Country Club reopens with two new managers

Stevie Ray (left) and Jeff Harnasch have joined the staff at Wickenburg Country Club as food and beverage manager for the Hitching Post Bar & Grill and assistant general manager, respectively. They are both well known in the community and at the club.

By Kevin Cloe

Sun Correspondent/Photographer

Two familiar faces joined the staff at Wickenburg Country Club as it prepared for the opening of a new season this week.

Jeff “Stitch” Harnasch and Steve “Stevie” Ray were recently hired as the club’s new assistant general manager and food/beverage manager, respectively.

Harnasch, rejoins the staff for a third time after having served as the local golf pro the two previous times, so this position is a step up in responsibilities.

He most recently worked as the golf pro at a Colorado golf course before returning to Wickenburg to be with his fiancée, Hillary, and their new baby.

Harnasch was the golf pro at Wickenburg Country Club (WCC) from 2000 to 2005 and again from 2014-2018, leaving both times to pursue other opportunities. He had worked in the pro shop at Los Caballeros Golf Club in Wickenburg from 1997-2000 before moving over to WCC.

“My job is to grow the business, which includes increasing (golf) play, scheduling tournaments and creating more social activities,” he said. “This is the kind of atmosphere I grew up in; I’m familiar with the membership, and I’m comfortable here.”

The new position will give Harnasch time to work in other areas outside of the pro shop, which will continue to be supervised by Shane DeLoria.

“I’ll have more time for (golf) instruction and marketing of the club,” he explained. “Working behind the desk is a lot of work, hours wise, so Shane will continue to handle those responsibilities.”

Ray has been in Wickenburg since 1979 and was a member of the Class of 1986 at Wickenburg High School.

He was the assistant manager and eventually general manager at the Country Kitchen restaurant (now Cowboy Cookin’) off and on for 20 years. After working there for eight years, he moved to Ohio and Missouri over the next 10 years and eventually returned to Wickenburg to be with family. That’s when he rejoined Country Kitchen for another 12 years. He also worked briefly at Cowboy Cookin’ and Denny’s before hearing about the opportunity to become the food and beverage manager at Wickenburg Country Club.

After a summer when the Country Club’s Hitching Post Bar and Grill was open for only limited hours, Ray announced the new hours of the restaurant and bar beginning this week, as the new season gets underway. The entire facility had been closed the past three weeks for overseeding of the golf course.

The new hours for the Hitching Post are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays, when menu items that include breakfast, brunch and dinner will be available.

“We’re going to a more traditional menu,” Ray explained, mentioning comfort food as some of the favored items. It takes a team to make this business successful. It’s going to depend on us all working together to make this season a success.”

Dave Hess, leaseholder and general manager of the membership-owned Country Club, is looking forward to the new season.

“We have been waiting a long time to augment our club staff with two top quality individuals,” he said. “Stevie Ray has all the right experience to make our bar and grill the destination of choice for food and entertainment in Wickenburg.

“Stitch Harnasch was sorely missed by the membership at the club, and we are very fortunate to get him back,” he added. “His expanded management role will definitely lighten the load in the front office.”

The golf course and Hitching Post are open to the public. Tee times and restaurant reservations are encouraged but not required. For more information about Wickenburg Country Club, call (928) 684-2011 or visit the website at www.wickenburggolfclub.com.

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