Seattle native’s ascension comes after several years representing the public side of the game
Federal Way, Wash. (Thursday, November 12, 2009) – The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has announced that Ben Grinspan has been elected its new president. The announcement was made October 31 at the WSGA Annual Meeting held at Tacoma Country & Golf Club. Grinspan has been a WSGA board member since 1992, serving as vice president of District 1, which encompasses the north end of the Puget Sound region and is the most populous of the five WSGA districts. He will serve a two-year term as president.
“I am extremely honored by this,” said Grinspan. “Being president is not something you lobby for, it’s something you are asked to do. It’s the ultimate compliment from your peers.”
Grinspan grew up in South Seattle and got his start in golf at age seven, when his father woke him up one Sunday morning and asked him if he wanted to go to Sunday school or go golfing with him. His father took him to the short course at Jefferson Park, the municipal course in Seattle, where he would learn the game during long summer days when his mother would drop him off in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. These beginnings at the public facility have molded much of Grinspan’s attitude toward the game. “I’m a big proponent of inclusivity,” he says. “Let people play.” His goals for his term as president are to grow the game by cultivating youth programs and by giving more attention to the casual golfer.
Grinspan has worked at Boeing for 36 years, with his current position being a technical designer. He joined one of the Boeing employee golf leagues in 1983 and soon got involved as an officer in the Boeing Employees Golf Association (BEGA). He became his league’s Club Representative to the WSGA in 1988, and in 1992 John Bodenhamer, the new Executive Director of the WSGA, asked Grinspan to be a WSGA board member, wanting more representation from the public side of golf.
For the past several years, Grinspan has served on the WSGA’s Handicap Committee. “I’ve always had an interest in handicaps,” he said. “I think it’s the best thing we do.” It was Grinspan who helped the BEGA join the GHIN handicap service, which standardized the handicaps within the many factions of the league.
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) was formed in 1922 to conduct the men’s state amateur golf championship. Since its humble beginnings more than 85 years ago, the WSGA has evolved into one of the largest amateur golf associations in the United States, providing a multitude of benefits and services to approximately 75,000 individual members at nearly 640 member golf clubs throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho. The WSGA is a 501(c)4 non-profit amateur golf association governed by volunteer, amateur golfers who employ a full-time, professional staff of 13 people. WSGA members pay an annual membership fee, through their club, to belong to the Association. The WSGA also serves as a state-wide representative of the USGA.
Photo: New president Ben Grinspan gives his acceptance speech at the WSGA Annual Meeting, October 31, 2009, at Tacoma C&GC. Photo by WSGA.