Hood River Golf Pro earns PGA honors

June 22, 2011

Hood River Golf Course's PGA pro and director of golf, Amy McCormack, recently graduated from PGA of America's Certified Professional Program. The Lyle resident was hired last fall by the course's new management, and her accomplishment makes McCormack just one of four women in the history of the program to complete all six certifications.

"In the world of golf, it's actually a really big deal," said Lainey Brandt, HRGC co-manager. "Amy stands out as a great asset to the course; she really has a lot to offer."

While PGA professionals are recognized as good players and teachers on the golf course, their education and training in other areas of the industry are what makes them a true asset to course management. For Brandt holds a degree in turfgrass management, which has already proved valuable for the forested westside Hood River course. Added to her resume through the PGA program are certifications in general management, golf operations, instruction, retail, executive management and ownership/leasing.

"I basically had no life for a year while I was getting through the program," said McCormack. She joined 67 men and three women - out of 27,000 total PGA professionals in the country - who have earned all six certifications. "I'm excited to be at the Hood River Golf Course, and to use what I've learned to continue to improve the operation."

HRGC changed management last year and is getting started on its first full season with new staff and strategies.

"We've put a lot of money into the course," Brandt said. "And it shows. The greens and the course are in the best shape they've been in for years. We're getting a lot of positive comments about how wonderful things look."

McCormack moved to the Gorge last fall after bouncing around between several courses in Oregon and Washington. She has been a PGA pro since 2003, but her role at HRGC is her first as head pro.

"I was moving from club to club getting as much experience as I could," she said. "I was working in Skamania when I saw the opportunity at Hood River. The course and the atmosphere brings me back to my blue collar roots; I'm a very blue collar professional. The course is full of history and beauty and potential; I'm excited to be a part of it."

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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