Phil Shoemaker of Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, has been named 2015 Superintendent of the Year by the Cactus & Pine Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of Arizona.
“Phil is a team player and an integral part of the management team. His longevity with the club and knowledge of the golf course has proven invaluable,” said Terra Waldron, COO of Desert Highlands. Terra added, “Phil has been very involved in issues that affect not only Desert Highlands, but golf courses throughout the state.”
Phil has played a major role on a Steering Committee formed as a public-private partnership with the City of Scottsdale using technology that will reduce the salt content of the reclaimed water used by Desert Highlands and other area golf courses.
Phil was hired away from Muirfield Village Golf Club as Desert Highlands’ first golf course superintendent in 1982, to assist with the construction of the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Championship desert golf course situated at the base of famed Pinnacle Peak. He coordinated and set up the inaugural Skins Game played at Desert Highlands in 1983, and did the same for the second game in 1984.
In 1986, Phil left Desert Highlands to provide his expertise to other prominent golf courses, including Tournament Player’s Club of Scottsdale, AZ, and Loxahatchee Club in Jupiter, FL, returning to Desert Highlands in 1999.
“I have always approached my career, whether it is projects, renovations, tournaments or daily maintenance, with a common sense attitude,” said Phil. “This was also accomplished with lots of support from staff and an employer providing resources to get the job done. Just go out, do it and get it done.”
Phil holds a degree in Turfgrass Management from Rutgers University, plus over 30 years of practical experience in all facets of golf course maintenance. He is Past President and member of Cactus & Pine Golf Course Superintendent Association and a member of the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America.