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Irvine Company Resort Properties in Newport Beach named Dirk Willis its vice president and general manager of golf to replace the departing Stephen Friedlander.
Willis will oversee three golf public courses owned by the Irvine Company and designed by Tom Fazio: two at Pelican Hill Golf Club and one at Oak Creek Golf Club. He’ll also be in charge of golf retail operations at each property.
His duties began Monday; Friedlander will stay on for several months to help with the transition and then plans to live in Arizona, a spokesperson said.
Willis comes from Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, the two courses at five-star resort Destination Kohler in Wisconsin. The Pete Dye-designed layouts have hosted PGA Championships, U.S. Women’s Opens, and a U.S. Senior Open. The Ryder Cup will be held there in 2020.
He holds an MBA from Marquette and certificates in executive management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hospitality management from Cornell University.
“Dirk’s expertise and leadership will guide the world-class golf experiences and retail offerings we provide to locals and resort guests,” said Irvine Company Resort Properties President Ralph Grippo, in a press release.
Friedlander also worked at Kohler prior to joining Pelican Hill in 2007.