Industry News

Black Desert Resort Golf Course welcomes general manager and agronomy team leaders

Ivins, Utah (June 14, 2022) – Black Desert Resort Golf Course, a new Tom Weiskopf-design currently under development in Ivins, Utah, recently welcomed Brenton Rice as general manager, Ken Yates as golf course superintendent, and Jordan Rhodes as assistant golf course superintendent. The 18-hole facility, set amid ancient black lava fields of Southern Utah, is now in the grow-in phase, with 9 holes scheduled to open to daily-fee play this November, and the remaining 9 holes opening in spring of 2023. 

Rice has 15-plus years of club management and leadership experience in operating upscale clubs. He most recently served as executive vice president for The Bay Club Company, where he oversaw membership sales and strategic planning across 24 properties in California and Oregon focused on fitness, sports, family and hospitality. In his 11-plus years with The Bay Club Company, Rice held a number of leadership positions including general manager of Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, 27-hole property in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He began his career in the golf and hospitality industry in 2006, working as an assistant golf professional at Big Horn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif. 

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Ken Yates will lead Black Desert Resort Golf Course’s agronomy team and oversee grow-in and daily maintenance of the par 72 golf course, expansive practice facility and the property’s 36-hole illuminated putting course. Yates has 33 years of turf management experience and has led the agronomic teams at courses in Edwardsville, Ill.; Las Vegas, Nev.; La Paz, Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; and Montgomery, Ala.  He most recently served as a division manager at Casa Verde Golf, a Scottsdale-based golf course construction and renovation company. A Class-A member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Yates is a graduate of Iowa State University.

Rhodes is now in his fifth year working in turf grass management, quickly working his way from agronomy crewmember to assistant superintendent in just three years. He comes to Black Desert from Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah. He has a Bachelor Science Degree in Business Administration from Stevens Henager College in Orem, and has turf grass management certifications from the University of Georgia and Penn State College.  

“We are thrilled with the team that is being assembled at Black Desert. Brenton is a strong leader, and has a passion for developing, coaching and mentoring others. Ken has an advanced knowledge of agronomy and turf grass management practices. And, Jordan has an incredible work ethic and a keen eye for detail,” said Bill O’Brien, senior vice president, Troon. Troon will manage the golf operations, golf course agronomy, food and beverage, and marketing for the golf facility, the centerpiece of the 600-acre resort community.

For more information on Black Desert Resort, Tee times for daily-fee guests will begin to be made available by mid-summer 2022.

About Black Desert Resort
Reef Capital Partners is developing Black Desert Resort. Upon buildout, the property will offer 150 hotel rooms; 1,050 residences; miles of nearby trails; a wellness spa; and 46,160 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The property will also feature 32 single-family estate lots and approximately 214,000 square feet of commercial space, with the amenities of the resort center available for full-time residents.

Tom Weiskopf and architect Phil Smith have designed the par-72 Black Desert Resort Golf Course with playability in mind, with most fairways 70 to 100 yards wide. The property’s distinct black lava rock, called basalt, originated as lava that intermittently flowed from small local volcanoes approximately 2.3 million to 20,000 years ago. In true Weiskopf-style, Black Desert will feature two drivable par 4 holes (5th hole and 14th hole) bringing both strategy and the risk/reward element into play. 

In addition to the 18-hole, Weiskopf-designed golf course, guests of Black Desert will enjoy a 36-hole illuminated putting course for day or night play. The resort’s 19th-Hole, an amphitheater-style lakeside-gathering place terraced into the black lava, will be the ultimate venue for winding down after a day of golf.

About Troon
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf and golf-related hospitality management company providing services at 680-plus locations around the globe, including managing 665-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages 670-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Indigo Sports, CADDIEMASTER, Peter Burwash International, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design, Casa Verde Golf, and ICON Management Services. For additional news and information, visit

Media Contact:
Rob Myers