John Bodenhamer will leave the Northwest to join senior staff of golf’s governing body
John Bodenhamer, the longtime CEO and Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) and the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA), has accepted a position on the senior staff of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and will be taking over his new duties at the USGA offices in Far Hills, N.J. no later than August 1, 2011. Bodenhamer will join the USGA as the Senior Managing Director of Rules, Competitions & Amateur Status. Among other duties, he will oversee the conduct of the USGA’s national championships, and will report to new USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.
“I am thrilled that John will be joining our staff,” said Davis. “His background in golf administration will be an incredible asset to the USGA.” Bodenhamer will also join Davis in interacting with and participating in meetings with the Equipment Standards department. “He brings a vast amount of experience and knowledge to the USGA,” continued Davis. “I am personally very excited that he will be joining us.”
Bodenhamer, 49, has become synonymous with golf in the Pacific Northwest, and his departure is bittersweet. “The PNGA and golf in the Northwest have been very fortunate to have had such a tremendous leader for the past 21 years,” said PNGA President, Dr. Jack Lamey. “We are extremely sad to see John leave, but we are proud and excited to have someone from the Northwest taking such a high level position with the USGA” And this from WSGA President, Ben Grinspan: “The WSGA has had the very good fortune to have John as our Executive Director for 19 years and are extremely proud of him being offered his new position at the USGA. We are confident he will excel as much in his new position as he has here at the WSGA and we wish him much continued success."
The Board of Directors for both the PNGA and WSGA are working on choosing a successor and expect a rapid and smooth transition at the two Associations.
In a letter to his colleagues and friends in which he announced his decision to leave, Bodenhamer expressed his own feelings of sadness at leaving but also his excitement in his new challenge. “This decision was extremely difficult for me personally, as well as for my family,” he said. “It has been a true labor of love to have worked alongside so many dedicated volunteers, fellow staff, and friends who care deeply about the good of the game of golf and our Associations. I will always consider these the best years of my life, having spent them here in the Pacific Northwest with our Associations….The professional challenges and opportunities this new position affords are significant. For these reasons and more, I have concluded it is a path I am very excited to take.”
Bodenhamer served as the CEO and Executive Director of the PNGA since 1990, the CEO and Executive Director of the WSGA since 1992, and Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Golf Association since 1998. He also served as the CEO for The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., which was the assisting course with Chambers Bay in hosting the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship. Bodenhamer has served on a variety of USGA committees over the years, including the USGA Regional Affairs Associations Committee, USGA Amateur Status Committee, and the USGA Handicap Procedures Committee. He served as president of the International Association of Golf Administrators in 2000-01, and currently sits on the board of directors for the First Tee of Greater Seattle.
A few of the many accomplishments during his tenure are the founding of Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, which has become the standard for excellence in golf association publications and for which he has served as publisher for 17 years; overseeing the successful reorganization of the WSGA in 1992; the publication in 1999 of the monumental Championships & Friendships, the PNGA centennial history book; hosting the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship at The Home Course as the event’s assisting course; and seeing the WSGA grow into the ninth largest golf association under the USGA GHIN umbrella.
Prior to joining the PNGA, Bodenhamer served as a member of the judiciary committee staff for U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, from 1988 to 1990. Bodenhamer, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University, was a member the Cougars’ golf team that won the Division I national team title in 1981. He won both the PNGA Junior Championship and Washington State Junior Championship in 1978; and also the WSGA’s Washington State Amateur in 1981, with the championship’s perpetual trophy being named after him. He is a two-time Alaska State Open champion, in 1987 and 1988, and has played in two U.S. Amateurs, in 1984 and 1985.
He and his wife Pam have two teenage children, John Jr. and Megan.