- Golfer Benefits
NORTON, Massachusetts – Vincent Marcantonio is an early riser. Up well before dawn this time of year, the longtime Cape Cod resident often fires off emails in the early hours to coordinate plans with fellow Mass Golf Volunteers and those closest to him. Since joining the volunteer ranks nearly 20 years ago, Marcantonio has taken a leading role as a course rating captain and added to his responsibilities by becoming a rules official.
In recognition of his longtime service to the game, Marcantonio has been chosen as the 2023 recipient of Mass Golf’s Andrew J. Blau Volunteer of the Year Award. Marcantonio is the 14th individual to receive the Volunteer of the Year Award since its inception in 2012. Andrew Blau volunteered for 30 years in almost every department for Mass Golf, including championships, course rating, handicapping, junior golf, and communications before his passing in 2010.
“I owe a lot to golf because it’s given me opportunities to be who I am today,” Marcantonio said. “It’s a tremendous feeling to be supported by your peers and the people you work with to give you a vote of confidence. It makes it worthwhile.”
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Marcantonio said he first started playing the game when working for a food services company in his mid-20s. His first-ever round was a golf outing at The International in 1976. For the past 40 years, he’s been living and working on Cape Cod and is a regular at Hyannis Golf Course, where he plays year-round.
“I’ve met some tremendous people in the business world where golf has opened doors where I have no right to know them otherwise,” Marcantonio said. “Before cellphones, I’d spend 5.5-6 hours on the course with these individuals, and business was much easier.”
When he moved to the Cape, he became close with Bill Cowan, who previously served as course rating captain of the region. The two would play a quick nine in Hyannis and talk about opportunities to give back to the game, specifically through course rating. Marcantonio said he enjoyed the experience, and about 10 years ago joined Cowan as co-captain of the region. Cowan passed away in September 2022, and he was the first person Marcantonio mentioned when receiving the award during an outing for Mass Golf Volunteers on Wednesday.
“He introduced me to Mass Golf and all the wonderful things and all the wonderful people I’ve met,” Marcantonio said. “I’ve seen a lot of people grow in Mass Golf.”
Over time, he also became close with officials with deep ties to Mass Golf — especially Jim Horvath, John Crook, and Shayne Grier, all of whom are veteran rules officials. Naturally, Marcantonio learned from them, and this year was the Official In Charge at the Mass Senior Amateur Qualifier at Hyannis Golf Course.
“I have many memories with these guys,” said Marcantonio, referring to Horvath, Crook, and Grier. “They instructed me on the nuances of officiating.”
As for course rating, Marcantonio commands a dedicated team of raters, many of whom will travel from hours away to rate courses in the Cape region.
“It’s amazing that Vin does both the rules and course rating because there’s so much stuff that has to go on behind the scenes prior to when we go out to rate the golf course,” said Tom Giffin, Mass Golf’s Manager of Course Rating. “He’s got a fantastic relationship with other volunteers. Everybody loves Vin.”
Outside of Mass Golf, Marcantonio has organized a benefit tournament for 17 years in honor of a close friend who has passed away. All the proceeds supported Cape Cod Senior Ruth Baseball, and one tournament would cover the expenses for the entire season.
“I owe a lot to golf because it’s given me opportunities to be who I am today,” Marcantonio said.
Here’s what others have had to say about Marcantonio’s contributions to Mass Golf:
Vinnie is so well respected and liked within our team of Cape Cod rules officials. He’s always among the first to arrive in the morning and among the last to leave after all the scores are posted. I’ve known Vinnie for over 30 years, and he is as loyal and dedicated as you’ll find. — Jim Horvath, Mass Golf rules official and former member of the Massachusetts Golf Association Executive Committee
I have known Vin since I started working at Mass Golf in 2018 as a Boatwright Intern. What impresses me about Vin is his dedication to making sure the standard of the event is of the highest quality. This past season we hosted a Senior Amateur Qualifier at his home club, Hyannis GC, where he also works on the grounds staff part-time. In addition to his duties working for the club, Vin went out of his way to make my job as easy as possible helping mark the golf course and set tees and hole locations. He even went out on a busy Monday afternoon, solo to dot the hole locations. This type of dedication is above and beyond for anyone, let alone someone volunteering their time. — Steven Yatrousis, Mass Golf’s Manager of Championship Administration
Vinny defines what being a Mass Golf volunteer is all about. At events, I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen Vin soaking wet from head to toe in his rain gear out on a hole for 12 hours. I’ve seen him out there on a 95-degree day ready to go, willing to help out with whatever needs to be done. He’s always somebody you can count on for everything and everything. Whatever it takes, we know we can pick up the phone and Vin will be there. — Kevin Eldridge, Mass Golf’s Director Of Rules & Competitions