The Illinois Professional Golfers’ Association of America has named Connie DeMattia of Cantigny the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year for 2010.
DeMattia, 43, is the 25th recipient of the award, presented annually since 1986. He will be honored at the Illinois PGA’s Special Awards Reception on October 20 at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton.
“We are honored that Illinois PGA chose Connie for this prestigious award,” said Mike Nass, Cantigny Golf executive director. “His approach to teaching golf is effective with golfers of every age and ability level. He can help anyone enjoy the game even more, and that’s the sign of a great teaching pro.”
DeMattia joined Cantigny Golf in 2007 and became PGA Director of Instruction in 2008. He teaches at the Cantigny Golf Academy, which offers a comprehensive approach to golf performance and is considered one of the finest practice and training centers in the Midwest. DeMattia created the strategic plan and operating philosophy for the facility, which opened in July 2008.
“I’m extremely honored to be recognized by my peers as this year’s recipient,” DeMattia said. “I am also very grateful to the McCormick Foundation and Cantigny Golf for their continued support. Golf is a sport I truly enjoy, and I love the fact that every day I get to share my passion for the game with my family, students, friends and co-workers.”
DeMattia has been among Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers in Illinois” every year since 2005. He is especially committed to sharing the game with young people, and his efforts have greatly expanded Cantigny Golf’s junior development program. More than 1200 kids ages 5 and up participated in golf clinics in 2010, a new record. In addition to the Academy, which serves golfers of all ages, Cantigny is home to the Cantigny Youth Links, a 9-hole course designed just for kids.
Prior to Cantigny, DeMattia worked six years as director of instruction at historic Medinah (Ill.) Country Club. Before that he taught at the Golf Digest School in New Jersey.
A Michigan native, DeMattia earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stetson University in Deland, Fla. He was captain of the golf team at Stetson and played professional golf on the mini-tour level for nearly four years after his college career.
DeMattia remains a highly skilled player, competing in professional tournaments throughout the region and state. He was named Illinois PGA Player of the Year in 2005, and is a member of the National Players Council for Taylor-Made Adidas Golf.