Ryan Dunning knows well what can attract folks to golf. After all, as a late devotee to the game who learned to play only as an adult, it was not long ago that the game grabbed his own attention.
It is part of what makes Ryan such a perfect fit in his role as Black Butte Ranch’s golf sales manager, in which his chief responsibility will be to design idyllic golf trips for groups of golfers interested in playing at the Ranch’s two championship golf courses.
“You have to invite people; you gotta introduce them,” says Ryan, 36. “People feel intimidated like it’s a sport that you have to have certain criteria to play. You have to break those barriers down.”
Ryan has rare enthusiasm and he brings with him a wealth of experience that includes work at some of the most prestigious golf resorts in the world.
He started his career in golf in 2010 as the group coordinator at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. He moved to Central Oregon in 2013 to become the group sales manager at Pronghorn Club. Not a bad list, really. The two Oregon resorts account for a combined five golf courses on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.
Black Butte Ranch, though, is a wholly different experience. The Ranch certainly has impressive golf offerings with Glaze Meadow and Big Meadow. But the golf here is complemented by an almost unlimited selection of activities away from the course, from the Ranch’s new $11.5 million Lakeside amenity to a full-service spa and incredible outdoor options in the surrounding Sisters Country.
And it does not hurt that Black Butte Ranch is in Central Oregon, which Golf Digest considers among the Best Buddies-Trip Destinations in the country.
Such a diverse mix is precisely what attracted Ryan to Black Butte Ranch, he says.
“It’s an all-in-one place,” Ryan says. “It’s not just one focus. It’s multiple things. There is a lot to work with.”
More precisely, Ryan adds: “Black Butte Ranch ensures value to guests as a core principle, creating an environment of both relaxation and fun.”
A former U.S. Marine, Ryan served in the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit from 2000 through 2004. And he brings some of the skills he learned in the military, including his discipline and his attention to detail, to his role at Black Butte Ranch.
Ryan also brings passion to his new job.
The joy comes from chatting with a client, picking out the important details of the conversation, and from that designing from scratch the perfect trip. That includes everything from corporate and social golf groups, tournaments, international groups, corporate team building, he says. And clients need not even be an overnight Black Butte Ranch guest, nor do they have to limit themselves to just Black Butte Ranch’s two golf courses, to enlist Ryan’s services.
After all, imagining the perfect trip and then seeing the joyful reaction of a satisfied client is what drives Ryan. And with all of the amenities at Black Butte Ranch and the surrounding area, he has an almost unlimited menu to get creative.
“I’m excited to put something together for somebody,” Ryan says. “I look forward to it. And they hear me get excited about it, so they get excited.”
Name: Ryan Dunning
Birthplace: Livermore, California
Family: Wife, Gina; Three children (Olivia, 14, Lathan, 10, Ellie, 8)
Education: Eastern Oregon University (B.S., Business Administration)
Special interests: Surfing, snowboard, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, golf, basketball