Our reputation precedes us.
Meet the world-class team behind the scenery.
Pelican Hill Golf Club isn't recognized as one of the top clubs in the world on reputation alone. We've assembled a world-class team to match the courses stride for stride, and they take personal pride in the intricate details that make your guest experience second to none.
Architect of Both Courses
It could be argued that no one has left a bigger mark on modern golf than Tom Fazio. In his 35 years as a golf course designer, Tom Fazio and his staff of talented designers have been recognized for creating award-winning courses throughout the United States. No living golf course designer has more credits on Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses and Golfweek's Collection of America's Best. The Golf Digest's poll for Best Modern Day Golf Course Architect was discontinued after Tom claimed the award three consecutive times. He has also received The Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Fazio attributes this success to maintaining a team concept in design shared by the ten senior associates on his staff, all of whom have worked with Tom for anywhere from 15 to 32 years. This visionary group, with a diverse base of knowledge and united love for the game of golf, enable Fazio Golf Course Designers to continue to create courses that are noted throughout the industry for their excellence.
Fazio emphasizes the premise that "golf courses should reflect the natural beauty of their environments." Maintaining that principle, Fazio Golf Course Designers strives to follow design priorities that include creating harmonious transitions from existing topographical conditions, developing courses that offer golfers of varying skill a challenging yet enjoyable experience, and providing each client with optimum use of the property.
In addition to designing famous golf courses, Tom Fazio and his wife Sue have six children and reside in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They are active in the community and support many local charities, art and theatre associations as well as educational institutions. Tom and Sue founded the Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville in 1993 and the Boys and Girls Club of East Flat Rock in 1998. Tom also supports various children's causes throughout the nation with the Tom Fazio Children's Charity Fund, which benefits from fundraising endeavors such as Tom's book Golf Course Designs.
Vice President of Golf, Pelican Hill and Oak Creek Golf Clubs
Hailing from Kohler, Wisconsin, Dirk Willis quickly acclimated to the notion of picture-perfect conditions and the possibility for year-round golf in Southern California. And with stunning ocean views from nearly every one of Pelican Hill’s 36 holes, it’s easy to see why settling in to life in Orange County has been a breeze for him and his wife Karla.
With more than 25 years of experience and passion, Willis most recently served as the director of golf operations for Kohler Golf & Resort Destinations where he oversaw the city’s 72 world-class holes, including the 36 holes at Whistling Straits, host to the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships. Willis’ professional honors include PGA National Merchandiser of the Year, WPGA Merchandiser of the Year, WPGA Junior Leader of the Year and GolfWorld Business Top 100 Golf Shops.
But he’s not your average PGA professional. Born in Germany into a military family, Willis grew up in Platteville, Wisconsin, and earned an MBA from Marquette University and a degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He worked as a Best Western desk clerk before becoming a golf pro in 1994 and joining the staff at Blackwolf Run.
While he’ll always have his Wisconsin roots, this diehard Green Bay Packers fan is looking forward to cheering his team on while not having to plow out of five-foot snow drifts.
Director of Instruction
- PGA Member - Teaching Professional
- Golf Tips Magazine - Senior Instruction Editor
- Southern California PGA "Teacher of the Year"
- Metro Chapter PGA "Teacher of the Year"
- Golf Digest "Ranked One of Best Teachers in State"
- Golf Magazine "Top 100 Teachers in America"
- CA PGA Section Teacher of the Year
Director of Instruction for Pelican Hill Golf Club® and Oak Creek Golf Club®, Glenn Deck has been in the business for over 20 years. Glenn understands that every golfer is different in physical characteristics and capabilities and that there is not "one perfect golf swing" that fits everyone. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the game of golf and his goal is to develop his students' own individual swing based on their body structure, flexibility, strength, personality and natural motion. He focuses on all aspects of the game in order to teach one how to lower their scores on the golf course.
Glenn offers one-on-one golf lessons weekly. If you have questions or would like to book a lesson, please call him at Pelican Hill Golf Club at 949.467.5810 or email email@example.com
Gary Newman picked up his first golf club in the 1960's and has been an avid contributor to the game ever since. Beginning as a caddie at the early age of eleven, Newman's golf career was well under way before he received his Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University.
In 1989, after many years of dedicating his summers to his golf career and gaining extensive experience at golf clubs across the country, Newman started as Golf Shop Assistant at Wood Ranch Golf Club, where he was ultimately promoted to First Assistant and Buyer. It was during this time that he became a member of the esteemed Professional Golfers Association. As Newman's exceptional understanding of golf operations helped his career flourish, he went on to take the Assistant Golf Professional position at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in 1995 and worked his way up to Event and Tournament Coordinator the following year.
In July of 1998, Newman joined the top-notch team at Pelican Hill Golf Club® as Assistant Golf Professional and has since become the Operations Manager, a position he has held since January 2007. Supervising the daily golf operation and the associated personnel, Newman has played a crucial role in the unparalleled level of service and excellence maintained by the Pelican Hill Golf Club.
Director of Golf Course Maintenance
Steve Thomas has been working on golf courses since 1990, starting out at the Baltimore Country Club and the Wakefield Valley Golf Club, both in Maryland. In 1994, he began the Turfgrass Management program at the University of Maryland. While working at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, he worked under renowned Superintendent Paul Latshaw and played an integral role in both the 1995 U.S. Senior Open and the 1997 U.S. Open Championships. In 1998, he moved to California and worked with Latshaw at the Riviera Country Club, helping him prepare for the 1998 U.S. Senior Open.
In April of 2000, Thomas was hired as Superintendent at Oak Creek Golf Club® in Irvine, CA. With his staff of 35 men, Thomas elevated the conditions of Oak Creek to be one of the best-conditioned courses in Southern California.
In October of 2001, Thomas signed on as the Director of Golf Course Maintenance of Pelican HillGolf Club. Thomas and the 75-man maintenance team combat issues of poor soil conditions,reclaimed water and turfgrass transition. He has created an intense cultivation, irrigation and fertilization program - providing the foundation for the spectacular renovation of the renowned Tom Fazio-designed courses.