Director of Golf
Mike Clifford, PGA
Mike has been with The Lakes since June 1986. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he attended Purdue Indianapolis Regional Campus. Mike won The Indianapolis Amateur in 1972 attaining PGA status in 1976 while an Assistant Golf Professional at Otter Creek Golf Course. Mike moved onto Denver Country Club where he was mentored by Head Golf Professional and former tour player, Fred Wampler. He moved to Palm Desert in 1978, where after a short time at Rancho Las Palmas Country Club, was named Monterey Country Club’s 1st Head Golf Professional, then holding the position of Club Manager for several years before moving to The Lakes Country Club. In 2010, he received the “Bill Strausbaugh” Award for mentoring fellow golf professionals. He has four children and two grandchildren, all of which live locally. Mike enjoys participating in the Super Senior Division of SCPGA Tournaments, golf trips with his sons, reading, exercising, gardening, hiking and most of all, spending time with his grandchildren.
First Assistant Golf Professional
John McCarthy, PGA
Joining The Lakes in 2014 as First Assistant Golf Professional, John is a desert native. Playing tournament golf starting at a very young age, John played varsity golf for Palm Desert High School. He went on to play varsity golf for College of the Desert, where he attended the Golf Management Program. He became a Class A member of the PGA of America in 2013. With experience in the golf business dating back to his teenage years, John has a passion for golf. Spending the last seven years as 1st Assistant/Tournament Coordinator at La Quinta’s SilverRock Resort, John gained experience in all facets of golf operations, including hosting duties for the PGA Tour’s Bob Hope Classic for four years. Teaching golf is also a passion for John and genuinely enjoys watching his students improve. With his wife, three beautiful daughters and one son, he enjoys spending time with family. Competitive golf, beach trips, playing music and watching movies are among his interests.
Merchandise Manager & Buyer
Claudia Benjamin
Claudia joined The Lakes Country Club in 2009. She graduated from The American InterContinental University in Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Fashion Marketing. After graduating, she started her buying career working at one of the most exclusive clubs in Los Angeles, Bel-Air Country Club. She relocated to the Desert to continue her career working with Troon Golf, where she broadened her buying experience purchasing for a major golf resort. In Claudia’s spare time, she loves spending quality time with her husband and two children, playing golf, avid workouts, taking vacations, has a passion for fashion and shopping of course.
Assistant Golf Professional
David Goldstein, PGA
David was born in Burbank, California and attended Long Beach City College while playing on the Golden State Tour. Prior to joining The Lakes Country Club, David was the 1st Assistant at Oak Valley Golf Club. As 1st Assistant for Oak Valley, David spent some time in China opening and operating a Junior Golf Program in 2013. David spends most of his free time practicing and playing the game he loves. David and his wife Angela currently live in Palm Desert and enjoy watching movies and spending time with one another.
Assistant Golf Professional
Paul Grisham
Paul joined The Lakes in January of 2016. Prior to The Lakes, he completed a 26 year career in The United States Navy. Paul spent most of his career in San Diego on five different ships and made seven, six to nine month deployments over that span. His other duty stations consist of Naval Air Station in Fallon Nevada and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo Texas where he was a Fire Fighter Instructor for all branches of the military. He also attained is Associates of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science from the Community College of The Air Force while stationed at Goodfellow. His final assignment was Naval Air Station in Key West Florida. Upon completion a very successful career in the Navy, Paul attended The Golf Academy of America in San Diego. After 16 months of a challenging curriculum, Paul moved to the Coachella Valley to pursue his dream of becoming a Golf Professional. Paul has been married to his wife for 26 years and has three children.
Assistant Merchandiser
Maggie Miramontes
Maggie joined the Lakes Country Club in 2006 as a Tennis Hostess in the Tennis Pro Shop arranging tennis matches for members and their guests. During the summer months, she assisted in the Fitness Center as the Front Desk Monitor. As a team player, she expanded her universal diversity to assist in the Administration Office and for the past few seasons, she has been in the Golf Pro Shop as an Assistant Merchandiser. She enjoys this position best as she loves merchandising and learning about all the upcoming new colors and fashion. In Maggie’s spare time, she loves spending time with her two children, hiking, swimming and watching movies.
Assistant Merchandiser
Gabriela Roque
Assistant Golf Professional
Fernie Ruelas, PGA
Fernie first joined The Lakes in the fall of 2005 as a part of the outside service staff. Through years of hard work and dedication, he was promoted to the golf shop. Specializing in tournament operations at The Lakes, Fernie has forged a solid relationship and understanding of the Lakes Ladies Golf Association. Spending time with his wife and their three children is among his top priorities. Team bowling and everything Dodgers also rank high on his interest list.
Assistant Golf Professional
Charlie Sipple, PGA
Charlie was born in Kingman, Arizona, lived in Covington, Kentucky and then moved to Ogden, Utah where he attended most of his schooling. He worked for Albertson’s grocery chain from 1960 until 1974. He then transferred to Boise, Idaho in 1969. He sold real estate from 1974 until 1983. In 1984, was ask to join the management team at Warm Springs Golf Course in Boise. Duties included Shop Management, Staff Management, Buying Merchandise, operating the driving range and teaching. He coached Boise State University’s Golf Team from 1986 to 1987. In 1989, he left Boise for McCall, Idaho where he managed the McCall Golf Club until 2004. From McCall, he went a short distance to New Meadows, Idaho to become the Director of Golf and Head Pro at Meadow Creek Golf Resort until 2011. Because of seasonal weather conditions in Idaho, he came to the Desert, where he now lives full time and was hired by The Lakes in 1998.