The tournament marks a return to the Catalina course at the club, which last hosted the PGA Tour for the Chrysler Classic in 2006.
“We’re thrilled to have the Champions Tour event,” Medina said. “With the demographics here in Southern Arizona and all these legendary golfers returning who have walked these fairways, it’s going to be exciting to continue to enrich the tradition that Tucson National has established since 1962.”
Medina, 33, has been at the resort for more than 10 years now, starting as an assistant in his early 20’s, working as the Head Golf Professional for five years and named to his new position last year.
As the Director of Golf at the club, Medina’s duties differ from his previous role as the head pro.
“I’m responsible for the department’s fiscal budgets, overseeing the golf club’s membership, maintaining a fully operational retail golf shop and working alongside a professional golf staff to provide a wonderful golf experience, which is the number one goal,” he said. “Communication and training are key elements – we want to continue to evolve Tucson National into one of the best resort courses destinations in Southern Arizona.”
Closely working with the maintenance crew at the course is another key to his new position.
“Ensuring that we maintain a close relationship with our golf course maintenance team is very important,” Medina said. “They’re providing the product – we’re selling the product. Keeping good synergy with them is a main focus.”
But even with the new responsibilities, Medina still makes time to get out on the range with members and resort guests to help them with their games.
“Teaching is what really got me going in the business – passing on the knowledge of the game,” he said. “I still do clinics and individual lessons and really enjoy that aspect of the job. I try to get out there as much as possible – it’s an avenue to get me out of the office and away from crunching numbers.”
He’s also got the opportunity to pass that knowledge on to his eight-year-old son, Jacob, who has taken to the game at an early age. Very sports-minded, Jacob has tried many of the team sports, but has already narrowed it down to baseball and golf.
“He has really gravitated to baseball and golf and is active in the Ricki Rarick Junior Golf program in Tucson as well as playing in Phoenix-based events up in the valley,” Medina said. “It’s cool to see that in him and be able to give him golf whenever and as much as he wants.”
Once a golfer …
The Tucson native got serious about the game at 13, and made varsity all four years at Tucson Magnet High School. He showed his talent as a freshman, qualifying for state as an individual and qualifying with the team his sophomore through senior years.
“That was great, I definitely had the bug,” he said. His good play led to a scholarship at Pima Community College while he continued to work at courses in Tucson.
“I actually started at 15, working in the cart barn at Tucson Country Club,” Medina said. After being there a couple of years, he moved on to work at Starr Pass and then with Tucson City Golf at Silverbell and El Rio.
“I knew there were three avenues in the golf course business – resort courses, private clubs and public courses – I wanted to dabble in each one of them before settling on the direction I wanted to go.”
By the time he was 23, he had worked in all three – and settled in at the Omni Tucson resort. Working in the industry since he was 15, he never considered doing anything else and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I can honestly say that I’ve never woken up in the morning and said ‘Dang, I have to go to work today.’ On the contrary, I get to come out to a beautiful resort with a great team and a strong membership base. It helps keep that desire going and is my motivation to grow the game.”
“Our job as golf professionals is to promote the game and grow the game of golf in a professional manner. You can touch so many people’s lives in some small way through golf.”