Biz Buzz: Dirk Willis Named VP and GM of Pelican Hill Golf Club

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Dirk Willis
Dirk Willis

The Irvine Company Resort Properties has appointed Dirk M. Willis, PGA as vice president and general manager of golf.

With more than 25 years of professional golf, retail and hospitality expertise, Willis will lead all aspects of golf and retail for the two courses at Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Coast and the public 18-hole Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine.

“Dirk’s expertise and leadership will guide the world-class golf experiences and retail offerings we provide to locals and resort guests at our three Tom Fazio-designed courses here in sunny Southern California,” said Irvine Company Resort Properties President Ralph Grippo.

Golf Clubhouse
Pelican Hill Golf clubhouse / courtesy of Pelican Hill Resort

Encompassing golf, retail and on-course food and beverage operations, Willis was previously director of golf operations for Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run at Destination Kohler, the Midwest’s only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort, located in the Village of Kohler, Wis.

With numerous championship golf events held at Whistling Straits during his tenure, Willis served on the PGA of America’s Executive Committee for the 2007 United States Senior Open, 2010 & 2015 PGA Championship and 2020 Ryder Cup Matches. Additionally, he led initiatives to increase college scholarship opportunities for student athletes as the president of the Board of Directors for the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin (WPGA).

The Irvine Company Resort Properties owns and manages The Resort at Pelican Hill, the Island Hotel Newport Beach, Hotel Irvine, Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, and California Recreation Company, which operates marinas in Newport Harbor and Northern California.

Golf Ocean North 17th Hole
Pelican Hill Golf Course / courtesy of Pelican Hill Resort

For more information about the Irvine Company Resort Properties golf clubs, please visit and

“Golf courses should reflect the natural beauty of their environments,” said Tom Fazio, who designed two challenging courses at Pelican Hill that take advantage of spectacular ocean views and lush landscaping.

According to the Pelican Hill website, Ocean North is a Par 71, 6,945 yards, with remarkable ocean views from every tee. Opened in 1993, it boasts open canyons and elevated plateaus.

Ocean South is Par 70, 6,580 yards, with several holes right by the ocean’s edge. There is also a one-of-a-kind 13th hole with two greens. It opened in 1991.


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