Success follows new Ritz-Carlton golf pro - The Explorer: Sports

Success follows new Ritz-Carlton golf pro

Jeff McCormick charms local courses and sports franchises

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Arizona’s sporting universe hooked a rabbit’s foot during May, when the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain named Jeff McCormick head golf professional.

Each time the rising 32-year-old Oklahoma native heads up a new course, it seems a local team wins their respective championship.  

The trend started in 2000 during McCormick’s first gig as assistant pro at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Mo., when the St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins and Miami Heat since benefited from their proximity to McCormick’s work.

Then, ten months after McCormick opened the Cottonwood Hills Golf Club in Hutchinson, Kansas in 2007, the Jayhawks’ hoops team rode March Madness to victory.

“This might be the year to lay down cash on some Arizona teams,” McCormick smiled. “I just can’t tell you which one it will be.”

Clairvoyance aside, McCormick’s return to desert golf is a happy one, after his first taste, as Scottsdale’s Camelback Golf Club tournament coordinator from 2001 to 2003.  

The experience will come in handy while hiring golf staffers and prepping Marana’s new Jack Nicklaus Signature course for the 2009 World Golf Championships — Accenture Match Play Tournament in February.

Though it’s rare anyone calls pre-tournament 55-hour workweeks a “lull,” McCormick’s used to long hours on the links, raised on a course in Duncan, Okla., where his high school golf team won their state title.

“We would go out there and play sun up to sun down, and come back with blisters on our ears and noses,” McCormick said.

These days, he’s likely to break out the sunscreen while training his crew for the January opening of the 850-acre resort — Ritz-Carlton’s largest development in the continental United States.

McCormick says perks like the resort’s “caddy concierge service,” which assigns a personal golf assistant to each playing guest, will set a new standard for Southern Arizona’s golf scene.

Already, the nine non-tournament “Wild Burro” holes are open, and much of the course’s remainder is seeded and enjoying the sun. The 250-room hotel won’t open until October 2009, however, eight months after the fan-friendly course hosts its marquee tournament.

“We all have our fingers crossed, hoping Tiger will get healthy in time to make it back for the event,” McCormick said.

One thing McCormick, or anyone else at the moment, can’t predict is whether the course’s namesake, Nicklaus, will surface for the golf showcase’s inaugural rounds.

“We’d certainly like to have him show for the ribbon cutting,” McCormick said.

Until then, local Golden Bear sightings remain the stuff of legend, along with a Phoenix Coyotes Stanley Cup victory — unless McCormick’s mojo can help pull it off.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today: http://www.kinocollege.com/

HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

MOS: Storms and Floods

We asked the community about the coming floods and storms.

MOS: Back To School

We asked the community about the new school semester starting.

More Featured Videos
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook