Spotlight On Gilles Gagnon
Casa de Campo’s Golf Sales Director & World-Renowned Golf Pro
GILLES, HOW DID YOUR CASA DE CAMPO STORY BEGIN?
I was the Golf Professional and assistant hockey coach at Colgate University. I was involved in organizing the 1977 NCAA Golf Championship and at that point I felt I wanted to pursue a golf career. A friend told me that CDC was looking for a Director of Golf. I applied and fortunately I was offered the position. It was a big move from upstate NY but I was confident it was the right career decision.
YOU’VE PLAYED WITH MANY CELEBRITIES OVER YOUR TIME HERE. ANY MEMORABLE MOMENTS TO SHARE?
I have countless memories but walking the Teeth of the Dog with Pete Dye and see how people react when they meet him is priceless.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HOLES IN EACH OF THE CASA DE CAMPO COURSES?
I think Teeth of the Dog has the best series of par three holes in the world. Holes # 5, #7, #13 and #16 are spectacular. On the Links I love #5 and on Dye Fore #12. Pete Dye is the best at creating great par 3 holes. I am sure we all know the famous island green #17 at the TPC.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS DIRECTOR OF GOLF?
To see how we went from a relatively unknown 36 holes golf resort to one of the top golf resort of the world is very special. We were also very influential for the growth of golf in the Dominican Republic.
WHEN YOU THINK BACK OVER THE 38 YEARS YOU’VE BEEN HERE, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE HIGHLIGHTS?
First, to have the opportunity to work closely with Pete Dye, play golf with some of the most influential people in the world like President Bush # 41 & # 43 and President Clinton. Who would not love the opportunity to play with Sean Connery, Bond, James Bond? I did!
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING RECENT DEVELOPMENT FOR GOLFERS AT CASA DE CAMPO?
The addition of the learning center is a major improvement. When you struggle with your game let our instructors analyze your swing on the Trackman and you will not believe how much you will learn.