PGA Golf Professional
A 1996 graduate of Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management program, Denis joined our staff in 2014. Prior to joining out team Denis was most recently the PGA Professional and General Manager at the Manistee Golf & Country Club serving the local community for the past 13 years. Denis grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, MI and attended Western Michigan University before transferring to Ferris State to pursue golf as a career. His early stops as an assistant took him to The Chardonnay Club in Napa, CA and Tuscon National in Arizona. Returning to Michigan Denis worked as the Head Golf Professional at Falcon Head Golf Club in Big Rapids and then St. Ives Resort in Stanwood. Denis enjoys spending free time coaching local varsity golf team and junior golfers including daughter Mallory. Denis’ focus at the resort will be on customer service and the expanded development of our Instructional programs.
GCSAA Resort Grounds Superintendent
A 1980 graduate from Michigan State University, with a Turf Management Degree, Joel also completed a Business Administration degree from Ferris State University in 1989. Joel began his career in 1976 at County Highlands Golf Course in Bear Lake, Michigan. Joel ran the grounds operation there before moving to Manistee National in 1993. Involved from day one of construction Joel has guided all turf related activities since then. He has assisted in the resort developing from a stand alone 18 hole course at conception, through the addition of the Inn, and then the construction of our second 18 holes in 2000. Joel also acts as Facility Manager, overseeing the maintenance of all buildings, equipment and pools. Joel brings a vast knowledge to our operations. Rest assured that while visiting our property, you will be treated to expertly manicured grounds throughout. Players of all abilities comment on the ground conditions being of a consistently high quality when playing either of our courses.
Assistant Grounds Superintendent
Ken joined the staff of Manistee National in the fall of 1994. With the guidance of our Grounds Superintendent Joel, Ken has increased his turf knowledge and was promoted to assistant superintendent on the Canthooke course in 1999. In 2002, Ken moved over to our Cutters’ Ridge course and this is where you will find him today as you visit the property. The challenge of maintaining one of the best courses in Michigan is one that Ken enjoys and he is proud of the results he produces. You may see Ken and Duke, (his black Shepard) riding from job site to job site around Cutters’. Ken can also be found at the Inn, maintaining our excellent Pool facilities as he is one of our certified pool technicians and handles the maintenance of our pools during the summer months.
Chef Brian Kissel joined the staff in May of 2013. As a key member of our staff, Brian assisted us in new menu development and a new feel for the Wanagan Grille which took place last summer. A Graduate of Northwestern Michigan College, Brian honed his culinary skills in many restaurants around Michigan. With stops in Holland, Grand Rapids and Traverse City Brian developed a style that led him back home some 15 years ago. Brian most recently was the owner and Chef of the Blue Slipper Bistro in Onekama. Over the last 15 years Brian and his family provided terrific meals and exceptional service to many in the area. With a flair towards Pasta, the “Slipper” as it was known by all was a must stop in our area. Brian can tell stories of working in some of the more famous local restaurants in our area over the years…The Old Pines Chop House, The Famous Coral Gables and the Historic Portage Point Inn….all back in his “younger” days. You can tell that the Business of food has been in Brian’s blood a long time. Brian brings all this local history, experience and a terrific attitude to our staff and looks forward to meeting you whether it is a summer long acquaintance or a long weekend visit.
A 1989 Graduate of Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management program, Doug joined the staff at Manistee National in 1999. He has developed operational skills as well as training in golf instruction throughout the country. Doug has trained in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas Athletic Club, in Kennebunk Beach, Maine at Webhannet Golf Club, in Birmingham, Alabama at Linkside Golf Center and finally in West Palm Beach, Florida with the PGA of America’s winter tournament programs. Prior to Manistee National, Doug was the Head Golf Professional at County Highlands in Bear Lake, Michigan and the Golf Director at Eldorado in Cadillac, Michigan. Doug’s experience in golf operations, course construction, and his teaching ability will provide you, our guests with a terrific visit to our property. Doug continues to play throughout Michigan in professional events. In 2004 he was selected as the Michigan PGA Resort Merchandiser of the Year. Doug’s interest’s outside golf includes spending time with his family, snow skiing and enjoying the great area we call Manistee. In the summer during early mornings or late evenings, Doug can be found flying the coastline. Teaming up with his father to build his own airplane, a Vans’ RV-8, Doug enjoys flying when not at the course. He calls it scouting the competitions parking lots to count cars. So if you’re playing the resort and see a fast, sleek plane circling the courses, it’s our ranger in the sky.