One of the strengths of the Club over the 12 years it has been open has been the stability in leadership from the General Manager to the department heads; however, change inevitably does occur. This summer, with the announcement that Mark Semm (Director of Agronomy) and Monty Becton (General Manager) would be leaving, we were on the hunt for some new leaders. Thanks to the position both Mark and Monty are leaving the Club in, their positions were very desirable in the market, and thus we had many talented and well-qualified candidates apply for both opportunities.
In mid-July, Jeff Eldridge, CGCS, will take over as the new Director of Agronomy for the Clubs of Cordillera Ranch golf course. Jeff brings 25 years of experience as a golf course superintendent, with extensive success managing zoysia and bent grass in challenging climates. Most recently, Jeff has been delivering exceptional bent grass and zoysia conditions as Superintendent and Grounds Manager at Nicklaus Golf Club at Lionsgate as well as Lake Quivira Country Club near Kansas City.
During his tenure at Nicklaus Golf Club, they hosted multiple PGA Champions Tour and Web.com Tour events and players ranked his greens in the top 5% of all tour stops. Nicklaus Design’s Senior Design Associate, Chris Cochran, worked with Jeff during the construction and grown-in of Nicklaus Golf Club and has high praise for him, saying, “Nothing ruins a golf course faster than a golf course superintendent who doesn’t understand or care about its design and playability. For many reasons Jeff is a real pleasure to work with and is a leader in his field because not only is he a great grass grower but has a solid understanding of golf design, playability and sensitivity towards the golf architect’s intent that makes him an exceptional superintendent and one of my all-time favorites to work with.”
When Monty’s position as GM opened up, we fielded applicants from all over the country, but it was a professional right under our nose that rose to the top as the most suited for it. Marc DeWall, the Clubs of Cordillera Ranch Director of Golf Operations since March 2006 (prior to the golf course opening), will take over as the Clubs General Manager in late July after Monty’s departure. Marc’s leadership and management skills have helped Cordillera Ranch deliver an exceptional golf experience throughout the history of the Club. Further, Marc’s understanding of the Cordillera Ranch culture and member experience expectations uniquely prepared him for this promotion.
Highly respected by other Club staff, industry peers and the many members who have gotten to know him, we are confident that Marc’s leadership skills will flourish in this new role as he leads the Club into the coming years of growth and continued innovations while constantly remaining focused on enhancing the member experience. Additionally, with the foundation Monty Becton has built at the Club and the strong leadership team he has developed, Marc has an exceptional — and very supportive — group around him to ensure future success.
In closing, I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Monty and Mark for their dedication and commitment to excellence during their eight years at Cordillera Ranch!