill that happened in less than five years after the course’s opening.


These volunteer contributions pertaining to Bill are lengthy and impressive, and only cover a small portion for all that he has done for golf in the Pacific Northwest.   Most of Bill’s contributions were done behind the scenes in a manner that earned him no fanfare, which is the way he wanted it to be. Everyone who knew Bill can confirm his reputation for honesty and integrity. He has impacted many lives and his legacy will live on forever.


A Snapshot of Bill’s Contributions
1979-2012 – PNGA and WSGA Club Representative
1982-1995 – PNGA Executive Committee
1987-1988 – PNGA Treasurer
1989-2012 – Evans Caddie Scholarship Supporter and Par Club Member
1989-1990 – President of the PNGA
1992-2012 – USGA Regional Associations Committee
1992-2012 – WSGA Board Member
1992-2012 – WSGA Executive Committee
1992-2007 – WSGA Counsel
1995 – President of the Pacific Coast Golf Association
1995-2007 – PNGA Counsel
1999 – PNGA Distinguished Service Award recipient
1999 – President of the Pacific Coast Golf Association (2nd term)
2001-2003 – President of the WSGA
2005-2012 – Appointed Trustee Emeritus, Pacific Coast Golf Association
2007-2012 – President of PNGA/WSGA Properties Inc. (The Home Course)


There will be a Memorial Service in honor of Bill Mays on September 15th at 2:00 p.m. at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington (in the John Bodenhamer Pavilion)


The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in the name of Bill Mays “All that is good for the game” through the PNGA Patrons of Golf Program which helps raise money for the future building structure of Northwest Golf House at The Home Course, the future permanent offices of the PNGA, WSGA and Allied Associations.  Please make checks payable to “PNGA Patrons of Golf” making note it is in remembrance of Bill Mays, and send to (PNGA – 1010 S. 336th Street., Suite #310, Federal Way, WA 98003).

Leave a Comment