When the Director of Golf position at the executive Desert Willow Golf Course in the Sun City MacDonald Ranch community of Henderson became available, PGA of America professional David Enyeart jumped at the opportunity. The role is not only his occupation, but the community is his home.
“I like more of a traditional type operation, so the opportunity here at Desert Willow was a perfect opportunity,” Enyeart said. “And with my wife and I being a residents of the community, we are vested and we are part owners like the other residents. This is more than just a job. This is something that I take a lot of pride in and it is way more than just a paycheck every couple weeks.”
Golf is a passion for both Enyeart and his wife, Monica Kaili, a very active participant and member of the Women’s Southern Nevada Golf Association. The Desert Willow community is perfect for them.
Desert Willow is a par 60 executive course designed by Greg Nash and World Golf Hall of Fame Billy Casper. It is tucked in the hills above Henderson. The “clubhouse” is actually a large recreation center complete with restaurant, meeting rooms, fitness area, swimming pool, bocci ball course, pickle ball courts and much more.
“Desert Willow is a fantastic place for our residents and it is very much a community thing,” Enyeart said. “We have leagues that play five days out of the week and six leagues total. The course is also a great place for beginners players to learn the game, and not just with the golf swing, but also some of the etiquette and, uh, the dos and don’ts of being on a golf course. We embrace our culture of being less intimidating than your big, fancy golf courses. it’s less expensive and we try to make them feel comfortable out here.”
The course also has a reputation amongst more experienced players as a terrific layout to hone the short game. With 12 par 3 holes and six short par 4s, plus challenging greens, it is a test for the best of golfers.
Enyeart got started in the game when his dad took him to a junior golf clinic in his home state of Washington. It was a way to pass time between baseball and football, but Enyeart was hooked. He soon started working at Mint Valley Golf Course and has been in the business ever since.
He came to Las Vegas in the fall of 1998 to work at a golf school at Rhodes Ranch and has been here almost for the better part of three decades. His career has included a working at TPC Las Vegas under Dan Hammell and Chuck Bombard and then 19 years at Boulder Creek Golf Club with Andy Schaper before a short stint at Bali Hai prior to landing at Desert Willow.
“Golf is the greatest passing of time and money ever invented, and that is because of the people you get to meet,” Enyeart said. “It’s the people you get to spend time with, whether that’s on the course, playing with them or working in the golf shop, checking them in and getting to know their stories and their backgrounds. I have also enjoyed trying to help them enjoy the game better. Also, I don’t measure a round by how well I played but the overall experience. You get to enjoy a beautiful day and it really is about the people. Nobody is getting rich in the golf business, but the best payday are the relationships that you get to cultivate and nurture.
“I just want to thank the entire Las Vegas golf community for the support of all the facilities around town and the professionals around town. I hope they keep going and try to be the player they can be and set the example for the other players on the course. And, above everything else, just keep having fun with it.