Northwest golf loses a big junior golf supporter with the passing of Joan Teats

Updated: July 3, 2012

Joan Teats, a member of the PNGA Hall of Fame and considered the “Mother of Washington Junior Golf,” passed away peacefully in June of breast cancer, surrounded by her close family. She was 87.

Teats co-founded the Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA) in 1977. The Teats residence became the home to the first WJGA office. In addition to founding one of the nation’s most notable junior golf associations (WJGA), Joan also founded the Girls Junior Americas Cup (GJAC) Team Matches in 1978. GJAC is a team competition which brings together the top four girls from each state and country, who exemplify outstanding skill, along with true sportsmanship, courtesy and strength of character. Joan also started the North Pacific Junior Ladies Team Matches (NPJL) in 1987, a friendly rivalry, casual fun event for girls in the North Pacific Rim area, which has now evolved into Canada vs US team matches

She would later become a director in the PNGA, and a member of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Committee. In 1995, she was honored as an inductee into the Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame for distinguished achievement in amateur golf competition and outstanding contributions in amateur golf in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, the distinguished Isaac B Granger award was given to Joan by the USGA for more than 25 years of dedicated service as a volunteer and she was inducted into the Fircrest Golf Club Hall of Fame, and the Tacoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Joan Teats had a very positive impact on many young lives in the Pacific Northwest,” said Troy Andrew, executive director of the PNGA and WSGA.

Said Jerry Fehr, longtime executive director of the WJGA, “Joan had that rare determination and courage required to obtain the help she needed to get WJGA started – both in the form of volunteers to help her do the job and financial support to make it all possible. She saw the need and made it all happen.”