Rene MacKayDirector of Golf
The Ken-Wo Golf Club is led by Director of Golf and Operations Rene MacKay. Rene has been the club's Director since February of 2009, having previously spent 9 years at the club (1998 – 2006) working as an Assistant, Associate and Head Teaching Professional. Rene also served as the Director of Golf at the Truro Golf Club in 2007 and 2008.
Originally born and raised in Antigonish, N.S., Rene has been a member of the PGA of Canada since 1996. He is a graduate of St.Francis Xavier University where he completed his BBA (Accounting). Throughout his youth he was very active on the local golf scene having been a member of the NSGA Junior Team on two occasions while also having been crowned the 1991 NSGA Juvenile Champion and the 1992 NSGA Overall Junior Champion.
As a professional, Mr. MacKay has had the opportunity to work in various roles at well known facilities throughout the Maritime Provinces. Stops along the way included The Algonquin Resort, Ken-Wo Golf Club and the Truro Golf Club, as well as his junior golf days at the Antigonish Golf Club. The knowledge and insight gained over the years have molded Rene into the consummate professional that he is today.
Rene brings with him a great desire and commitment to the game and industry as a whole. His past experiences both on and off the golf course are certainly a great asset to Ken-Wo as the club moves forward in today's challenging and competitive golf industry. He truly believes the future success of the club is contingent on the satisfaction of all members and guests and will thus focus on providing the highest level of customer service in all departments. With the passion, enthusiasm and dedication Rene has for the game of golf and his position as Director of Golf, the future of Ken-Wo looks very bright.
Rene currently resides in the town of Wolfville with his wife Jodi and his son, Kooper Jaxon.
Brandy MartinAdministrative Assistant
Brandy Martin was born and raised in Kentville, Nova Scotia. She graduated from Acadia University with her Bachelor of Arts; then continued her education at NSCC-Kingstec where she received her Diploma in Accounting.
Brandy has been employed with Ken-Wo Golf Club since the fall of 2006. She loves to see members and guests enjoying themselves around the course and club daily.
Although she claims not to be a golfer she does enjoy the occasional "fun" game. When she's not working hard at the club; she enjoys spending time with her family.
Derek MacKinnonHead Golf Professional
Derek was born in Kentville and raised in Saulnierville. He grew up playing golf at the Clare Golf & Country Club and had tons of support from a great junior program during his younger years.
He started his career at Ken-Wo in the spring of 2000, signing his first contract and working for then Head Professional Gerry Elliott. He claims that he learned the majority of his business and teaching skills from his colleague and now "boss" Rene MacKay. They've worked together for over fifteen years!
Derek is also a two time Ken-Wo club champion having captured these back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. After having so much fun and success as an amateur he decided to turn pro in the summer of 2003 and began his professional golf career in the spring of 2004. He was later named PGA Atlantic Assistant Professional of the Year in 2006.
In the summer of 2007 he played his best and most memorable round of golf ever carding a quick 61 around the Ken-Wo track, setting a new course record for Ken-Wo, a record that has since been tied by the young superstar and Ken-Wo member Sam Holland.
Derek is an Acadia University Graduate, graduating with a Bachelor of Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Education.
His passion revolves around teaching and seeing the "Aha!" moments in life. But most of all, Derek's passion revolves around every aspect of the game of golf. He loves the game through and through and his love for competition is strong.
Derek recently won the 2014 PGA of Canada Atlantic Zone Championship and has represented the club at the Canadian Club Pro Championship in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Rick PhelanGolf Course Superintendent
Rick was born and raised in New Minas, NS where he still resides with his family including Patti and his two daughters Amanda and Ashley. Rick has been employed at the club since 1979. He began his tenure as a member of the grounds crew and was named Superintendent in 1984. Rick has attended several turf management courses over the years at the Truro Agricultural College, as well as various seminars in Canada and the US. Known to many as a very hard worker, Rick has been a strong asset to the continued growth of Ken-Wo Golf Club, often recognized as one of the top member clubs in Atlantic Canada and always well maintained.
During his spare time Rick enjoys spending time with his family at the cottage, while also "tinkering" with vehicles from time to time.
Brian BartkowAssistant Golf Course Superintendent
Brian was born into an Air Force Military family in Montreal, P.Q. and due to a number of transfers; he has resided in France and most of the Canadian Provinces. He graduated from high school in Ontario and attended Acadia University from 1972-1975 in the Faculty of Sciences (Math and Chemistry). He worked in a number of career disciplines: Finance (Banking); Employment Commission, Department of Transport/Airport Authority. During his time at Acadia, he was employed at the Greenwood Golf Club in the course maintenance and construction department. Brian held the position of assistant superintendent at Ken-Wo, from 1984-1988 and after 15 enjoyable years in Calgary, he was fortunate enough to resume the position here in 2003. Brian is a proud father of his son, Michael and daughter, January, and his highly energetic four grandchildren. He enjoys all sports, playing golf and billiards these days and music (guitar and harmonica) for 40 years. Brian thoroughly enjoys this position of course maintenance at the Ken-Wo Golf Club, and he enjoys meeting members and seeing smiling and friendly faces each day.