Editor's Note: This is part of a summer Q&A series in which every Wednesday sports writer Jared Bell will talk with local people in the sports news.
Golf has been good to Marty DeAngelo.
After attempting a professional playing career, the La Salle-Peru graduate has spent the last 20-plus years working around the game of golf and teaching the sport.
Following a stint as the director of golf and head professional at Deer Park Country Club, he returned to Florida, the state in which he attended college.
In 1995, he began working for the Isleworth Golf & Country Club, located in the Orlando suburb of Windermere. He was promoted to the head golf professional in 1998 and became Isleworth’s director of golf in 2004.
After nearly 18 years at Isleworth, DeAngelo returned to Illinois earlier this year and on Jan. 21 became the director of golf at Medinah Country Club, a prestigious three-course country club located in the northwest Chicago suburb of Medinah that has approximately 850 members ranging in age, ability and in state and out of state residency.
Last week, the NewsTribune caught up with the 47-year-old DeAngelo to discuss his career, his time in Florida and his return to Illinois.
NewsTribune: Can you talk about the process of how you wound up at Medinah? Did you formally apply or did they come to you?
Marty DeAngelo: The former director of golf, Mike Scully, is a friend of mine and he called me to let me know he was leaving, and I was very happy for him. A little while later, I got a call asking if I would be interested in the position. At that time I said that I was very happy at Isleworth. Well, a few weeks later, I got a call from the general manager of Medinah asking again if I had any interest in the position.
Around that time I had planned to go to Medinah to watch the Ryder Cup (last September) and he said, ‘Well, why you’re up here, why don’t you come in for an interview and check out the facility?’ so that’s what I did. I then applied for the position and eventually got the job.
NT: As the director of golf at Medinah, what are your primary roles and responsibilities?
DeAngelo: Really, my main responsibilities are just to oversee the golf operations. I manage all of the golf aspects of (Medinah). It can be a little overwhelming at times because at Isleworth we had one course and about 180 members, where here we have three courses. One of the three courses is currently shut down this summer because it’s being remodeled, but it’s still a lot.
(As far as on the course), I don’t really teach or give lessons anymore because I’m busy overseeing the operations, but I do have a head golf professional and he has an assistant who works with members.
NT: What’s a typical day like for you or is there not a typical day?
DeAngelo: A lot of the days here are atypical. I usually get to the course around 5:30-6 a.m. and I don’t leave until about that same time at night. Days just vary. Sometimes I’m working with members who may have group outings or we may have an event or we also have leagues at night.
NT: What appealed to you about Medinah and returning to Illinois?
DeAngelo: I have a family now and kids, so it’s nice to be up in the area so close to friends and family. When I was in Florida, we really had no family anywhere near us — it was just us — but now that my kids are getting older, I thought it would be nice for them to be around family and to be able to see their grandparents. It was just a good fit.
NT: You were the director of golf at Isleworth, the home course of Tiger Woods and many other PGA players. What was it like to be at a place like that? Did you try to pick their brains or leave them alone?
DeAngelo: Well, I doubt they were members at Isleworth because of me (laughs). But really it was a little of both. A lot of it also depended on what type of moods they were in, but I did try to get to know them and learn from them as best as I could. I always liked to think that I did a pretty good job of taking the time to get to know them and have a good relationship with all the members there.
NT: What was it like in Florida? Was it golf year around or was their time off? And how does it compare to Medinah?
DeAngelo: It is different in Florida than it is up here. In Chicago, the winter is the slow season where in Florida the summer is the slow time. In Florida, you can golf pretty much year around and I worked pretty much all year, so it was nice to have a little bit of a winter last year because up here the courses literally shut down for 2-3 months.
NT: You won the Area-Wide NewsTribune Men’s Golf Tournament three times from 1991-93. Do you still play in a lot of tournaments or are you too busy with your role at Medinah?
DeAngelo: Well, I did so poorly in some of the (PGA) tournaments that I would just rather not have to relive them. (laughs). Being at Medinah and running the golf operations is a big time commitment so I don’t really have many opportunities to play in tournaments.
NT: Now that you’re back, do you plan to return for the area-wide men’s golf tournament later this month to see friends or is it tough for you to get away from Medinah?
DeAngelo: It’s hard to get away on a summer weekend because that’s usually our busiest days, but I (did come) back to the area for the Jimmy D outing because that was an outing that was really special to me. But I don’t plan to come back and play in the (area-wide) tournament this year or stop by. Like I said, it’s tough to get away. I am fortunate I was able to get away this weekend.
NT: The USGA was in the news in May when it banned the use of anchored putters. What do you make of the decision?
DeAngelo: Somebody from another newspaper actually asked me about this the other day. I really wish they would change it and not make it the same date for both professionals and amateurs. I can understand having the pros change Jan. 1, 2016, but golf is supposed to be fun. I think it would’ve been good if they would’ve taken the PGA’s suggestion of 2024 (for amateurs) instead of making the change for everyone in 2016. I can understand changing it for the pros, but for the amateurs I wished they would’ve waited. The growth of the game is starting to slow and I think it will hurt it some.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.