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Northwest Golf Media Association Announces Annual Awards
At the 12th annual awards banquet of the Northwest Golf Media Association, John Bodenhamer, longtime head of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, will be honored with the organization's Distinguished Service Award. Three other individuals - Kent Myers, Jerry Fehr and Loren Lippert - have been selected to receive the new "Local Legend" recognition. The event will be held at historic Seattle Golf Club on October 27.
Bodenhamer, former CEO and executive director of the PNGA and the Washington State Golf Association, recently left the Northwest to accept a position on the senior staff of the United States Golf Association.
Bodenhamer, 50, had been head of the PNGA since 1990 and the WSGA since 1992. His accomplishments include founding the PNGA's groundbreaking "Pacific Northwest Golfer" magazine, serving as its publisher for 17 years; he also oversaw the publication in 1999 of the monumental regional golf history book, "Championships & Friendships: the first 100 years of the PNGA." During his tenure he helped guide the growth of the WSGA into the ninth largest golf association under the USGA GHIN (handicap-index services) umbrella.
Bodenhamer was a founding member of the NWGMA, providing administrative assistance to the fledgling media group, and serving a crucial role in assisting with its formation as a nonprofit organization.
"In a year with other good candidates, John was the overwhelming choice for the award in a vote of our members," said NWGMA president, Tom Cade. "His name has become synonymous with golf in the Pacific Northwest, and his contributions to the region's golf community will be remembered for many years to come. He was that special."
Bodenhamer grew up in Lakewood, Wash., graduated from Lakes High School, and played golf on an NCAA championship team at Brigham Young University where he graduated with a degree in political science. He won the WJGA Championship and PNGA Junior Boys Championship in 1978, and the Washington State Amateur in 1981. He played in the U.S. Amateur in 1984 and 1985. He is a two-time winner of the Alaska State Open.
At the USGA, Bodenhamer's title is Senior Managing Director of Rules, Competitions and Amateur Status.
Also to be honored at the banquet at the Seattle Golf Club will be Jerry Fehr, Kent Myers and Loren Lippert as "Local Legends."
Fehr, a Seattle resident, has been executive director of the Washington Junior Golf Association for more than 18 years. He was the 1961 Washington Open champion, winning the title in a playoff with future PGA Tour player Kermit Zarley. Fehr, 78, has won 20 club championships at Sand Point Country Club and has shot his age every year since he was 65. He is the father of former PGA Tour player Rick Fehr.
Myers and Lippert were classmates in the Class of 1950 at Salem (now North Salem) High School in Oregon.
Myers, who lives in Lake Oswego, Ore., is one of the region's most decorated amateur players. He won the Oregon Amateur four times, the PNGA Master-40 Amateur once, the PNGA Senior Amateur once and played on 19 Hudson Cup teams and was captain 18 times. No one in the 70-year history of the Hudson Cup has played in the event more times than Myers. He was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.
Myers also is known for the behind-the-back putting style he occasionally would use in competition. He would hold the club behind his back and the head of the putter would extend between his legs and he would hit the ball positioned in front of his toes.
In the book "Championships & Friendships," Myers recalled how he would look back at the practice green as he left a course after his round in the tournament and see that young golfers were all experimenting with his style. He created a stir with fans, too.
"At nearly every tournament, people would take pictures of me," he recalled to the book's co-author, Jeff Shelley.
Loren Lippert is a retired Salem postman who has played 312 courses in Washington, 228 in Oregon, 94 in Idaho, 24 in Montana and 249 in British Columbia. His worldwide total, including the Northwest courses, is 1,296.
"I'm an oddity, a golf nut," Lipper said. "To me, no two holes are alike, no two courses are alike."
Lippert has been a valuable resource for Northwest golf writers. He also served the sport as a member of the rating team for the Oregon Golf Association for six years.
The Northwest Golf Media Association consists of over 125 golf media and industry professionals. It is a 501(c)(7) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1995 to help assist the coverage of golf in the region. For more information or to view past recipients of the NWGMA Distinguished Service Award, visit www.nwgma.org.