Dirk Willis, Director of Operations for Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run is the 2013 Junior Golf Leader award recipient. As a member of the board of directors for the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin (High School), he has been instrumental in the development of hundreds of junior golfers during his time at the Kohler Company courses.
He currently is the Head Coach for Kohler High School and has created a terrific introductory program on the middle school level to help develop junior golfers in the Kohler area. At the Kohler facilities, Willis also plays a key role of overseeing the Kohler Golf Academy for Juniors. Being a part of it since 1994, he has helped the Academy grow its participation to over 150 junior golfers annually.
The Marquette and Northwestern University graduate also has developed a passion for helping junior golfers receive college scholarships. In 2011 he started and developed the G.C.A.W. College Showcase, which brings talented junior golfers together with college golf coaches for a multi-day exhibition. In only its second year of the existence the exhibition had 104 players from throughout Wisconsin demonstrating their talents.
“The Junior Golf Leader award is an incredible honor.” Willis said. “I’ve dedicated a good portion of my career in developing young men and women as golfers and people. To be recognized for those contributions is extremely humbling.”
Willis also was recognized by the Section for his resort merchandising efforts in 2004, 2005 and 2007. The run of awards was then culminated by being named the National PGA Resort Merchandiser of the year in 2008.