Puget Sound Golf Association changes management after 30 years

Updated: February 28, 2023

For 30 years starting in 1977, Gene and Diane Slagel offered golf tours to Hawaii as a way for friends to get out of the rainy Pacific Northwest winters. As time went on, they added excursions to Arizona and California; eventually, more regional offerings sprang up that had them planning outings year round.

Finally, in 2007, the Puget Sounds Golf Association (PSGA) was formed with the intention of giving golfers the opportunity to play private clubs and courses with a group of like-minded people at a group rate. A simple idea fostered what continues to be a robust group of players to this day.
What started as a handful of events at several prestigious clubs in the Seattle area, quickly grew to more than a dozen local events and trips to places like Central Washington. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, players were happy to take advantage of access to courses that they could not play regularly.

“This was always a lot of fun for us,” said Gene Slagle. “Being with golfers is a blast and when you go to a course and ask to bring a group out, you get a good rate because big groups have clout.”

After growing the club to more than 2,000 players, the Slagle’s decided it was time to retire, but neither Gene or his wife Diane wanted to see their group wither away. They were introduced to Kris Fay, a regional golf writer and PGA Associate, in early 2022. Fay offered to keep the PSGA alive, promising to continue the level of integrity and service the organization had built.

“I love what Gene and Diane have done with the PSGA group over the years and I’m honored that they’re entrusting the group to my care. I look forward to helping players in the Puget Sound area continue to access the great private clubs they love to play, and expand to a few new ones.”

The group is currently gearing up for the start of its 2023 season with an event at Chambers Bay on March 11-12, followed by a dozen more events that run through the month of October.

“I think we can all agree that playing the golf course that’s off limits to you because of memberships is always appealing,” said Fay. “The PSGA gives folks the opportunity to see the private clubs they’ve always been curious about, but without having to spend thousands to be a member.”

In addition to the events around Puget Sound, the group will return to Gamble Sands in Central Washington, as well as a couple of private clubs in the Portland area, including Vancouver, Washington’s prestigious Royal Oaks Country Club.

While the outings previously offered competitive skins games, the last few years have simply been casual play days. Without players grinding over every shot and putt, rounds have been faster and more fun for all involved. Fay said that, at the end of the 2023 season, he’d likely offer one event with an optional cash game.
One nice addition to the PSGA offerings this year is a GHIN handicap service offered through WA Golf. Anyone taking advantage of that service will have access to state golf association events and offerings.

To learn more about the PSGA and to register for events, visit www.golfpugetsound.com. No membership is required to participate.