Editor’s note: The follow information was provided by Kevin Doyle, GCSAA field staff representative for the Northeast region, who is volunteering at this week’s U.S. Women’s Open.
Pulling off an event on the scale of the U.S. Women’s Open takes an amazing amount of effort, and experience doesn’t hurt. Sebonack’s superintendent Garret Bodington and others on his staff have experience under their belts, and a great understanding of the necessary resources to create a memorable tournament.
One of the most important resources is people. Bodington was the key to organizing the volunteer staff for the 2002 U.S. Open, so he was well aware of the amount of work it would take for this event. As superintendents know all too well, you have to pick the right person for the job, and experience matters. So Bodington reached into his past to a person who, in recent history, helped organize two U.S. Opens, and one Barclay’s — Dave Catalano.
The two men have a history dating back to Bodington’s time at Bethpage, which as it turns out, is merely a fraction of Catalano’s state park experience. Catalano began working with the New York State Parks department in June 1967 as a temporary seasonal employee. His success with the department eventually led to working on staff for the Blue Course, Yellow Course, and in 1975 he attained a position (now considered a superintendent) on the Green Course. After further achieving two park superintendent positions, he began his tenure in administration with responsibilities that included all Long Island state parks in 1982. From 1995 until 2011, Catalano was director of Bethpage State Park (for both the ‘02 and ‘09 Opens) and stayed on after his retirement to help administration with The Barclays.