Mike Davis, Head of Golf Instruction at DragonRidge Country Club, has an eye for talent and is known for attracting top professionals to work with him. His newest recruit is Tara Fox, a California transplant with an exciting backstory and passion for teaching. She will be joining Mike’s team this spring to help with his ever-growing golf programs. Tara spoke with DragonRidge Country Club Director of Communications Charlotte Evans about what attracted her to MacDonald Highlands.
Q: Welcome to southern Nevada, Tara Fox! Can you tell us a little about your background and what brought you here?
Thank you for the warm welcome, Charlotte. The short answer regarding what brought us here would be the Napa Valley fires. We were literally “smoked-out” of the Napa Valley, and finding this wonderful piece of America in Henderson, was fate indeed. We couldn’t be happier here. Mike Davis is an icon in this industry, and as a woman and “newbie” in the area, I felt he could not have been more welcoming. After our first meeting, it was a mutual feeling that I might be the right fit for his programming, as we hold a very similar philosophy on teaching. We believe in a student-centered teaching style, where it is student first, golf second.
Q: When did your love for golf begin? Where has golf taken you professionally and personally?
This is a funny question for me because my relationship with golf is love/hate. I absolutely love to teach the game and help others enjoy this wonderful sport. As far as playing, I prefer not to these days. Playing lessons are much more pleasurable for me as a “super caddy” for my clients, rather than to tee it up myself. However, the rub is that my expertise is in the mental game, and I do love that part. I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent some quality time with Fred Shoemaker, the author of one of my favorites, “Extraordinary Golf.” I have a library of mental game books and love talking about that!
As far as professionally, I’ve reached the top of my industry in the teaching sense. I’ve been teaching for 25 years now and have happily left my legacy in the Napa Valley. I had a wonderful career in Napa and finished there as Director of Instruction of the Johnny Miller Golf Academy. I directed all the instructional programs (including juniors) at Silverado Resort and Spa, home of the PGA Safeway Open. Some of my accomplishments include being the first girl to play on the boys’ golf team at Vintage High School, the first woman to play on scholarship at UC Berkeley (CAL), and the first woman teaching professional at Silverado Resort and Spa in the Napa Valley.
I’m a very proud Class A member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional division and a member of the LPGA Global Education Team, which is an elite team of instructional mentors within the LPGA. I also enjoyed teaching a golf class at the local community college for ten years.
Q: It is wonderful to have you joining Mike Davis as a golf instructor at DragonRidge Country Club. Can you tell us a little about what you hope to bring to the program?
Mike has an amazing junior program that is growing. I hope to help him continue his work in growing the game with juniors. We also have some great ladies programming that we look forward to rolling out soon. Whatever members would like to see, we are happy to make it happen on the instructional front. One great thing about Mike is his willingness to help people. What he has brought to this game is incredibly positive and his expertise is respected throughout our industry. Mike continues to explore new and innovative programs, especially when it encourages member participation and growing the game. It is a real honor to be working with Mike Davis Golf.
Q: Now that you are a Nevadan, what do you like most about living here?
Everything is so accessible here. For example, Costco was a 45-minute drive from [where we lived in] Napa. Now it’s only 8 minutes! And the airport access is for sure our favorite part. We would have to drive at least an hour to the closest airport. Now it’s only 10 minutes away! It is amazing!
Q: When the Covid19 pandemic is lifted, what are you most looking forward to doing?
Taking my kiddos to some of the live show’s downtown, I think the Cirque Beatles show is high on the list since they are big fans at 12 and 14 years old. Also, we are looking to catch a Hnights game. We haven’t been to an ice hockey game before, so that will be something special.
Q: Is there something about you that you would like people to know that they might not think to ask?
I’m a mother of two amazing daughters, Jenny and Leah (old souls), who have been great with the transition, given this world gone sideways. I was recently re-married in 2019 to Alan Tulleth, a Scotsman born and raised at the home of golf itself – St.
Andrews, Scotland. We own a golf travel company together, TMIGolf, which paused for a bit due to Covid19, but we are now planning 2022/2023 golf trips to Ireland, Scotland, and hopefully to New Zealand in the next few years.