Timing is everything. Had he been born a couple of generations earlier, he might have been working alongside his grandfather during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As it was, he found himself in the Garden Island of Kaua’i at six months of age and grew up there through high school. They were peaceful years filled with the spirit of Aloha—love, compassion, kindness, and grace.
Kevin Marugame’s last name gives testimony to his Japanese heritage, and he is our IMGA Golfer of the Month.
Kevin chose to immerse himself in baseball, football, soccer, and track when he wasn’t stocking shelves or pumping gas. Flying from island to island to compete was a great adventure and allowed him to learn the valuable lessons of teamwork and competition.
Undergirded by a strict but loving Portuguese grandmother and an unconditional loving mother, he learned about the delicate balance between love and requiring a person to do and be their best.
Post high school found him on his own with a desire to see and do more than the Islands had to offer.
On his own, he followed some friends to Colorado to study and pay his way by working in the foodservice industry for 13 years with Old Chicago Pizza.
Many of his Old Chicago Pizza customers were golf professionals and became friends who gave him a view of a different life. After working a long shift, he was winding down and heard a 3 a.m. TV advertisement which suggested, “Why not get paid for your passion… attend the Golf Academy of America.”
He drove to Arizona and pursued the dream of becoming a golf professional full-time with no distractions.
Graduating from the Golf Academy in the top five percent of his class and earning the prestigious “Professionalism Award” prepared him to begin his golf career. He cleaned golf carts and worked outside for $9 per hour for Robson. It was a start.
After 10 years in IronOaks, Kevin has risen to the position of Head Pro. His dedication to customer service has been instrumental in helping “change the culture” in our amazing community. When you walk into IronOaks, you are made to feel like “a member of a very nice club.”
Kevin’s passion is “making my members and guests feel at home here at IronOaks, on and off the golf course, through service and kindness and helping the game grow.”
During his daily commute from Scottsdale, he often listens to and is inspired by recorded sermons from his church, Christ’s Church of the Valley. With 10 campuses and over 30,000 attendees, he finds their messages to be relevant to today’s problems, opportunities, and challenges.
* There are two things you have control over… your attitude and your effort.
* Golf is a lot like life. You learn to deal with the tough lies… and your next shot is another opportunity to excel!
Thank you, Kevin, for all you do for our membership!
We wish you continued success in your personal and professional journey!