Accolades for the Club’s Golf Professionals

By:
Corey Robertson, Director of Golf

The golf operation at Cordillera Ranch won a couple of really cool awards this year through the Southern Texas PGA — Katie Dillard, Player Development Coordinator, won the STPGA Player Development Award and Corey Roberson, Director of Golf, won the Bill Strausbaugh Award.

Katie started at Cordillera Ranch in 2016 as a shop attendant and was quickly promoted to Assistant Golf Professional. After a few years in this role, she found her true passion — teaching. In 2019, her title was changed to Player Development Coordinator and she was given the freedom to transform our player development offerings in addition to teaching full time. While her focus is mostly on developing programs and teaching, she is also a valuable teammate of the golf operation as she helps with the day-to-day operation and is heavily involved with staff development. The STPGA Player Development Award is based on the following criteria:

• Contributions to the STPGA Player Development initiatives

• Leadership at the Section and National levels in the area of player development

• Quantity, quality and diversity of player development programs

• Quality of best practices, including uniqueness of ideas, increase in rounds, retention and customer satisfaction

• Inspiration of fellow PGA Professionals in the area of player development

Generally speaking, she’s being recognized for helping our members enjoy this difficult game. Katie loves learning and is constantly driven to fine tune her craft. She expanded our junior golf offerings from seasonal camps into semester long sessions where kids are really learning how to play the game. She’s used tools like the Operation 36 development model to grow our ladies and junior programs and is constantly coming up with new ideas to help people enjoy the game. For example, she started a clinic for guys who are new to the game this year and the turnout has been great. Katie also pioneered the concept for Fairway Fest where we used other sports in addition to golf to create a 9-hole competition on the golf course. In addition to her group instruction initiatives, she also teaches individual lessons to players of all abilities, she’s a great fitter and an accomplished player. We are honored to have her on our team and excited that she’s being recognized for pursuing her passion.

As mentioned above, I also won an award — the 2022 STPGA Bill Strausbaugh Award. This award is focused on mentorship and advancement of PGA Professionals. I came to Cordillera Ranch in 2019 after serving eight years at Preston Trail in Dallas, Texas. While at PT, I was mentored by the 2018 PGA National Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient, Cameron Doan. Cameron, with the support of the membership, has built a training ground for golf professionals. This experience instilled in me the desire to give back and help enhance that culture at Cordillera Ranch. We’ve been very fortunate that our General Manager and Developers share that desire and have invested in our team to get better both professionally and personally. This year, we started working with industry expert, Bruce Crowley, who consulted for us at Preston Trail. Bruce uses several tools like the Birkman Method and Total Motivation Spectrum to accurately identify what makes each individual tick, how they react under stress and how to improve. We focus on creating an environment where it’s safe to fail, but success is highly sought after. Each individual is trying to grow through healthy competition while also achieving a common goal — serve the membership.

This award means a lot to me as my mentor and his mentor, Bill Eschenbrenner, both won the Bill Strausbaugh award at the national level — as you can imagine, that is one of my career goals. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is you have to fully understand what you have and then figure out how to make it better — in order to do that, you must try to get better every day. One of the questions I ask our young professionals on a regular basis is, “What have you done to make us better today?” I do it so much that they usually laugh first before responding, but it makes them think. Cameron helped me learn how to become a better thinker and I’m trying to pass that down to the next generation of golf professionals.

Marc DeWall, General Manager at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, adds, “Corey has done an absolutely remarkable job mentoring our professional staff here at Cordillera Ranch. While Corey has many strengths as a PGA Professional, I believe his mentoring skills are his number one asset as a golf professional for many reasons… I have seen significant growth in our staff professionals and how they have learned to deal with difficult situations. Corey is not afraid to have the tough conversations but at the same time does a very good job of praising his team when things go right. This is the mark of a good leader. Most importantly, I know how much Corey cares about the team members that work for him because of the amount of time he spends with them. He provides support on a personal and professional level which already has made a significant impact on them.”   

Our membership at Cordillera Ranch benefits from this culture as we have a high-functioning team that is driven to enhance their experience. For example, Jacques LeBlanc, who is our current Head Professional and has been here since 2017, has had his hands on every part of our operation. Jacques has grown significantly over the last few years and is ready to lead his own golf operation. Knowing this was coming, we hired Mark Bober as our First Assistant last year and Jacques has been coaching him up to take over his role when the time comes. Jacques will be missed, but the team won’t skip a beat because we are prepared.

Corey Roberson is the Director of Golf at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at croberson@cordilleraranch.com and 830.336.4653.

Katie Dillard is the Player Development Coordinator at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. She can be reached at kdillard@cordilleraranch.com and 830.336.4653.

2023 Golf Club Calendar

MGA Kickoff, January 21

Spring Couples Putting, February 19

El Compadre, March 3-4 

     •• Aerify Greens, March 6-9

CWGA St. Patrick’s Day, March 15 

Matchplay (Men & Women), March 24-26 

Azalea Invitational, April 7 

CWGA – Fiesta, April 12-13

C-Star, April 27-29

CWGA Lone Star, May 10-11

Cordillera Cup, May 20-21

MGA Salute to Summer, June 3

Senior Club Championship, June 24-25  

Junior Club Championship, June 24-25  

Patriot Partnership, July 4

   •• Aerify/Verticut Fairways & Tees, July 17-24

Ladies’ Club Championship, September 13-14 

Men’s Club Championship, September 15-17 

Ranch Round-Up, October 3-5  

     •• Aerify Greens, October 9-11 

CWGA Halloween, October 25

MGA Cup / Fall Stableford, October 28

CWGA Points Race Final, November 1

Fall Couples Putting, November 5    

Fairway Fest, November 11  

CWGA Turkey Shoot, November 15  

MGA Turkey Shoot, November 18

The Gauntlet, December 1

CWGA Holiday Hoopla, December 6 

Our Match Play event will be conducted over a weekend in 2023 for men and women (competing separately). 

Our intent is to rotate this event every two years between over a weekend and schedule on your own over three months.

Fairway Fest was a new kids event in 2022 and will return in 2023. Please note, this event is conducted in the afternoon and only uses a small portion of the golf course. This event has a minimal impact to regular play.

Our Couples Golf events are going to be revamped for 2023. In addition to the two scheduled putting tournaments, we’ll have two 9-hole events and two 18-hole events. Details will be announced after the first of the year.

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