Celebrating our Native American Communities and Associates

Celebrating Golf

At Troon, we take immense pride in honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a celebration of the rich cultural tapestry of Native American communities across the nation. Today, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of several of our Native American associates who have not only thrived within our company but have also become shining examples of opportunity in the golf, tennis, and hospitality industries.

Their dedication, hard work, and passion for what they do have not only propelled them to new heights but have also inspired others to dream big.  They are living proof that talent knows no boundaries and that diversity strengthens our team and our mission.

In addition to celebrating our incredible associates, we also acknowledge and salute the vibrant partnership we have with facilities owned by Native American tribes throughout the country. These collaborations embody the spirit of unity, respect, and collaboration, which are at the heart of Troon’s values.

This Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor and stand in solidarity with the Native American communities, recognizing their invaluable contributions to our company and the industries we serve. Together, we continue to create opportunities, forge meaningful connections, and foster a sense of belonging for all. Thank you for being a part of our Troon family as we celebrate this special day! #IndigenousPeoplesDay #ExperienceTroon

JC Wright at a Troon Event

JC Wright
General Manager: Poston Butte Golf Club

🌟 Meet JC Wright, a man whose golf and career journey has been influenced by his heritage, a mentorship, and a deep love for the game of golf. 🌟

👮‍♂️ Dreams of Justice: When JC was a young boy, he shared the same aspirations as many kids – to become a police officer. Growing up in a family with a rich law enforcement heritage dating back to the early 1900s, including his grandfather Chief Hollow Horn Bear, who served as a Police Chief, the path seemed set. Little did he know, his journey would eventually lead him to a different kind of field.

🏞️ Heritage and Culture: JC’s heritage runs deep – a fourth-generation grandson of Chief Hollow Horn Bear. This connection to his cultural roots is a source of pride and inspiration, shaping his unique perspective on life and career.

A Chance Encounter with Golf: The winds of fate shifted when a family friend purchased a golf course in JC’s hometown. Suddenly, golf became more than just a sport – it became a passion. He embarked on a journey that would forever change his trajectory.

🎓 The Mentorship that Steered the Course: JC’s career path was illuminated by a chance encounter with a guest at the casino where he worked. This gentleman shared his son’s pursuit of a degree in golf course management, igniting JC’s curiosity. His journey took him to the Golf Academy of Arizona, where he met Garrett Wallace, a pivotal figure in his golf career. Their bond continues to this day, as they exchange ideas and support one another.

📈 From Grassroots to Glory: JC’s remarkable journey with Troon Golf began in 2000, opening Whirlwind Golf Club. He then played a significant role in the opening of WeKoPa Golf Club. JC’s career progression was a tapestry of roles, from Outside Services to Golf Professional, to becoming the General Manager at Poston Butte Golf Club where he is today. His dedication and passion for the game have guided his every step.

🌱 Inspiring Diversity: JC’s commitment to inclusivity is unparalleled. He mentored tribal members on pursuing golf careers during the Golf Academy of Arizona’s existence. As a Golf Professional, he organized junior golf schools/clinics, nurturing growth in tribal communities. His role as an N7 Ambassador with NIKE further solidifies his dedication to fostering golf’s growth among inner city youth and tribal communities.

🤝 A Dream Foursome of Legacy: JC’s dream foursome is one that transcends the realm of golf. It’s a sentimental gathering of his three grandfathers, figures who played crucial roles in shaping his life. While none of them may have played golf, their presence in the imaginary foursome speaks volumes about the values JC holds dear.

⛅️ The Lessons Golf Teaches: For JC, golf isn’t just a game – it’s a teacher of life’s valuable lessons. With a smile, he reflects on how his career has brought him to where he stands today, grateful for the journey, the lessons, and the legacy he’s creating.

🌐 JC Wright’s story is a testament to the power of heritage, mentorship, and the love for a game that transcends boundaries. It’s a reminder that our dreams may evolve, but the essence of our journey remains true to who we are. Let his journey inspire you to embrace your roots, seek mentors, and chase your passions with unrelenting determination. 🌐

Dianna Edison

Dianna Edison
Operations Manager
Cliff Drysdale Management Headquarters, New Braunfels, TX

Meet Dianna Edison, a dedicated individual and member of the Cowlitz Tribe in Washington state. Growing up near her Tribe’s tribal lands, nestled along the Columbia River in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, Dianna’s heritage has always been close to her heart. Her grandfather played a crucial role in instilling in her the importance of preserving and celebrating her roots, leading her to actively participate in Tribal meetings and special events throughout her childhood.

While her childhood dreams revolved around becoming a geologist and exploring the very mountains that surrounded her, life had a different path in store for Dianna. Around six years ago, she found herself drawn to the racket sports industry. Supported by her mentor Scott McCulloch, the COO and President of Cliff Drysdale Tennis, Dianna’s relentless work ethic and determination propelled her career to new heights year after year. Starting as a part-time front-desk assistant in 2017, she now proudly holds the position of Operations Manager, overseeing the daily functioning of more than 65 facilities under Cliff Drysdale Tennis/PBI.

Working in a nurturing environment where colleagues feel like family, Dianna finds immense joy in supporting the roles of the Directors and Pros at Cliff Drysdale, ensuring their success both on and off the court. Her journey stands as a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and the unwavering pride in one’s heritage.

As a proud Cowlitz Tribal Member, Dianna’s story aims to inspire her fellow tribal members to embrace new opportunities and consider exploring the world of tennis or pursuing careers in the racket sports industry. With her remarkable journey and strong sense of identity, Dianna serves as an empowering figure, proving that diversity, equity, and inclusion can thrive in all spheres of life, including sports and career choices.

Maricopa, Arizona

The Ak-Chin Indian Community had already created one of the country’s largest farms and built a casino by the time a golf course called Southern Dunes opened in 2001 on land adjacent to its property. But in 2010, the Community annexed that property back onto its land and the highly regarded layout became known as Ak-Chin Southern Dunes.

Now, as the course celebrates its 20th anniversary, raves continue to come in both for the playing conditions and customer service. Ranked No. 12 on Golfweek’s 2020 Top 50 Casino Courses, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes has a singular ability to challenge better golfers while remaining fun for higher handicappers. The Ak-Chin connection is strong as well, with storyboards on the property that tell the Community’s story; framed baskets created by Community elders hanging on the wall in the Arroyo Grille; and hole names on tee signs that appear in both the Ak-Chin and English languages.

“We had to overlay pieces of the Ak-Chin culture to what was already in existence at the course,” said General Manager Brady Wilson. “That was a challenge, but I think we’ve done a really good job with that. Any golfer playing here for the first time knows that when they are done they have played a Tribal-owned facility and have gotten a little taste of the Community’s culture.”

www.AkChinSouthernDunes.com; (480) 367-8949

Valley Center, California

Located just 15 minutes east of Interstate 15 in Northern San Diego Country, Native Oaks Golf Club has been owned by the San Pasqual Economic Development Corporation since 2013.
Formerly known as Woods Valley Golf Club, the 6,707-yard layout offers pleasant views of the surrounding hills and valleys and is centrally located near three destination casino hotels:
the tribe’s own Valley View Casino & Hotel, the Harrah’s Resort Southern California, and the Pala Casino Spa & Resort.

The golf shop and the Shawii Kitchen restaurant have been recently renovated; cart paths and bridges have been repaired; and agronomic standards have been elevated thanks to superintendent David Vastola and his team.

“We’re very excited with the improvements and progress at Native Oaks Golf Club,” said Hellyaachwehay Quisquis, president/CEO of the San Pasqual Economic Development
Corporation. “OB Sports Golf Management was the perfect choice to manage Native Oaks Golf Club for us. They’ve already made some amazing enhancements and I know they will take Native Oaks Golf Club to the next level in golf as well as the experience.”

www.NativeOaksGolfClub.com; (760) 751-3007

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Just 10 miles north of downtown Albuquerque sits Sandia Golf Club at the Sandia Resort and Casino. Both facilities were developed by the Pueblo of Sandia, one of 19 Pueblos in New Mexico, as part of a reservation that covers 22,877 acres on the east side of the Rio Grande Valley. The property includes a 228-room resort, a casino with 110,000-square-feet of gaming,
10 drinking and dining options (check out the clubhouse grill for some homemade green chili bread), and the Green Reed Spa.

The nearby Bien Mur (“Big Mountain” in the Tiwa language) Indian Market is the largest retail arts and crafts store in the Southwest and offers handmade Native American jewelry, rugs, paintings, and pottery, among other items. As a bonus on your visit, you might catch a glimpse of the Sandia buffalo herd roaming a 107-acre preserve just east of the Market’s parking lot.

Golfers are drawn by the 18 holes of Sandia Golf Club, designed by Scott Miller in 2005. The OB Sports-managed facility is ranked No. 22 on Golfweek’s 2020 Best 50 Casino Courses. Long-distance views are plentiful, especially from holes 14 through 17, while the closing hole — a 505-yard par 4 with water left and long, plus two bunkers on the right — provides a
memorable finish. Matt Molloy, senior vice president of operations for OB Sports, was general manager of the course from its opening in 2005 through 2018.

“The playability of Sandia is a departure from what most people are used to seeing,” he said. “Many players told us they shot their lowest rounds here.”

www.SandiaGolf.com; (505) 798-3990

Brooks, California

Located approximately 90 minutes northeast of San Francisco, the 11,000-acre property of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has become a full-fledged destination since opening its doors in 1985. Pronounced “Yo-cha Dee-hee,” the property features a hotel casino called Cache Creek Casino Resort (which added a new 459-room South Tower last October, enhancing existing stay-and-play options), a spa, restaurants, an entertainment venue, and a superb course that is ranked No. 18 on Golfweek’s 2020 Best 50 Casino Courses.

Sacramento-based architect and former PGA Tour pro Brad Bell created the layout, taking care to safeguard any sacred grounds. He worked with Tribal Council members to create hole names in the native Patwin language, starting with the first hole, “Sul Sah” (Eagle Eye), aptly named, as the tee box is perched 160 feet above the fairway and provides a panoramic vista of the valley floor.

Wildlife is the prevalent theme on the majority of holes, with names such as “Watak Kewe” (Frog’s House), “Tiwidl” (Rattlesnake), “Sedeo” (Coyote), “Pehtino Hoya” (Animal Gathering Place), and finally “Selai” (Bear) for the 18th hole, so named because of its standing as the No. 2 handicap hole on the course.

www.YochaDeheGolfClub.com; (530) 796-4653

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