Head Golf Professional, PGA Specialized
Four months before RainDance National Resort & Golf opened to the public, The Water Valley Company introduced Chris Williamson as its Head PGA Golf Professional.
Chris took over operations at RainDance National after serving in the same capacity at the Eaton Country Club in Eaton, Colorado.
"I feel fortunate to have worked in a variety of contexts in the golf industry and am honored to join this family and bring those experiences to RainDance National and help introduce the world to this unbelievable property," said Williamson.
Prior to holding the role as the head pro at the Eaton Country Club, Chris was an assistant at two Fort Collins country clubs - Ptarmigan Country Club and Fort Collins Country Club - and also spent many years with Ping Golf. He arrives at RainDance National with a vast knowledge of teaching, merchandising, tournament/league operations, and management skills. "I am thrilled to have Chris be the first Head Golf Professional at RainDance National," said Matt Kantor, The Water Valley Company Director of Golf. "His skills, talents, and passion for the game as a PGA Professional will contribute immensely to the success of the new golf course."
Chris has been a PGA Member for nine years and in 2020 became PGA Specialized in Teaching and Coaching, putting him in the top 5% of PGA Professionals in those fields. He has worked with hundreds of students the last few years from across Northern Colorado.
"Golf is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. I work hard to try and keep things simple and personalized for all types of players, helping everyone take their next step in this great game of golf."
Originally from Iowa, Chris and his wife Rachel have come to love Northern Colorado over the last decade. When free time allows, they can be found outdoors and usually are headed to explore the beauty of this region with their two children.
Director of Golf
Matt Kantor, the former 1st Assistant Golf Professional at Ptarmigan Country Club in Fort Collins, has accepted the role as the Director of Golf for The Water Valley Company in Windsor in February 2022. He oversees golf operations at both RainDance National and Pelican Lakes Resort & Golf.
Matt brings a wealth of golf leadership experience and genuine passion for the game. He also has an extensive instructional and operational knowledge of the sport.
"My passion is growing the game of golf, especially junior golf," said the native of Julesburg, Colorado. "Junior camps and the PGA Junior League have provided me with great joy throughout my career."
Matt began his career at Ptarmigan in 2008 as an outside service attendant and worked his way up to 1st Assistant Golf Professional in 2016. During his tenure he facilitated over 50-plus annual tournaments, operated men's, ladies, junior and couples leagues and developed a junior program that drastically increased in participation year after year.
Matt and wife Miranda have three daughters - Taylor (18), Reece (16) and Jordyn (15). Miranda is an Instructional Coach and Academic Interventionist for the Thompson School District and played golf for the University of Wyoming. Their daughters are also avid players.
In the spring of 2021, Taylor and Reece were members of the Class 5A state champion Loveland High School girls' team and Matt was their assistant coach.
Assistant Golf Professional
Justin is no stranger to Northern Colorado.
A 2013 graduate of Windsor High School, Justin participated in the Class 4A state golf tournament as a senior and has made golf his life.
Nearly 10 years later he was hired as an assistant golf professional at his hometown’s newest golf course, RainDance National Resort & Golf.
“I am very fortunate for my life to come full circle back to where I started,” Justin said. “You never seem to realize how much home really means to you until you leave and make your way back. It’s such a blessing to help make an impact and a difference in the same community that gave me so much growing up.”
After high school, Justin played golf at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO and Trinidad (CO) State College. Justin shined at Trinidad State as he twice was named the Region IX Player of the Year.
Justin turned professional after college and moved to Arizona to compete in mini tours. While in Arizona, he qualified for the 2021 Arizona Open and worked at the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club in Fort McDowell and Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix.
Justin accepted the position at RainDance National after a brief stint at Eaton Country Club, and is currently enrolled in the PGA PGM program on his way to become a Class A professional.
When he’s not working on his golf game, Justin is an accomplished bowler and spends time with his fiancé Karlee and her son Gunner.
Assistant Golf Professional
Max initially started playing the game of golf as a competitive outlet, but he soon found that the sport turned into a passion.
“Golf is such a fantastic game because you can enjoy it for your entire life with people of all different backgrounds and abilities,” he said. “The best part of our jobs as golf professionals is introducing someone new and watching them fall in love with the game that has given us so much.”
Max’s golf journey began in northern Michigan at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, MI when he spent summers working in the golf shop of one of the property’s five golf courses. During the winter months, Max worked in the resort’s ski rental and tuning shops.
In 2016, Max moved to Fort Collins to finish his degree at Colorado State University. During that time, he worked in the Mariana Butte Golf Course in Loveland. Three years later he took over the Outside Services Supervisor role at Ptarmigan Country Club before being promoted to First Assistant Golf Professional while pursing Class A PGA status.
Max is a native of St. Louis, MO and after high school attended Northwest Missouri State for two years on a baseball scholarship.
“If I am not on the golf course, you can find me on the river catching fish, or in the mountains on my snowboard,” he said.
RainDance Course Superintendent
Kaelen began his career with The Water Valley Company in 2012 as a seasonal golf maintenance worker at RainDance National's sister course, Pelican Lakes Resort & Golf. He worked while also attending college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
After upon receiving his degree in Sports Medicine in 2015, Kaelen was promoted to irrigation technician for all 27 holes at Pelican Lakes. In the fall of 2020, Kaelen transitioned to the assistant golf course superintendent position for the grow-in period at RainDance National.
"What makes RainDance stand out, aside from its length, is the turf variety being 50/50 fine fescue to Kentucky bluegrass," said Waters. "This variety provides for drier and faster playable conditions versus the usual 100 percent Kentucky bluegrass variety. This can help the course feel like it doesn't play as dauntingly long."
Following the year-and-a-half grow-in, Kaelen was named the RainDance National Golf Course Superintendent in January 2022. A native of Durango, Colorado, Kaelen and wife Jordan have two daughters, Cameron and Azalea.
When he's not maintaining the lush RainDance National property, he spends his time with family or hunting.
The Architect & The Pro
Harrison Minchew (left) is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and has designed over 150 courses around the world. Previously Minchew worked with the Arnold Palmer Design Company for more than 25 years and credits Palmer as a great influence and mentor. His design at the K Club in Kildare, Ireland played host to the world’s best at the 2006 Ryder Cup. After playing college golf for the University of Maryland, Fred Funk (right) turned professional in 1981 and then worked as the UM golf coach from 1982 to 1988. He joined the PGA TOUR in 1989 and picked up 8 wins including the 2005 Players Championship in his hometown of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In 2006 he joined the Champions Tour and has won 9 times including three major championships. Throughout his career he has collected 29 professional wins and was a member of the US Ryder Cup Team in 2004.