Dirk Willis to return to Kohler as group director of golf for Kohler Co.

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Dirk Willis will be returning to Kohler after being named group director of golf for Kohler Co.

This past January, Willis left his position with Kohler as director of golf operations for Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run to accept the position of vice president and general manager of golf at two clubs in Irvine, California.

Willis will take over for Jim Richerson, who has been elected secretary of the PGA of America. Richerson’s new responsibilities are expected to require a considerable amount of his time away to fulfill his responsibilities with the PGA. He will transition to the new position of director – golf strategic development, which will be more compatible with the PGA travel requirements.

Richerson joined Kohler Co. in 2007. His responsibilities included managing all aspects of the golf businesses for Kohler Co. golf properties including Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, as well as The Duke’s, part of the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in St Andrews, Scotland. Richerson was responsible for ensuring the global golf business leads the industry in terms of service levels, course aesthetics, guest experience, recognition and profitability.

Richerson served on the Executive Committee for the 2015 PGA Championship held at Whistling Straits. He previously served in leadership roles for the 2012 United States Women’s Open, the 2010 PGA Championship and the 2007 United States Senior Open. He also served as the District 6 Director for the National Board of the PGA of America and is a board member of the Wisconsin PGA Section and the Wisconsin State Golf Association.

Willis began his career at Kohler in 1994. He served on the PGA of America’s Executive Committee for the 2007 United States Senior Open, the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championship, and 2020 Ryder Cup Matches. He also led initiatives to increase college scholarship opportunities for student athletes as the president of the Board of Directors for the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin (WPGA). Willis coached the boys golf team at Kohler High School, bringing home the WIAA state championship trophy in 2011.

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