PNW Golfer Writers
Since 1994, Pacific Northwest Golfer has been the Northwest’s premier golf magazine – it is the longest running golf publication in the region.
We thought we’d shed some light on a few of the award-winning writers and contributors who have made this possible. These are some of the finest golf and sports writers in the Northwest; and yes, they write about golf, but they also play it, breathe it, shout to the sky about it, and are otherwise knee-deep in it.
We, and they, wouldn’t have it any other way.
After undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Iowa, during which he also attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jim Achenbach worked 40 years for Golfweek magazine, with many years spent as that publication’s associate editor for equipment & technology. A winner of six first-place awards in the annual Golf Writers Association of America writing competition, Achenbach recently retired from fulltime duties at Golfweek, still contributing to its equipment editorial. He lives in Happy Valley, Oregon, where he competes in PNGA championships and volunteers for the OGA Junior Program.
Ron Bellamy was the featured sports columnist at the Eugene Register-Guard for 20 years, from 1987-2007, and the newspaper’s sports editor from 2002 until his retirement in 2011. After spending 40 years in daily journalism, he continues to write the Guard’s golf section six months out of the year. His writings can be found at www.ronbwriter.com.
A freelance writer, Bob Bostwick is a native Oklahoman and University of Oklahoma alumnus. He is formerly a sportswriter and member of the Golf Writers Association of America, a television news anchor, political reporter and editor, and a publicist. He has won numerous local, regional and national awards as a journalist and film maker. Bob and his wife Penny live in Spokane.
Steve Brandon was the sports editor for the Portland Tribune from 2001-20, and sportswriter for The Oregonian from 1982-2001. In 2002, he was named the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year. He helped create the annual Oregon Sports Awards, and serves on the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame selection committee.
A former British PGA apprentice professional and member of the University of Liverpool golf team, Tony Dear is an award-winning golf writer now living in Bellingham, Wash. He contributes to numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic, and has authored four books on golf, most recently The Golfer’s Handbook. His own website can be found at bellinghamgolfer.com.
Kent Gilchrist has been a Vancouver Province sports columnist specializing in golf since 1988. Before that he was a B.C. Lions beat reporter for 11 years, then sports editor for six years during the 1980s. He has covered Olympic Games, Stanley Cup finals, the Kentucky Derby, The Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and many Grey Cups. Gilchrist was inducted into the CFL’s Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame in 2005. Recently retired, he is working on his game, which he claims needs it.
The former golf writer for The Bend Bulletin in Bend, Ore., Zack Hall is now an award-winning freelance writer with 14 years of newspaper experience, writing on subjects ranging from real estate to college football. He pioneered the real estate and construction beat in 2005 at the Reno Gazette-Journal, covering the meteoric rise of that region’s real estate market and its subsequent collapse. He authored one of the Gazette-Journal’s first blogs, and then went on to develop the Central Oregon golf beat after becoming The Bulletin’s first full-time golf writer. Hall also led a team of reporters and multiple photographers from 2007 through 2010 during the Jeld-Wen Tradition, a major championship on the Champions Tour.
A Washington State University graduate, Todd Milles worked for The (Tacoma) News Tribune for 23-plus years, serving as the lead golf writer during the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. He has covered nearly 20 major championships all over the country. He is currently retooling his golf swing.
A graduate of the University of Oregon, Steve Mims has spent the past 21 years as a sportswriter at The Eugene Register-Guard. He has primarily covered University of Oregon athletics in recent years, but also major golf events in the area including the NCAA Championships and U.S. Senior Amateur. Steve was a finalist for Oregon Sportswriter of the Year in 2017 and was honored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association for Best Sports Story in 2012.
Blaine Newnham started as a sportswriter for the Oakland Tribune, covering the Raiders from 1965-71. He was then the Sports Editor for the Eugene Register-Guard until 1982, before moving to Seattle to become the Times’ Associate Editor and sports columnist from 1983-2005. He covered the 1966 U.S. Open, following Ben Hogan around the Olympic Club. He covered his first Masters in 1987, when Larry Mize won it in a playoff with an unlikely chip shot. He covered the four majors of the “Tiger Slam,” when Woods won his four consecutive championships. Newnham authored the book “America’s St. Andrews,” about Chambers Bay and the 2015 U.S. Open.
Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield is an artist and author with a doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems, all of which have nothing to do with her performance on the golf course. She recently took up the game and actively seeks pastoral courses in out-of-the way places. The Dalles Country Club, at which she is a member, is only a few miles from her home and studio built on the Columbia River in The Dalles, Ore. View her work at www.yvonnepepinwakefield.com.
Bart Potter has taught journalism at a public college and private university, and won awards for sports writing and news reporting as a daily journalist. He manages the golf and travel website, www.greygoateegolf.com.
A graduate of the University of Oregon, Paul Ramsdell has been a sportswriter for the Tacoma News Tribune, the Seattle Times, and the Eugene Register-Guard, an Online Editor for ESPN.com, and is a past Editorial Director for Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine. Paul has also been the editor for many regional tournament programs, including the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links and the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior. He is a past president of Fircrest Golf Club (near Tacoma), and spent six years as President of the Northwest Golf Media Association. Paul is currently the Executive Director of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.
Bob Robinson started covering golf for the Oregonian in the mid-1960s. He has covered 24 major championships, two Ryder Cups, and more than 30 LPGA Tour events. With Robinson leading the way, the Oregonian had the most complete and detailed year-round golf coverage of any media outlet in the Northwest. His knowledge of the game made him one of the most well-known sportswriters in the region, if not the country. During his career, Bob has been named the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year, and has been awarded the Dale Johnson Media Award by the Oregon Golf Association and the Distinguished Service Award by the Northwest Golf Media Association.
Allen Schauffler is a freelance writer, broadcast journalist and film producer. He spent 30 years in television news as an on-air news anchor, mostly with KING5, the Seattle NBC affiliate. A charter member of the Northwest Golf Media Association, Allen currently lives in Central Oregon and proudly carries a 19.3, which hasn’t dropped in decades.
Craig Smith was born in Seattle and attended the University of Washington. His career began as editor of the UW Daily. After graduating, he worked for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska before moving on to the Associated Press, Seattle P-I, Charleston Gazette in West Virginia and Northshore Citizen in Bothell, Wash. Before retiring from the Seattle Times in late 2008, he penned a popular high school sports column under the byline “Sideline Smitty”, as well as being the newspaper’s golf reporter. A former caddie at Inglewood GC in Kenmore, Wash., Craig remembers shooting 142 the first time he played. He now shoots in the mid-80s (that’s what he says).
An award-winning columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Art Thiel is co-founder and columnist at Sportspress Northwest (sportspressnw.com), a regional news website. In 2003 he wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, Out of Left Field, which became a regional bestseller. A Northwest lifer, Art is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University as well as two dead papers and a live one (The Tacoma News Tribune), and his radio commentaries can be heard Friday and Saturday mornings and Friday afternoon on KPLU-FM 88.9.
Tim Trower is a native of Corvallis, Ore. and attended Oregon State University. He worked for 10 years at the Albany Democrat-Herald, and has been with the Medford Mail Tribune for 28 years, 20 as the sports editor. Tim has been a member of the Northwest Golf Media Association for a number of years, and received the OGA Dale Johnson Media Award in 2013. He has written a regular in-season golf column for 15 years.
Bill Yeend spent 44 years as a news anchor on Seattle’s KIRO and KOMO Radio and for years has served as the emcee at the bi-annual PNGA Hall of Fame banquet. During his career he won five Edward R. Murrow awards for journalistic excellence. In 2006 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Northwest Golf Media Association, and is a single-digit handicapper.
During a 30-year career with the Vancouver Sun newspaper which began in 1985 and included the role of sports editor for five years before returning to his true passion of sports reporting, Brad Ziemer established himself as one of the premier golf writers not only in British Columbia but in all of Canada. He has covered virtually every significant golf event in British Columbia, both amateur and professional, over the last few decades, including seven PGA TOUR events in Surrey. In 2013, Golf Canada presented him with its Distinguished Service Award, making him only the second B.C. golf writer to receive the award, following in the footsteps of his esteemed colleague (and 2012 NWGMA Distinguished Service Award recipient), Arv Olson. Recently retired from the Sun, Brad now writes full time for British Columbia Golf.