Blog 293, 1/13/14 - Wong Preparing for New Role in Portland

TylerWongTyler Wong (right) worked his last day at Sudden Valley on November 16th. The PGA Assistant Professional served at the club for six years, the last three of them under current Director of Golf, Brian Kruhlak. He now lives in Portland, Ore., where his wife recently began a new job at Ivie Inc.

What are your plans now?
I start as an assistant professional at Columbia Edgewater GC on February 1st.
Why Columbia Edgewater?
Honestly Columbia Edgewater is about as good as it gets for me. It has the reputation of being a 'players course' (designed by A.V. Macan and opened in 1925) with a huge number of single-digit handicappers. I wanted to move to a private facility to kind of round out my resume and experiences. As a side benefit, Bryan Tunstill, the head pro, is the vice president of the PNW Section of the PGA, is very well connected, and has high marks as a professional.
How have you been preparing for your new role?

I haven't really been doing anything out of the ordinary to prepare for the new position. I've had the privilege of working under three great golf professionals and I've been able to pick and choose the best qualities from each of them and apply it to myself. I've also become good friends with Eric Ferrier, Ron Haas, Brett Eaton, and Mike Montgomery and have learned from those guys too.
How are you liking Portland so far?
Portland is starting to grow on me now. The golf is awesome! My wife and I have had fun exploring the town, going to new restaurants and events.

What will you miss most about Sudden Valley?

Definitely the people - the staff and members many of whom I now consider good friends. I'll also miss all the other pros in the area. Sudden Valley was a great place for me to grow professionally, because Brian (Kruhlak) gave me responsibilities that were more in line with those of a head professional.
What about your own game now?

My playing schedule probably won't change at all. The one thing I'm hoping to add to my schedule is the Oregon Open. I never played it because the venue was always such a long way from Bellingham.


Brian Kruhlak - Director of Golf at Sudden Valley
How difficult was it to let Tyler go?
It was very tough for me to have him leave. He and I worked very well together and developed a very strong friendship. He became close with all of my family. He was a golf mentor and instructor to my 16-year-old son, and he stayed with us in our home for the last month or so that he worked here.
What will you miss about him?
Like I say, he was a great friend. But one of the coolest things about Tyler was his ability to have fun with whomever he played. He is a very good golfer, but he would play with anyone regardless of their ability. And he'd belly-laugh his way around the course. Not many players of his caliber possess this very admirable trait. The members loved him.
How will you replace Tyler?
Making the transition easier is the fact that I’ve hired Mike Fields. Mike is a Bellingham boy and a fine player in his own right. He worked at Sudden Valley as a seasonal assistant in 2008 and ’09, and has been at the prestigious Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale for the past four years. He also made quite an impression here during his tenure as evidenced by the fact that when I informed the membership at Tyler’s going away party that Mike was joining us a very vigorous cheer came up from the crowd.

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