From Oak Brook golf pro to director, Trey VanDyke’s job has grown
CJ Beisswanger (left) and his sister Cailee, both from Oak Brook, talk with Trey VanDyke, director of the Oak Brook Sports Core, at the Oak Brook Golf Club Aug. 3. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
NAME: Trey VanDyke
FAVORITE SPORT, OTHER THAN GOLF: Running
FAVORITE FOOD: Lasagna
FAVORITE PRO GOLFER: Rickie Fowler
FATHER IS: A Catholic priest
Updated: September 10, 2012 12:43PM
OAK BROOK — Trey VanDyke got 18 holes and a lot more when he returned to the place he had worked part-time during high school.
Twenty-two years later, VanDyke still is the head pro at the Oak Brook Golf Club. But he has taken on considerably more responsibility along the way. In 1994, he took over the club’s management, and in 2008 he became director of the entire Oak Brook Sports Core. Along with his duties at the golf club, that position leaves him in charge of the Bath & Tennis Club, eight tennis courts, soccer fields that are rented out to leagues, and a polo field, which serves most of the time as a golf driving range.
“Floods in 2008 and 2010 put a burden on the Sports Core, financially,” VanDyke said. “We needed to do something for cost savings, especially with employees, and the decision was made that I would take over the other parts of the Sports Core, along with the golf.”
VanDyke hopes Sports Core business will increase over the next couple years, so another director can be hired to handle non-golf operations, as previously was the case.
“Golf is where I spend a majority of my time here,” he said. “I am involved with the operations of the other parts of the Sports Core, but the majority of my function is the operation of golf.”
VanDyke, 48, grew up in nearby Riverside and still lives there. He learned to play golf while taking lessons as a 10-year-old from former Oak Brook pro Vince Di Tella. VanDyke said the Oak Brook Golf Club opened in 1980, but the site was home to two other courses prior to that.
The York Golf Club opened in the 1920s and was purchased by Paul Butler, who used 12 of the holes from that course and added six additional holes from adjacent land he owned to create Butler National Golf Course. The six remaining holes from York were used as part of an executive nine-hole course.
Oak Brook bought the 270-acre Sports Core property in 1977 and created what is now the 18-hole Oak Brook Golf Club, which opened July 8, 1980.
“I worked there during high school, including during the construction,” VanDyke said. “I came back after college as a worker in 1986 and then was the assistant pro at Butler National from 1987-1990.”
Di Tella’s retirement brought VanDyke back to the Oak Brook Golf Club. While he spends much of his time during golf season at the club, there also is plenty of work to do during winter months.
“We open as soon as is possible after March 1 each year and stay open until Christmas Eve, or the first significant snow, whichever comes first,” VanDyke said. “We start Saturday clinics in mid-February, so there’s really only about six weeks when there is no golf, and that’s when all the planning takes place for the following season.”
VanDyke said the most important part of his job is to maintain contact with those who use the Sports Core.
“I want to make sure that their needs are being met,” he said. “I also make sure that the program people we have are in place. Our swim team is a huge program here; there are a lot of parent volunteers involved, but I have to be sure that we have everything in place so that the program runs smoothly. And I keep in contact with all of the instructors we have teaching various activities here.”
Facility upkeep also is a priority, VanDyke said.
“We put a lot of time into that,” he said. “The course is the product, and you never want to neglect the product.”