Employee Spotlight: Mark Gurnow, General Manager
The success of our private golf course community in Phoenix, AZ is due in part to our incredible staff. Here at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club, we want to showcase the amazing talent we have on our team. Before hitting the links, get to know General Manager and golf industry veteran, Mark Gurnow, in his own words.
Where did you grow up?
Born in Montgomery, Alabama and raised in St. Augustine, Florida. Just an old red neck kid from the south.
What are your hobbies?
Automobiles, auto racing (watching and participating), firearms and a new puppy.
Are you involved with any charities? Volunteer your time or serve on any boards?
I currently sit on the Board of a children’s cancer charity, The Melonhead Foundation. I have been on their board for more than 20 years. I started and ran a charity event for the organization in 1995 at Las Sendas Golf Club. The charity provides assistance through grants to families with children battling childhood cancers. It was started by my then sister-in-law after she lost a daughter to leukemia. It is a grass roots charity helping local families.
How long have you worked in this industry?
Since 1980 and I have been a PGA member since 1982.
In your opinion, what is the best thing about Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club or about working for Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club?
The owners and members are passionate about the club. Clubs are businesses and I am charged with running this business. The needs and wants of business and the needs and wants of members don’t always align and are sometimes even opposed. Good business decisions don’t always bring immediate member satisfaction, but may be good in the long run. Here, our members and owner understand that sometimes there is a give and take to make the club successful and sustainable.
What sets Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club apart from other private golf course communities in the U.S.?
The true sense of community here is special. No clicks or groups exist within the club which can often be divisive. Life here is casual and comfortable and all about friends. As a club, we continue to grow our offerings for members. We are the place they come first to look for things to do. We have expanded our club activities to theater trips, art shows, escorted evenings off-property for dancing and entertainment. We are the center of members’ entertainment.
Do you belong to or have you held a position in any professional organizations and/or have you won any professional awards?
•2009, 2011 PGA Senior Professional National Championship
•2007-2008 Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce; Director; President
•2006 PGA Champions Tour Qualifying School Finalist
•2005-2007 President Gavilan College Education Foundation; Gilroy, CA
•2003-2005 Secretary, Gavilan College Education Foundation
•2002-2004 Jeff Garcia Golf Classic, chairman & host professional
•1992-99 Director, SWSPGA; Education Chairman, Tournament Chairman
•1996-99 Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau Director; Secretary 1998
•1996-1997 Published instructional articles in Golf and Vim & Vigor magazines
•1994 Southwest Section PGA Player of the Year
•1983-1994, 98 PGA Club Professional Championship; 10th in 1987; 14th in 1984
•1993-94 Member, PGA National Committee on Teaching
•1992 Southwest Section PGA Section Championship host professional
•1990-92 Mickey Hatcher Celebrity Golf Classic host professional
•1988 PGA Tour qualifying finalist
•1988 & 1985 PGA Championship Contestant
•1986-88 Vice President, North Florida PGA; President, Northern Chapter
•1986 PGA Open Champion, North Florida
•1985 Member PGA Tour
•1982 Elected to membership of the PGA of America
Any additional information you would like to share?
I tell everyone that if I could read and write, I would get a real job. But, in truth, there is nothing I would rather do than be in the golf business. The game has brought me a lot of joy and friends since I started playing when I was 9 years old. The game has provided me with all of the material things that I have and working in the game is my way of giving back something to it.
Thank you, Mark, for everything you do for our residents and Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. Meet the rest of our staff, and stay tuned for future staff spotlights.