Denise Martinez, one of Arizona's first female directors of golf at such prestigious clubs as Forest Highlands in Flagstaff and Silverleaf in Scottsdale, was killed Sept. 18 in a motor-scooter crash in Truckee, Calif. Martinez was 46.
Martinez, who got her start as the head professional at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, died of massive trauma to the head.
Her body was found by her boyfriend, Jim Andrus, the former general manager of The Golf Club Scottsdale, in a forest near their home.
The accident is under investigation, although no other vehicles were believed to be involved, according to police reports.
Martinez had relocated to Truckee earlier this year and was the director of golf at Martis Camp, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course project being developed by Scottsdale-based DMB Associates.
Known for her soft-spoken yet professional manner, Martinez won the girls state golf championship in 1979 as a junior at Tempe McClintock High School.
"We were the last team to beat Xavier before they went on their (16-year) winning streak,'' Martinez said.
"Yes, I won (individual honors) over Heather Farr by one stroke that year. The next year, my senior year, Heather beat me, and Xavier went on a roll.''
After a stellar career at the University of Arizona, where she earned a degree in business administration, Martinez took a shot at the LPGA and came up one stroke shy in qualifying school.
She never gave it another thought, as she moved into the golf industry and found her niche in the pro shop.
Even though she was a great teacher and player, Martinez was even more well-known for her big smile and people skills.
As Tom Weiskopf once said of his close friend and associate: "Denise has what it takes to run a high-profile membership. In other words, she keeps them happy.''
A viewing is set for Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Messinger Pinnacle Peak Mortuary, 8555 E. Pinnacle Peak Road in Scottsdale.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Highlands Church, 9050 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, also in Scottsdale.