Industry News

Circling Raven Golf Club appoints new director of golf and head superintendent

Colin McMahon and Kal Zaranec ascend to leadership roles at acclaimed golf resort in Idaho Panhandle

(Worley, Idaho; March 21, 2021) – The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel and Circling Raven Golf Club today announce that Colin McMahon, PGA, and Kal Zaranec, GCSAA, have been appointed Director Golf and Head Superintendent, respectively, at the award-winning property.

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Most recently, McMahon was head golf professional at The Creek at Qualchan Golf Course (2017-2022), in Spokane, Wash. Prior to that, he was first assistant golf professional at Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells, Calif. A graduate of Spokane’s Gonzaga University, this is his first Director of Golf position.

“Having worked and gone to school in Spokane, I’ve probably played Circling Raven close to 50 times,” said McMahon, who will turn 30 years old later this month. “Knowing two former golf professionals there, both good friends, I’ve learned a great deal about the golf club. It’s very popular and it never disappoints. This is a wonderful opportunity that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Casino Resort has given me. I couldn’t be more motivated to help Circling Raven remain among the top golf clubs in the country and climb to new heights.”

Golf Directors and Superintendents must work seamlessly together to ensure optimal conditions and operations. Hence, it’s fortuitous that McMahon becomes the golf operations leader as Zaranec takes the helm of the agronomy staff.

“Kal and I are starting a new era at Circling Raven,” said McMahon, the 2021 Inland Empire PGA Professional of the Year and 2021 Pacific Northwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year. “We get to put our stamp on operations and maintenance and doing so simultaneously is an ideal way to start the club’s next chapter in these areas.”

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Zaranec worked as Circling Raven’s first assistant superintendent prior to his promotion. He was first assistant superintendent at nearby Gozzer Ranch Golf and Lake Club prior to that. Working with golf courses and turf maintenance has been a lifetime endeavor for him. His uncle was a superintendent at a course in Texas where Zaranec started learning the craft at a young age.

“I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was 10 or 11 years old,” said Zaranec, who graduated from The Ohio State University. “This is perfect timing to make this transition, and we’re committed to providing the exceptional course conditions for which Circling Raven is known.”

Zaranec is currently in the Nufarm EXCEL Leadership superintendent mentorship program that participants must apply for. He believes the additional training he’s receiving is taking him to another level.

“I’ve always known how important communicating well is,” said Zaranec. “But the program is showing me a whole new level, preparing me to communicate clearly, well and often with everyone from the executive department to our in-season staff of 29 team members.”

McMahon and Zaranec begin their department leadership roles on the heels of a remarkable 2021 season at Circling Raven.

Some golf club achievements included:

  • Surpassing $1 million in golf shop merchandise sales for the first time
  • Increasing the number of rounds played and revenue while maintaining superb playing conditions
  • Undertaking some course and supporting facility improvements
  • Regaining the No. 1 public course ranking in Idaho and climbing in Top 20 Casino Courses list nationally
  • Garnering praise from the professional tour players who competed in the inaugural Circling Raven Championship
  • Promoting cultural tourism activities offered by the casino resort and mesh them with golf package messaging
  • Leveraging golf to empower youth and Native Americans while operating in a manner that honors Tribal values

“We are confident that Colin and Kal will thrive in their new positions,” said Laura Penney, CEO, Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. “We’re excited to have them help Circling Raven continue providing our guests with an exceptional golf experience.”

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About Circling Raven Golf Club and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel
Owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Circling Raven is in the scenic Idaho panhandle approximately 55 minutes from Spokane International Airport (GEG). Measuring 7,189 yards from the rear tees, the 18-hole layout sprawls magnificently through 620 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and Palouse grasses. Its gleaming white sand bunkers are large and strategically placed and its hole variety ingenious. The course will host the Circling Raven Championship in August, an Epson “Road to the LPGA” Tour event. Other Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel amenities and activities include the full-service Spa Ssakwa’q’n (pronounced Sock-wock-en); 300 hotel rooms; bars, restaurants, lounges, and eateries; cultural immersion options; and more. The casino completed a $15 million renovation of its gaming floor and Events Center in 2019. Circling Raven has garnered numerous best-in-kind honors since opening, including being rated a Top 100 Resort Course, Best in State, and a Top U.S. Casino Course. Its golf shop has won national and regional awards for its excellence and its variety of products, displays, and performance.

Dan Shepherd,, 703-403-5317
Yvette Matt,, 208-500-9989