Guest Speakers

Below is a list of our 2018 speakers, which will be updated as new speakers sign on. Check back for a complete daily schedule on the stage!

John Grothe

John Grothe is currently the head golf professional at Willamette Valley Country Club. John was born and raised in Carmel, Calif., and played his first round of golf, at the age of 18, at Pebble Beach. John continued his golfing career at the University of California – Davis, before entering the PGA program in 1998 at Pumpkin Ridge. His career quickly brought him back to Pebble Beach, where he was an assistant professional at the fabled golf links for five years. John returned to Oregon for good when Bandon Dunes was searching for a head professional in 2002, eventually becoming the resort’s director of golf. Most recently, John was at the OGA Golf Course as the head professional, a position he held for five years. At the OGA Golf Course, John led many player development programs and was awarded the 2015 Player Development Award from the PNW PGA. He was also awarded the 2008 Oregon PGA Professional of the Year and has also received awards for his junior golf program and golf shop merchandising. Grothe is a director for the Oregon PGA Board and serves on the OPGA Mentoring Committee, as well as the Player Development Committee. John also serves on the Executive Committee for the Children’s Cancer Association and passionately supports the Evans Scholar Foundation, which provides college scholarships to caddies.

Tara Tokonitz

Tara Tokonitz, Topgolf Hillsboro’s Director of Instruction, has been a PGA Class A professional since 2009 after graduating from Methodist University with a bachelor’s in business administration and professional golf management. Her passion for the game has taken her across the country, working at numerous top-100 golf courses. Tara grew up outside Philadelphia and developed a passion for golf at an early age. She started her career as a caddie, soon progressing to position of assistant golf professional and, eventually, head golf professional. Over the years, she has accumulated ample experience in running tournaments, junior golf clinics and individual lessons. While playing collegiate golf at Methodist University, she realized her true passion was to bring new golfers into her favorite game. Her personal experiences as a student, player and manager are reflected in her teaching philosophy. She believes that the best way to improve the game is to have fun while doing it and that a good attitude is as important as a good swing. She endeavors to make every lesson fun, engaging, and relaxed while providing personalized solutions to help improve the individual’s game. As a part of the Topgolf team, Tara is excited to help you improve your game in an enjoyable and fun atmosphere.

Jason Owens

Jason Owens has spent more than 20 years studying and teaching alongside the game’s most prominent teachers. Jason was the Oregon Chapter PGA Teacher of the Year in 2013 and 2014, 2013 Pacific Northwest Section PGA Teacher of the Year, and coached four-consecutive Oregon Class 6A High School State Champions. Jason aims to help each golfer solidify the basic fundamentals of the game, while achieving their own personal goals. Jason is the Pacific Northwest Fitting Specialist for PXG,a part-time instructor at Langdon Farms Golf Course, and is a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor through the Titleist Performance Institute. He is passionate to coach and practice with golfers of all levels of ability.

Jake Bader

Jake Bader has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, starting in the early ’90s as a junior golfer, teaching fellow juniors at Three Rivers Golf Course in Kelso, where his father was a PGA general manager. As the director of instruction at GOLFTEC Cascade Station for the past eight years, Jake has taught over 15,000 lessons and coached 300-plus players to their career-low round, including 10 club champions and 40-plus students that have earned college scholarships. In addition, Jake was a finalist for Oregon PGA Teacher of the Year in 2017. Jake’s focus is in ball control, short game mastery and mental approach. As a second-generation PGA member, Jake has much to offer all skill levels of golfers, from learning as a beginner to winning tournaments.

Brad Hunter

Brad A. Hunter is a PGA member and Certified Personal Coach at GOLFTEC in Tualatin. Brad began playing golf at the age of 14 and soon fell in love with the challenges that golf could offer over any other sport. After completing his high school career, Brad played collegiately at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Wash., receiving all-region awards both years. After school, Brad turned to the San Diego Golf Academy to learn more about the business of golf, before spending eight years as an assistant golf professional at numerous clubs. Brad joined the GOLFTEC team in March of 2013 and has taught over 5,000 lessons with the company. An avid tournament golfer himself, Brad thoroughly enjoys watching clients break their career-low rounds and achieve personal goals.

Brian Baxter, Jimmy Yoo & Glen Coblens — Sport Psychology NW

Most golfers spend countless hours practicing the physical parts of their game. But, how much of golf is mental? And, how much time does the everyday golfer put into their mental training? SPINw consultants Brian Baxter, Jimmy Yoo, and Glen Coblens have over 50 years of combined experience in working with athletes to improve their performance through sport psychology techniques such as goal-setting, visualization, positive self-talk and more. We believe that consistent mental-game training is essential to playing your best game, and have proven strategies to help get you there.

NOTE: Times and speakers subject to change. Check back frequently for an updated schedule!
12:00Dan Hixson, Architect, Silvies Valley Ranch
1:15John Grothe, Head Professional, Willamette Valley Country Club
2:30Brad Hunter, GolfTEC
10:00Jake Bader, GolfTEC
11:15Sport Psychology Institute Northwest
12:30First Tee of Greater Portland / Oregon Junior Golf
1:45Tara Tokonitz, Topgolf Hillsboro
3:00Jason Owens, PXG
10:00John Grothe, Head Professional, Willamette Valley Country Club
11:15Jake Bader, GolfTEC

Our 2018 Presenting Sponsors