Kohler Golf Biographies

The People Behind the Championship Play


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.

• 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



In his current position, Dirk Willis is responsible for ensuring the global golf businesses for Kohler Company lead the industry in terms of service, guest experience, recognition and profitability. In addition, Willis’ responsibilities include driving the growth of resort-wide retail businesses and ensuring the corporate wide landscaping programs embody the Kohler ideal of “gracious living”.

For the past 30 years, Kohler Company has been the driving force behind Wisconsin becoming a global golf destination as well as a significant player in hosting major golf championships. During his career with Kohler Company, Willis has been involved with the planning of 11 televised professional tournaments and has seen Kohler’s golf portfolio expand to five courses on two continents. Willis originally joined Kohler Company in 1994 after a brief career in hotel management. Willis has served in several management capacities with Kohler Company including Head Golf Professional at Whistling Straits and PGA Director of Golf Operations for Destination Kohler. Prior to returning to Kohler Company in 2017, Willis was Vice President of Golf & Retail for Irvine Company Resort Properties in Newport Beach, California.

Willis has served on the Executive Committee for the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships, 2007 U. S. Senior Open, and 2012 U. S. Women’s Open. In addition, Willis was the Corporate Patron Tournament Events Coordinator for the 1995, 1996 and 1997 Andersen Consulting World Championships, Chairperson of Corporate Patron Golf Events for the 1998 U. S. Women’s Open, and Championship Director for the 1999 PGA National Club Professional Championship. Willis is a member of the Executive Committee for the 2020 Ryder Cup that will be hosted at Whistling Straits.

A PGA Class “A” Member since 1999, Willis was recognized as the PGA’s Merchandiser of the Year for resort facilities in 2007 and received numerous Wisconsin PGA Section Awards for merchandising and junior golf development. Willis was the Kohler High School golf coach for 12 years where he led his team to six WIAA state tournament appearances including a state title in 2011. He is also a past president of the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin (GCAW) and currently serves on the following boards: GCAW Board of Directors and Wisconsin State Golf Association (WSGA) Board of Directors.

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.


As Director of Golf Operations for Destination Kohler, O’Reilly is responsible for leading operations and driving growth in golf operations, on-course food and beverage and the Kohler Golf Academy. He also oversees operations at the Kohler Swing Studio and serves on the Executive Committee of the 2020 Ryder Cup. It will mark the fifth major championship that O’Reilly 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 from 2007 - 2017, 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 Vice President of the Wisconsin PGA. Outside of golf, O’Reilly is actively involved with Lakeshore Technical College 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 - Vice President
• 2011 PGA National Professional Championship Contestant
• 2011 Wisconsin PGA Player Development Award Winner
• 2017 Wisconsin PGA Golf Professional of the Year 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
• 2020 Ryder Cup Executive Committee Member


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


Daniel Hastreiter began his career at Blackwolf Run in 2006 as a Professional Golf Management Intern. He progressed through the Assistant Golf Professional ranks, working at both Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits.  As Head Golf Professional, Hastreiter is responsible for managing all aspects of the Blackwolf Run golf operation and ensuring the golf business  leads the industry in terms of service levels and guest experience.  He is a graduate of Florida State University with a degree in business administration.  Hastreiter currently serves on both the Tournament Policy Board and Wisconsin Assistant Golf Professional Association Committee for the Wisconsin PGA.

• PGA Class “A” Member since 2008
• Lead Instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy
• 2018 Wisconsin PGA Assistant Professional of the Year
• 2010 PGA Championship Committee Chair
• 2012 US Women’s Open Committee Chair
• 2015 PGA Championship Committee Chair
• 2020 Ryder Cup Executive Vice Chair


As the Riverbend Head Golf Professional, David Albrecht is responsible for the growth and management of member golf events, member golf instruction, member travel, assists with tee time bookings in and outside of Kohler, and serves as the lead Golf Professional for all member needs. In addition, he serves as a Senior Instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy and helps execute golf lessons and drive overall growth with the Academy.  Albrecht served as the Head Golf Professional at Blackwolf Run from 1998-2019 and was an Assistant Golf Professional from 1992-1998. Albrecht has been honored by Golf Digest as a top 10 instructor in Wisconsin. He is a Wisconsin PGA Tournament Policy Board Member and the Kohler High School Varsity Golf Coach. Outside of golf, Albrecht is actively involved with the Make a Wish Foundation, chairs the Kohler Police Athletic League, and coaches several youth sports teams.

• PGA Class “A” Member since 1998
• Lead Instructor for the Kohler Golf Academy
• 2006 Teacher of the Year, Wisconsin Golf Course Owners Association (GCOW)
• 2009-2010 Top 10 Instructors in Wisconsin by Golf Digest
• 2011-2012 Top 10 Instructors in Wisconsin by Golf Digest
• 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


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
• 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2020 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 manages the daily operations of the Kohler Golf Academy, recipient of Golf Digest’s 2020 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Golf School/Academy in the Midwest. 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, 2017-2018, 2019-2020 Top 10 Instructors in Wisconsin by Golf Digest
• 2011 and 2012 Honorable Mention Instructors by US Kids Golf



Chris Zugel joined Kohler Co. as an intern on the Irish Course in 2000. Following graduation and some professional experience, he returned to Whistling Straits in 2002. Over the past 18 years, Chris has steadily advanced in positions of increasing responsibility between Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, including his most recent role as Certified Superintendent – Whistling Straits. During that time, he led the highly acclaimed golf course preparations for the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships as the host superintendent of the Straits Course.

In his current position, Chris oversees Destination Kohler golf course maintenance facilities, programs and superintendents for Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. He is responsible for ongoing course maintenance, enhancements and planning, as well as partnerships with industry and local organizations. He is also leading the golf course preparations and maintenance program for the 2020 Ryder Cup including golf course pre- and daily event preparation, maintenance volunteer program, vendor management, and the primary contact for golf course maintenance inquires.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Horticulture from Colorado State University with an emphasis in Turf Management, and his professional experience includes Assistant Superintendent-TPC Eagle Trace and Manager-Grounds for the Milwaukee Brewers.

• GCSAA Member since 1999
• Certified Golf Course Superintendent since 2012
• 2007 U.S. Senior Open Senior Assistant Superintendent
• 2010 PGA Championship Host Golf Course Superintendent
• 2015 PGA Championship Host Golf Course Superintendent
• 2020 Ryder Cup Committee Chair-Grounds