Shawn Emerson has been in the golf course industry for 40 years. Twenty-five of those years were spent at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona as the Director of Agronomy where Shawn presided over seven golf courses, leading them to achieve the Renovation of the Year (2003) award and an Honorable Mention for Development (2019). In addition to Shawn’s management over golf courses, he has also taken care of all aspects of club landscaping, tennis, and pickle court construction/maintenance, and was part of building a world-renowned performance center. He is known for his innovative approach, using technology such as sensors, drones, operation software, and procurement management.

Shawn has managed multi-cultural work environments by hiring employees via student visas, H2B visas, and Catholic Relief Services, creating a unified team working towards a common goal. He has placed over 50 golf course superintendents and 75 assistant superintendents who have moved on to other opportunities in the golf course industry. Shawn has collaborated closely with many experts in the industry during his career, including architects, scientists, university professors, manufacturers, as well as many small business owners. As a second-generation golf course superintendent, Shawn has many business contacts that span several generations and is well regarded within the industry. Over the years, Shawn has been featured in multiple magazines, been a guest on many blogs, and has served on an advisory committee that helps reshape the golf industry for the future. He is renowned not only for his expertise but also for his management skills, his ability to look outside the box, and his down to earth personality.


  • PGA West Resort in Palm Springs, California (2 Courses)
  • Golf Course Superintendent at Coronado Country Club in El Paso, Texas (18 Holes)
  • Construction of six golf courses
  • Led renovation of four golf courses
  • Groomed golf tournaments for major tournaments including nine Senior PGA major tournaments, six Arizona State Opens, four Arizona State Amateurs, six Southwest Amateurs, one PGA Senior Club Championship, and one USGA Senior Women’s Amateur. 
  • Inductee into the Arizona Hall of Fame in 2017
  • Winner of the Anuvia Legends Award (2020) 
  • Lectured at many GCSAA conferences and spoken on many university campuses
  • Bachelor of Science degree at University of Arizona in Agronomy.