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That Championship Experience – Scotty Crouthamel leaves the PNGA, taking his skills to the professional ranks

by Christian Lovallo

After 20 years – and season upon season of long days and two-tee starts and playoffs and weather delays, of an entire generation of golfers hitting away off his first tees, of tens of thousands of miles driven to golf courses all over the Pacific Northwest, of innumerable rulings and scorecards and course markings – Scotty Crouthamel is moving on.

Troy Andrew, Scotty Crouthamel and Tom Brandes
At a gathering held November 18, 2021 at The Home Course, Scotty Crouthamel’s two decades of service to the PNGA and WA Golf were celebrated. Left to right are PNGA CEO/Executive Director Troy Andrew, Scotty, and PNGA Hall of Famer and WA Golf Championship Committee Chairman Tom Brandes.

For nearly two decades, Scotty has been on staff with the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and Washington Golf, all of it spent in the associations’ championship departments.

He has been the man behind the scenes as the senior director of rules and competition, molding and refining the PNGA and Washington Golf championships until they became the standard of excellence for competitive golf in the region.

In late 2021, Scotty moved to greener fairways, taking on the role of tournament referee with the Korn Ferry Tour, the feeder circuit for the PGA TOUR.

The game means the world to Scotty. When asked why he gravitated toward championship administration, he said, “I knew early on I wanted to always be on the ground in one form or another.”

Growing up in Elma, Wash. Scotty got his start in the game working at the local public layout, Oaksridge Golf Course, and through that he earned an Evans Scholarship to the University of Washington.

While attending the UW, he served as an Evans Scholar intern in 2002 with the WA Golf office, which at the time administered the Evans Cup of Washington fundraiser. And then during his senior year in 2003, he served another internship with the association, this time as a prestigious USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr. Intern.

Alfred Raja, Scotty Crouthamel and Jordan Lee
Scotty was at his best on the course, consulting with competitors and meting out rulings when needed, as he did here during the championship match at the 2021 PNGA Men’s Amateur held at The Idaho Club in Sandpoint. Left to right are Alfred Raja (champion), Scotty, and Jordan Lee (runner-up).

Immediately following that internship, Scotty was brought on full-time by the associations in early 2004 as the assistant manager of rules and competition, hired by former PNGA and WA Golf executive director John Bodenhamer, for a position that was created specifically for Scotty.

He quickly rose in the championship department, and assumed the senior director role in early 2008.

“I knew I loved being on the course, playing or working, officiating players, the rules, traveling and meeting new people,” Scotty said. “The golf course is my office. I am lucky for that.”

Scotty is one of those people who not only loves what he does, but improves how things are run, and it shows. Administering more than 30 association championships each year along with more than a dozen USGA national championship qualifiers annually, working with competitors of varying skill levels on various stages gave him the expertise to make PNGA and WA Golf championships and events better.

And his reputation has grown on the national golf scene – this past year he was asked by the USGA to be the lead rules official at the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, held last May at Chambers Bay and The Home Course, responsible for course set-up, overseeing rules officials and decisions, and scoring.

“Our championships are what they are because of his resume working major events; he left no stone unturned,” said PNGA Hall of Famer and WA Golf Championship Committee Chairman Tom Brandes. “He got the same rush putting on these events as I did playing in them.”

Mark Wilhite, Scotty Crouthamel, Mark Strickland, Adam Gracik, Blake Martella and Nick Robinson
After the final PNGA championship that Crouthamel administered – the 2021 PNGA Men’s Mid-Amateur held at Silvies Valley Ranch in Seneca, Ore. on Sept 14-16 – left to right are Operations Assistant Mark Wilhite, Scotty, Champion Mark Strickland, Assistant Director of Rules and Competition Adam Gracik, Manager of Rules and Competition Blake Martella, and USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr. Intern Nick Robinson.

Brandes remembers meeting Scotty the first time in 2005, thinking he resembled a secret service agent with his earpiece in and an all-business look on his face. It’s become a long friendship between the two. “He’s just a good guy to hang with,” Brandes said.

Ben Stodghill, another long-time friend of Scotty’s who has been the PNGA Championship Committee Chairman since 2006, has also gotten to know him very well over the years.

“His work ethic, attitude, and attention to detail is what made the PNGA championships what they are today,” Stodghill says. “The association was fortunate to have Scotty for the last 20 years.”

After being asked to recall his favorite part about his long tenure on staff at the associations, Scotty replied quickly and simply.

“It’s the people,” he said. “All the people I’ve met along the way who made the job so great.”

Scotty also valued the players competing in his championships and wanted to give them the best playing experience possible.

“He understood how to give members a PGA TOUR feeling,” said Troy Andrew, CEO and executive director of WA Golf and the PNGA. “All the details they get, pin locations, scoring. It’s what separates our championships from other associations, he left these events better than he found them.”

Scotty’s legacy will continue to live on in the Northwest, as he built a template of how to conduct quality championships. He is now excited to leave his mark on the Korn Ferry Tour as well, as he takes his dream, and his skills, to the professional level.

Christian Lovallo is a USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr. Intern at the Washington Golf office.