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William “Willie” Darke has been on the job for the three weeks and has already gotten in the swing of things.

Lew turano, president of the board of directors at Canyon Mesa Country Club, left, welcomes new Director of Golf and Tennis William Darke on April 16. Darke said he is committed to bringing in more visitors and families to use the club’s golf course and tennis courts. Darke is the new Director of Golf at Canyon Mesa Country Club, a public nine-hole golf course tucked away in the Village of Oak Creek. With his Professional Golf Association certification, Darke brings skill, business-savvy ideas and passion for the game to the job.

“This is the first time we have had a PGA professional here,” said Don Ryan, a Canyon Mesa townhome owner who golfs at Canyon Mesa weekly. “It puts Canyon Mesa on the map as another PGA-staffed public golf course for Sedona, with the capacity for lessons, clinics and the services of a PGA-certified course manager. As a fully-qualified PGA professional, Darke teaches the game, has experience running tournaments and charity events and has an education in a broad range of golf services.”

As a Michigan-native hockey player, Darke didn’t start playing golf seriously until he was in his 30s when the master golf professional at a driving range he visited frequently asked Darke to give him a hand. Darke graduated from the PGA program five years later. After nine years as an assistant professional in Michigan and Mirabel Golf Club in Scottsdale, Darke accepted his first head professional director of golf position at Canyon Mesa.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 24, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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