Meet Sycamore’s new face for golf recreation

A conversation with Sycamore Park District’s new superintendent of golf services, Paul Price

Paul Price, 31, spent Feb. 15, 2024, getting the Sycamore golf club house ready for the upcoming season.

SYCAMORE – Paul Price’s love for golf came early, he said, reminiscing of day’s past as a child playing with a plastic golf set.

The new superintendent of golf services for the Sycamore Park District, Price, 31, said he fell in love with the Sycamore job posting. He spoke to Shaw Local News Network recently as he settles into his new gig.

Originally from Grayslake, Price replaced longtime Sycamore golf superintendent Kirk Lundbeck upon his retirement at the end of 2023. Before starting his new job in December 2023, Price was with the Grayslake Park District, where he created the Millennial Golf League, according to a park district news release.

Even as small patches of snow could be found on DeKalb County ditches over the past week, Price said there’s still plenty for him to prepare for the 2024 season at Sycamore Golf Club. He’s helped more than 100 children learn to play golf by leading and coordinating a junior golf camp and league and hopes to grow the game while connecting with the community, according to the news release.

Price sat down for an interview to chat more about his role:

Paul Price, recently hired by Sycamore Park District to replace Kirk Lundbeck as the first new superintendent of golf services in more than two decades, checks emails from his standing desk on Feb. 15, 2024.

MidWeek: Do you have any memories that really stick out from learning to play golf, or anything as a whole in the sport?

Price: Some of the fondest memories were when my dad would take us to the driving range or, when I was really young I used to have like a plastic golf set that you could just, you know, smack around the front yard. So, really those core memories is what I reference or I think back on in terms of starting to play golf.

MW: How has the first month and a few weeks gone for you so far?

Price: I’ve started back in this early December and it’s been going well. I’ve spent a lot of my time learning about ... what this course has to offer and just kind of getting acquainted with Donald who’s my pro shop manager. We’re ordering merchandise, we’re working on marketing pieces. We’re planning out capital improvements and maintenance projects. We’re getting the tee sheets set up. There’s so many things to do when the snow is on the ground or in the offseason.

MW: What’s your most proudest achievement in golf and in life?

Price: When I was in Grayslake Park District, in my marketing role, I was also helping with golf and was teaching part time, golf that is, and helping a lot with the junior camps. So my proudest achievement there was being able to really build that program. And in my – how long was I teaching there? – four or five years, I’ve helped hundreds of kids start or improve on the game of golf. And it’s really neat to see some of the kids I’ve taught as they were 10, 11, 12, 13 and then make the high school golf team. And [the children] come back to me and be like, ‘Man, because of what you taught me and the confidence you gave me, I made the team.’ And that’s the best possible feeling you can get as a golf instructor. So I’m really proud of my time with that junior camp and I aim to bring similar results or a similar atmosphere to the junior program here at Sycamore.

MW: What does the golf director do when it snows on the ground around here? What do you do in the winter?

Price: We’re keeping up. It’s a lot of merchandising, ordering for next season, doing assessments, inventory reports. It’s getting outings and events and tournaments scheduled and confirmed for the next season. Again, capital projects, maintenance projects, cleaning, just generally keeping things operational and in a position where we can open and have a smooth transition to the golf season.

MW: What’s your favorite course to play on?

Price: There’s a course up by me called Royal Melbourne. It’s a private club. I really enjoyed playing that, but I love playing all sorts of courses and find each one to be unique and challenging within its own right. So I kind of just like exploring local courses around the area.

MW: If you could leave the area, if there’s any course in the world you could have the opportunity to play on, what sticks out to you?

Price: Some of the ones that’s kind of going back to childhood. My uncle’s a pretty big golfer, so TPC Sawgrass in Florida is huge, Pebble Beach is another one on the other coast. Those are two of the most famous ones that I constantly want to attempt to get out there one day in life.

MW: What’s your vision for the park district’s golf program here?

Price: My vision here is to provide or continue to provide a high quality experience for our customers while also focusing on the main values and mission and objectives of the park district as a whole. I just love golf. I like teaching golf and I am blessed to be in a position where the course is very strong, it’s a strong performing course, it’s popular. We get a lot of play and I’m just going to look for ways to further enhance that customer experience and build on top of what we already do really well.

MW: How can people get involved?

Price: First we’re doing a ‘Swing into Spring’ sale. We do this every year. It’s going to be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1 through March 3. We’ve got the clubhouse open. the pro shop. We’re going to do discounts on season passes, permanent tee times, handicap from the [Chicago District Golf Association] and then we’re going to have massive sales on merchandise and apparel. Cool stuff, just to kick off the season, try to generate some season passes and things like that And that’s probably the best way to support the course – and make sure you get your passing time.

Paul Price, superintendent of golf services for the Sycamore Park District's Golf Club, plays with his dog Boone, inside the club's pro shop on Feb. 15, 2024.
Have a Question about this article?