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 relocated to Palm Desert in 1978 and soon became 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 four 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.
Head Golf Professional
John McCarthy, PGA
John is a desert native who joined The Lakes team in 2014. 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 becoming a Class A Member of the PGA of America in 2013. With experience in the golf industry dating back to his teenage years, John has a true passion for golf. Spending 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. Teaching golf is also a passion of John's and genuinely enjoys watching his students improve. With his wife, three daughters and one son, he enjoys spending time with his 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 and has a passion for fashion and shopping, of course.
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 consisted of Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas where he was a Firefighter 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 of 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 Golf Professional
Kim Kleinle, PGA
Kim is a native Pennsylvanian where she has worked most all of her life. She is also an Assistant Golf Professional during the summer seasons at Pocono Farms Country Club in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. For the previous four years, she has been with Caliente Springs RV Resort near Desert Hot Springs during the winter months. Kim previously held positions such as Head Golf Professional at Pinecrest Lake Golf & Country Club in Pennsylvania for seven years and Director of the Pocono Junior Golf Tour for five years which led to her nomination of ‘Philadelphia PGA Section Junior Golf Leader’. Kim has also been employed as a newspaper editor and still does some writing and editing for websites. She has been a PGA Member since 2001 and became a PGA Certified Professional in 2009. Kim's achievements also include a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from Point Park University.
Assistant Golf Professional
Ken Limes, PGA
Ken is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma attending Oklahoma State University. He moved to Denver, Colorado where he took his first Assistant Golf Professional position at Cherry Hills Country Club. Ken was there for eight years until he was offered the Head Golf Professional position at Columbine Country Club, which he held for 19 years. He then became part of a group that purchased The Country Club of Woodmoor in Monument, Colorado and became the General Manager, a position he held for the past three years until turning the reigns over to his successor. Ken recently relocated to Palm Desert and we are excited to have him with us through the winter seasons. He has been a PGA Member since 1986. Ken has two adult daughters who reside in Denver.
Assistant Golf Professional
Erin Lind, LPGA
Erin is from Missoula, Montana where she attended the University of Montana receiving her bachelors degree in Sociology with emphasis in Criminology. She moved to the desert in 2014 where she attended College of the Desert for two semesters and played on their golf team. Erin has been with the PGA West Tournament Country Club for the past four years most recently selected as PGA West's Employee of the Quarter. Erin is currently a Coach for the College of the Desert Women’s Golf Team. They are now competing for the Junior College State Championship, which they won several years ago when Erin played for the team. Erin is an LPGA Member working toward her Class A membership, which she should attain in 2019.
Assistant Merchandiser
Bridget O'Shaughnessy
Bridget is a native of southern California and grew up in the South Bay, Torrance. She has always had a “passion for fashion” and attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles where she studied visual merchandising. She has 15+years’ experience working in the retail industry for BCBG Max Azria, MAXSTUDIO and Ralph Lauren. Bridget has recently moved back to the Coachella Valley after living in St. Paul, MN. for several years. Her dream of becoming a snowbird has come true and she is looking forward to winters in the desert and summers in Mt. Hood, Oregon. Bridget is currently attending College of the Desert, studying Early Childhood Education. She loves children and hopes to make a difference in their lives. Bridget is an avid hiker and enjoys exploring our National Parks. She has summitted Half Dome (YNP), Angels Landing (ZNP) and Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48. Bridget also loves a good karaoke night, dancing and spending time with her family.
Starter / Ranger
Greg Pedersen
Greg grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a B.S. in Journalism. He spent most of my career in marketing and has traveled the country extensively working with newspapers, television stations and internet marketing companies. Greg has always had a passion for golf. He was part owner of Nevada Bob’s Golf in the desert and Monterey, California from 1996 to 1999, joining The Lakes 2019 as a Starter / Ranger. He spends his summers in Colorado Springs at The Club at Flying Horse. The best thing Greg says about working at The Lakes are the wonderful Members!