Kohler Golf Biographies

The People Behind the Championship Play

PETE DYE – GOLF COURSE DESIGNER

Internationally known golf course designer Pete Dye was hired in 1985 to design Blackwolf Run® and returned again in 1995 to design Whistling Straits®. Dye’s philosophy is to use the natural terrain and surroundings as much as possible, designing the course to suit the natural environment, instead of changing the land to accommodate the course. His work is influenced by the great English and Scottish golf courses with their pot bunkers, grasses, and green and tee areas reinforced with railroad ties.

Dye was honored by the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008 with the lifetime achievement award. He is only the fifth designer to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.

In 1995, Dye received the Donald Ross Award at St Andrews, the birthplace of golf in Scotland. The award symbolizes the epitome of innovation and artistic qualities in golf course design.

OTHER PETE DYE DESIGNS INCLUDE:
• The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.
• The Honors Course, Chattanooga, Tenn.
• The Golf Club, New Albany, Ohio
• TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
• Crooked Stick, Carmel, Ind.
• Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
• Teeth of the Dog, Dominican Republic


DIRK WILLIS, PGA
GM & GROUP DIRECTOR – GOLF, KOHLER CO.

Dirk Willis is responsible for ensuring the global golf businesses for Kohler Company lead the industry in terms of service levels, guest experience, recognition and profitability. Willis initially joined Kohler Co. in 1994 after a brief career in hotel management. During his Kohler career, he has served in several management capacities including Tournament Manager for the 1999 National PGA Club Professional Championship, Head Golf Professional at Whistling Straits and PGA Director of Golf Operations for Destination Kohler. Prior to his current position, he most recently was Vice President of Golf, for Irvine Company Resort Properties in Newport Beach, California.

Willis has been an active member of the management and executive teams for every Kohler golf championship. A former PGA National Award Winner, Willis holds an M.B.A. from Marquette University, as well as certificates in executive management from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and hospitality management from Cornell University

• PGA Class “A” Member since 1999
• Vice President — Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin
• 1995-1997 Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf Corporate Patron Tournament Events Coordinator
• 1998 U.S. Women’s Open Chairperson Golf Carts and Corporate Patron Golf Events
• 1999 PGA National Club Professional Championship-Championship Director
• 2004 PGA Championship Executive Committee Member
• 2007 U.S. Senior Open Executive Committee Member
• 2010 PGA Championship Executive Committee Member
• 2012 U.S. Women's Open Executive Committee Member
• 2015 PGA Championship Executive Committee Member
• 2020 Ryder Cup Executive Committee Member


MICHAEL O’REILLY, PGA – PGA DIRECTOR OF GOLF / OPS MANAGER – WHISTLING STRAITS® & BLACKWOLF RUN®

As Director of Golf Operations for Destination Kohler, O’Reilly is responsible for driving growth in golf and on-course food and beverage operations at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. He also manages operations at the Kohler Swing Studio and serves on the Executive Committee of the 2020 Ryder Cup, overseeing six different operational committees for the event. It will mark the fifth major championship that Mike has supported at Kohler Co. He was the Executive Vice-Chair of Player Services for the 2007 U.S. Senior Open and the PGA Championships in 2004, 2010 and 2015.

O’Reilly was the head golf professional for the past ten years at Whistling Straits, overseeing operations of the Straits and Irish courses. Prior to that he served as assistant golf professional at both Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits.

O’Reilly was honored as the 2017 Wisconsin Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year. It is his second WPGA special award, as he was also recognized for his player development efforts in 2011. Off the course, the Sheboygan resident serves his fellow PGA golf professionals as a board member of the Wisconsin PGA Section and as the chairperson of the WPGA tournament policy board. Outside of golf, O’Reilly is actively involved with Lakeshore Technical College, the Wisconsin Coaches versus Cancer Gala, Heartland Classic (American Cancer Society) and the Jimmy Lohr Scholarship. He is a native of Darien, Illinois and holds an undergraduate degree from Augustana College and an M.B.A. from Cardinal Stritch University.

• PGA Class “A” Member since 2004
• Wisconsin PGA Board Member- Secretary
• Lead Instructor for Kohler Golf Academy
• 2011 PGA National Professional Championship Contestant
• 2011 Wisconsin PGA Player Development Award Winner
• 2004 PGA Championship-Executive Vice Chair
• 2007 U.S. Senior Open Executive Vice Chair
• 2010 PGA Championship Executive Vice Chair
• 2015 PGA Championship Executive Vice Chair
• 2017 Wisconsin PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award Winner
• 2020 Ryder Cup Executive Committee Member


MICHAEL ASCHENBACH, PGA – HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL WHISTLING STRAITS®

Michael Aschenbach joined the golf staff in 2004 as an Assistant Golf Professional at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. He was the First Assistant Golf Professional at Whistling Straits from 2007–2015 and at Blackwolf Run from 2015–2017. As the Head Golf Professional, Aschenbach is responsible for leading the golf operations team and managing all aspects of the golf operation at Whistling Straits. Aschenbach was captain of the Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run PGA Junior League Teams from 2014–2017. In addition, he is a lead instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy and serves in a leadership role for major championships hosted at Whistling Straits. Prior to joining Kohler Co, Aschenbach was a Caddie and Assistant Caddie Manager for Caddie Master Enterprises from 2001 – 2004.

• PGA Class “A” Member since 2012
• Lead Instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy
• PGA Junior League Captain 2014 - 2017
• 2007 U.S. Senior Open Executive Vice Chair
• 2010 PGA Championship Executive Vice Chair
• 2015 PGA Championship Executive Vice Chair
• 2020 Ryder Cup Executive Vice Chair


DAVID ALBRECHT, PGA – HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL BLACKWOLF RUN®

David Albrecht joined the Blackwolf Run staff in 1992 as an Assistant Golf Professional and has also served as Tournament Division Coordinator, Outside Services Supervisor and Assistant Head Professional. He became
the Head Golf Professional in 1998 and is responsible for managing all aspects of the Blackwolf Run golf operation and ensuring the golf business at Blackwolf Run leads the industry in terms of service levels, guest experience and profitability. In addition, Albrecht is a Lead Instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy and has been honored by Golf Digest for his contributions in this area.

• PGA Class “A” Member since 1998
• Lead Instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy
• 2006 Teacher of the Year, Wisconsin Golf Course Owners Association (GCOW)
• 2013-2014 Top 10 Instructors in Wisconsin by Golf Digest
• 1998 U.S. Women’s Open Committee Chair
• 2012 U.S. Women’s Open Player Services Committee Chair


MICHAEL LEE – MANAGER, GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE WHISTLING STRAITS® and BLACKWOLF RUN®

Michael Lee joined Kohler Co. as Blackwolf Run Golf Course Superintendent in 1993. In 1999 he was promoted to oversee golf course maintenance at both Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. He supervised the golf course preparations for Kohler golf championships beginning with the Anderson Consulting World Championship of Golf in 1995. Lee is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in plant sciences, specializing in turf and grounds management. His golf course experience includes five years as Assistant Superintendent for Blue Mound Golf and Country Club in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He also worked for the UW-Madison plant pathology department.

• Board Member Board of Visitors — College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UW-Madison
• Board Member Wisconsin Turf Grass Association Board
• 1995-1997 Anderson Consulting World Championship of Golf Manager Golf Course Maintenance
• 1998 U.S. Women's Open Manager Golf Course Maintenance
• 2004 PGA Championship Manager Golf Course Maintenance
• 2007 U.S. Senior Open Manager Golf Course Maintenance
• 2010 PGA Championship Manager Golf Course Maintenance
• 2012 U.S. Women's Open Manager Golf Course Maintenance
• 2015 PGA Championship Manager Golf Course Maintenance


JOSUE REYES, PGA – DIRECTOR-RETAIL DESTINATION KOHLER and DESTINATION ST. ANDREWS

Josue Reyes joined Kohler Co. in 2008 as the Manager – Merchandising, Blackwolf Run & Whistling Straits, to ensure the Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits retail businesses lead the industry in terms of service levels, aesthetics, product offerings, guest experience, recognition and profitability. As Director – Retail, in addition to his responsibilities with the golf businesses, Reyes provides support to all Destination Kohler and Destination St. Andrews retail outlets, and is responsible for centralizing the retail receiving practices and growing the resort’s e-commerce presence.

A proven professional with over fifteen years’ experience in the retail industry, Reyes has noteworthy results in revenue generation, inventory management, retail business development and visual merchandising. For his past successes, Reyes has been recognized by the PGA of America as the Wisconsin Section Merchandiser of the Year seven times as well as being honored as the PGA’s National Merchandiser of the Year in 2013.

Reyes previously served as Head PGA Golf Professional with The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in Sarasota, Florida. Prior to becoming Head Professional, he served as the club’s Golf Shop Manager and was instrumental in the initial design and layout of their golf shop. Reyes' professionalism and attention to detail helped the club become the only AAA Five-Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Resort in the U.S.

• PGA Class “A” Member since 2006
• PGA Magazine Advisory Board
• 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Wisconsin Section PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities
• 2013 National PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities
• 2010 PGA Championship Merchandise Executive Vice Chair
• 2012 U.S. Women’s Open Merchandise Team Leader
• 2015 PGA Championship Merchandise and Media Services Division Chair
• 2020 Ryder Cup Division Chair for Merchandise and Media Services


TODD WAGNER – MANAGER KOHLER GOLF ACADEMY

Todd Wagner manages the daily operations of the Kohler Golf Academy, ranked in the top 50 best golf schools in America by GOLF Magazine. Serving as Senior Instructor, Wagner trains all Kohler Golf Academy instructors ensuring the quality of instruction and the growth of Kohler Golf Academy through lesson programs and golf schools. He began his career at Kohler as a golf professional in April 1996 and was active in the development of the Kohler Golf Academy. In 2008, he became the Manager with his primary focus on the promotion, selling and management of Kohler Golf Academy.

• 2009-2010, 2011-2012 Top 10 Instructors in Wisconsin by Golf Digest
• 2011 and 2012 Honorable Mention Instructors by US Kids Golf


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