Instructional Staff at Ocotillo Golf Resort
Instructional Staff at Ocotillo Golf Resort
Kay Cornelius, Director of Instruction & LPGA Class 'A' Member
Kay Cornelius was voted by her LPGA peers as the 2004 and 2007 LPGA Section "Teacher of the Year.” She began teaching at Ocotillo Golf Resort in 1995 and has been an Ocotillo community resident since 1997. Her golf history is extensive, having grown up on the LPGA Tour (mother Kathy Cornelius is a 27 year LPGA Tour veteran and the 1956 U.S. Womenʼs Open Champion & father Bill is a PGA Life Member) as a "tour baby.” Kay began to forge her own way in golf when she was the youngest winner of the U.S. Girlsʼ Junior Championship in 1981 (age 14). She continued her success as a junior golfer winning the Junior World Championship and the Arizona State Junior Championship twice during the early ʻ80s. As a junior and amateur golfer, Kay played in 19 USGA Championships from 1979 to 1987, including the U.S. Womenʼs Open in 1982 at age 15. Kay played college golf at Stanford University from 1984 to 1988, competed in four NCAA championships, and earned NCAA All-American honors in 1988. After earning a B.A. in sociology from Stanford University, she turned professional and competed on the following worldwide tours: Ladiesʼ European Tour, the Ladies Asia Golf Circuit, the Futuresʼ Tour & the Playersʼ West Golf Tour from 1988 to 1997. While playing on the Ladiesʼ European Tour, Kay qualified for and played in three Weetabix British Open Championships, making the cut on two occasions. Since 1996, teaching and coaching golfers of all ages and experience levels has been and continues to be her passion. She has a special gift for teaching junior golfers and has taught several current and past NCAA Division I collegiate players. Kay began her involvement with the LPGA/USGA Girlsʼ Golf Club in 1996 and directed the Future Stars program from 2001 to 2006. She also founded the Ocotillo Golf Resort After-school Junior Golf Program in 2000. Even though junior golfers encompass a large part of her clientele, Kay teaches/coaches men and women golfers of all ages and ability levels. In addition to being voted by her peers as LPGA Section "Teacher of the Year” on two occasions, she was nominated as a Golf Magazine "Top 100 Teacher” for 2007-2008. Currently, Kay is recognized by Golf Magazine as a "Top Regional Teacher” & by US Kids' Golf as a "Top 50 Kids Teacher", and serves the LPGA as a National Evaluator. Kay's website/contact: www.kaycorneliusgolf.com. When Kay isnʼt at the golf course, she enjoys photography, doing yoga, working out, hiking, reading, and walking around the Ocotillo ʻcircle.ʼ
Mark Bakeman, Director of Golf & PGA Class ʻAʼ Member
Mark is a highly respected PGA professional who has been in the Valley of the Sun since 1979, when he came here from Southern California to study and play golf at Arizona State University. Markʼs passion for the game of golf began when he was a kid growing up on the Monterey Peninsula. As a junior golfer, he competed in Northern and Southern California Junior Golf Association tournaments. In 1985, Mark turned professional and was elected to PGA Class "A” membership in 1990. Mark has worked for Marriott Golf, Intrawest Golf, and Troon Golf and has worked at these fine golf facilities throughout the Phoenix and Tucson areas: Camelback GC, Kierland GC, Phoenician GC, El Conquistador CC, Raven GC both at Sabino Canyon & South Mountain, and Trilogy at Vistancia. Mark brought his expertise as a head professional to Ocotillo Golf Resort in October 2008. In addition to his duties at Ocotillo Golf Resort, Mark continues to be involved with the Southwest Section of the PGA and competes in tournaments on a regular basis. He is also a former champion of the Southern Chapter of the Southwest Section of the PGA. Mark and his wife Cynthia have two children, Cole and Taylor Melissa, and reside in Chandler.
Daniel Tripp, PGA Class 'A' Member
Daniel is originally from Denver, Colorado (he spent some time in Illinois in his youth) and his high school years in Rhode Island. Daniel started in the golf business caddying at a very young age at Agawam Hunt Country Club in Rhode Island. Daniel was an accomplished Junior and High School golfer and choose to pursue his Class A PGA membership through the Arizona State University Professional Golf Management Program after graduating high school. Daniel graduated in 2009 from ASU and earned his PGA Class A membership at the same time. During his time at Forest Highlands Golf Club, The Roaring Fork Club, Boulder Country Club, and Wildfire Golf Club, Daniel has had the opportunity to work and learn from some of the best golf professionals in the business. Daniel loves to teach and grow the game of golf to individuals of all ages and abilities. When away from work Daniel loves to spend time with his Fiancé Anisa and their animals hiking or just relaxing around the house.