Maderas: GM Bill O’Brien Announces Promotion to Troon Golf


Written with Maderas GM Bill O’Brien

After nine years at Maderas Golf Club, I’m moving on and moving up within the world of Troon Golf. Next week, I’ll report to my new assignment in Scottsdale as Vice President of Operations overseeing daily activities at some of our 200 courses worldwide.

Maderas will to continue to be one of my responsibilities, but you won’t see me here in the daily capacity you’ve become accustomed to. However, I will still be in the area as many family is remaining in Poway while my son, a junior, completes high school.

I relinquish my post as General Manager at Maderas with a great deal of pride for what we’ve accomplished and also a sense of what I’m going to miss about the club. You don’t stay in any place for nine years without making connections, and I’ve appreciated all of them, especially those that’ve helped us raise the level of service at Maderas to be worthy of the Golf Digest top 100 rating we received two years ago, our first.

That accolade fulfilled the promise and potential I saw for the course when I was introduced to it for the first time in 2006. I saw a course with a remarkable layout and well-appointed facilities in a fantastic setting … and with a great story to tell. It really was love at first sight.

And I’ve enjoyed helping Maderas tell the story of San Diego by highlighting the things that make Southern California so remarkable. Setting. Climate. Weather. Attitude. This place has it all.

That’s also what Maderas ownership and Troon saw when they opened the club in 2000 and put it on a trajectory to be elite. I have only tried to bolster that early success and make sure it lives up to that vision daily.

While Maderas has remained a premium golf destination, it’s become even more the last nine years. It’s increasingly now a place to teach and be taught. We renovated and upgraded our driving range in part to give Director of Instruction Chris Mayson and his golf academy a better place to practice and grow.

Maderas is now home to some of the best up-and-coming players in the game in men’s and women’s golf. Chris Mayson and his fellow coaches Skip Van Matre and John Darling tirelessly coach young people and are assuredly making Maderas the home of future champions.

Using the game to changes lives is one of the most powerful things a golf course can do. Maderas has done it, partly, through hosting charity golf tournaments. We’ve raised nearly $3 million annually through charity events, including those for Rady Children’s Hospital and the Toby Wells Foundation. I’m proud of those connections and even prouder to know those proceeds have changed lives.

We’ve also changed lives with our renovated and upgraded banquet area, which now allows to host weddings for up to 300 people some 35 to 40 times a year. That’s a lot a couples and a lot of lives and a lot of moments that that our club is tied to.

The biggest leap of faith a club ever takes is when it agrees to do somebody’s wedding. We’ve hosted more than 300 now in my tenure. Thanks to all of you for letting us be part of your most special story.

And people, and particularly the great and talented staff we’ve assembled here at Maderas, have been behind all of it. When you work more than 40 hours a week, you spend more time with your co-workers than your family. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy that time with a truly great group of people.

Before the raters ever showed up to tell us we were great, I believed it. And now that we’ve been ranked top 100 and Golfweek has named us one of the best places to play in California four out of the last five years, we’re no longer just potential. It’s real. And more and more people are discovering that.

The challenge then becomes not just to maintain but to gain and continue to grow and build of the momentum of these last nine years.

I do believe that there are higher levels of service for the club still to reach, and I’m rooting for the club to achieve those and hope to help it continue to tell its great story for a long time to come because there are even better chapters ahead. I wish you all well.