Vegas Golf Spotlight: Former UNLV Women’s Golfer Ayeesha McKeany

Categories: Golf News.

Las Vegas, Nevada (Sept. 21, 2015)–Ayeesha McKeany has a view to “Dye-for” at her job as Director of Marketing for the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, the home of three Pete Dye signature golf Las Vegas golf courses. McKeany, who was a member of the first recruiting class in the history of the UNLV Women’s Golf program in 2001 and was a four-year letter winner for the Rebels, made Las Vegas her home following her college career. She loves Las Vegas and the view at Paiute is just one of the benefits. –By Brian Hurlburt.

McKeany, who played as Ayeesha Kosugi while at UNLV prior to getting married, was a late bloomer in the game of golf. She didn’t take up the game until as a teenager when her mom, Sue, put her in a Nike Golf Camp in her native Southern California. By the end of the week, head instructor David Hunter had pulled her mom aside, telling her about the talent and potential he saw in the young Kosugi.

Ayeesha was hooked and went on to become a two-year letter winner in golf at La Salle High School in Pasadena, where she played on the boys varsity. She also lettered for three years in basketball, helping her team to a couple of league titles.

McKeany comes from a very athletic family. Her father, Sho, and brothers, Kane and Shane, are martial arts experts and have appeared in several movies and television shows. They have appeared with some of the biggest names in hollywood include Jean Claude Van Damme, among others. Some of the films that they have appeared in are Revenge of the Ninja, Pray for Death, Black Eagle, and Journey of Honor (aka Kabuto, aka Shogun Warrior). They have also competed in the discipline at a high level and appeared in video games and done acting both in America and Japan. Father, Sho, continues to produce programming and and operates an official website at ShoKosugiTheNinja.com.

Mckeany, bouyed by three top 10 finishes in American Junior Golf Association tournaments following her senior season at La Salle, caught the eye of new UNLV Women’s golf coach Kelly Hester, who was looking to fill out her roster and create a quality program. The rest is history for McKeany and Vegas golf.

“When I first started playing golf I had no idea that it would take me this far and allow me to experience so much and open so many doors for me,” says McKeany, who during her time as a Rebel was known as one of the best putters on the team by the coaches. “Lo and behold it is still a major part of my life so many years later.”

McKeany graduated with degrees in both psychology and marketing from UNLV in 2005, and for a time turned professional and attempted to play some of the mini tours. She was injured in 2006 and then lost the “love of the grind” that is needed to play the game at the highest levels.

For a brief period, Ayeesha and new husband Owen moved to Northern California, but they returned to Southern Nevada in 2009. McKeany went to work in the events department at the Paiute and has been there ever since, moving into the Director of Marketing role a couple years ago.

“To me, this facility is one of the best in Las Vegas and the very best in many ways,” says McKeany. “It’s difficult to find the quality of conditions that we offer year-round at other courses. I’m not just saying that because I work here; I really believe it because no matter what time of year you play, you will find our courses in great condition. And then when you add the beauty of the clubhouse and our overall location, it is unmatched.”

These days McKeany balances a career and her role as a wife and mother. Her daughter, Kylee, was born earlier this year. “Being a mom is very different and a big change,” says McKeany. “Other parents try and tell you what to expect as a new parent, but you don’t comprehend it until you become one. It’s a challenge to balance everything, but it’s been the greatest experience of my life.”

The guess here is that little Kylee will take to the game of golf a littler earlier in life than Mom.