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Bob Walters Passes


Former PNGA Executive Director Robert R. "Bob" Walters passed away on May 20. Born on January 06, 1916, Bob was 93.

A University of Washington graduate of 1939 and a Seattle Golf Club member since 1955, Bob was a great friend to the game of golf. He served as Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) from 1981-87. During Bob's tenure the PNGA adopted the USGA Course and Slope Rating System (1982), the USGA GHIN Handicap System (1984), and created several new PNGA championships, including the Senior Men's Team Championship (1983), Senior Women's Team Championship (1983); Men's Public Links Championship (1984), Men's Mid-Amateur Championship (1985), and the Senior Women's Amateur Championship (1986). Due to its overwhelming popularity, the Men's Master-40 Amateur Championship was also separated from the Men's Amateur Championship during Bob's years.

During Bob's time, PNGA member clubs and individual members grew significantly. He was also instrumental in creating the present-day PNGA logo that includes the U.S. and Canadian flags atop the iconic Peace Arch, located on the U.S. and Canadian border, demonstrating the cooperation and goodwill between all states and provinces within PNGA territory.

In the late 1980's, Walters invited a young lawyer by the name of Bill Mays onto the PNGA Executive Committee and put Bill to work in reviewing and restructuring the PNGA by-laws. Today, the PNGA and its Club Representative, Board of Director, and Executive Committee structure is one of the most progressive and democratic amateur golf associations in North America.

Bob also served as the Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Golf Association from 1985-87, while the association was headquartered within the PNGA offices. The PCGA annually conducts the prestigious Pacific Coast Amateur Championship.

For many years, Bob also conducted the popular "Punch Bowl" tournament, a long-time competition between Seattle area private golf clubs.

Bob was a fine player and carried a single-digit handicap for most of his life. He shot his age four times, with the first time being in 1984 in scoring a 4-under-par 68 at Seattle Golf Club. His wife of 56 years, Irene, passed away in 1997. He is survived by son Larry of Portland and a daughter Barbara Jones of Burlingame, Calif.

The family held a small memorial ceremony for close family and friends at Seattle Golf Club on May 28. Remembrances in Bob's name may be made to the Evans Scholars Foundation, and sent to the PNGA/WSGA offices:

1010 South 336th Street
Suite 310
Federal Way, WA 98003