Who We Are
A Little About Tom....
Tom has been involved in golf operations since 1966. Tom’s career began at the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club, a semi-private club operating on a military base in Rock Island, Illinois, where he first nurtured his love of golf by cleaning clubs and shining shoes. Throughout high school Tom spent his summers working as a laborer at Indian Bluff Golf Course, a County Forest Preserve Golf Course in Milan, Illinois where he learned how to stretch a dollar.
Later, while attending Western Illinois University in pursuit of an accounting degree, Tom gave in to his desire to be on the golf course and applied to the acclaimed Turfgrass Science Management Program at Penn State University. He was accepted into the program and began his formal training as a superintendent. Through Penn State Tom received an internship at Oakwood Country Club, a private club in Coal Valley, Illinois (also annual host for the PGA Tour’s “Hardee’s Golf Classic” now known as the “John Deere Classic”).
After graduating from Penn State in 1974 with High Honors, Tom chose to work in the golf mecca of Chicago. He served as Assistant Superintendent at Ravinia Greens Country Club, a private club in Riverwoods, Illinois and later as Assistant Superintendent at Twin Orchard Country Club, an exclusive 36-hole facility in Long Grove, northwest of Chicago. In 1977 Tom was awarded the Golf Course Superintendent position at Kankakee Country Club, south of Chicago. For 11 years Kankakee Country Club was known for its pristine conditions and its continued improvements under Tom’s direction. His years at Kankakee were highlighted by a complete renovation of fairways from Poa annua to bentgrass in 1982. Tom was twice appointed general manager of the Club and directed the entire operation of the Club’s facilities.
In 1988 Tom was selected as the Golf Course Superintendent at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, a past site for the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Western Open. Under his direction and care, this exclusive 36-hole private club maintained its position as one of Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Golf Clubs” in the country. During his tenure at Olympia Fields, Tom was instrumental in hiring the architects to renovate the North Course in order to secure a U.S.G.A. event. As a result, Olympia Fields hosted the 1997 U.S. Senior Open as well as the 2003 U.S. Men’s Open.
In 1990 Tom accepted the position of Golf Course Superintendent at Meridian Hills Country Club, one of the finest country clubs in Indiana. Throughout his five years at Meridian Hills, Tom initiated an extensive renovation of the golf course and supervised the installation of a state-of-the-art irrigation system. Tom and a group of investors formed HG Golf Properties, LLC in 1997 and in 2011 he helped form Green Golf Partners, LLC. Tom sold his ownership in Green Golf in 2016 and has teamed up with his son Tony to build another fine management company by the obvious name of Rodems Golf Management. His extensive experience and a unique understanding of golf course operations will help Rodems Golf attain a level of quality that will allow a strong and steady growth.
Tom’s background as a superintendent and experience leading the previous management company ensures that Rodems Golf Management, LLC’s first priority and main objective are focused on producing a quality experience for every customer, employee and member alike. Throughout all of this, Tom has had an amazing partner in Pam, his wife of 43 years. He’s also been blessed to work with all 3 of his children in this great business and now he’s hoping to see some of his 8 wonderful grandchildren carry on the torch.
A Little About Tony....
Tony was born and raised in Kankakee, Illinois. It was there where he first was introduced to the game of golf by his Dad who was the Superintendent at Kankakee Country Club. Tony was able to go out on the course once in a while and hit golf balls and learn about the game from the great Paul Reinking! And even though playing golf was fun, Tony was more interested in seeing what was happening out on the golf course. He admits the Cushman rides around the course with his Dad after swim practice were always the best.
The summer after 5th grade, Tony and his family moved to Carmel, Indiana and his Dad became the Superintendent at Meridian Hills Country Club. Tony started full time on the grounds crew the Summer before 6th grade. It was one of the best jobs as the daily routine included walk mowing greens with his older brother Shane, driving Cushmans, weed eating around trees, eating lunch with all the older guys and bass fishing in the ponds. I think the biggest bass he caught was 8 pounds! Tony’s first official golf lesson from Jack Barber was on October 1st 1994. And right after the lesson, Tony had to get out and try the new swing. So, they got to hole #12, where Tony caught all of those huge large mouths and his Dad chipped in from the fringe for a Birdie 2….and Tony beat him on the hole….it was his first and only Ace!
Between working outside on a golf course in the mornings and delivering pizzas at night, Tony always thought about being in the golf business full time. After high school, Tony attended Indiana University in Bloomington. After graduation in 2001, unsure of what to do and where to go, Tony accepted a job with a Fortune 500 company named CDW. After only a year with CDW selling technology, Tony surpassed every sales goal and ultimately was rewarded with a dinner featuring “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf as its guest speaker.
And in 2002, Tony was asked to become the Director of Marketing for an Indianapolis based golf course management company named H.G. Golf Properties. H.G. Golf Properties grew over the years relying heavily on the company’s hard work ethic, personal relationships with clients and wonderful investors.
In 2011, Tony and Tom, along with two other partners purchased H.G. Golf Properties from their investors and started Green Golf Partners. After almost 5 years with Green Golf Partners, the next step for them was to start their own golf course management company. So, in April of 2016, they sold their shares in Green Golf Partners and started Rodems Golf Management.
Rodems Golf Management is based out of Champaign, Illinois (Home of the Fighting Illini) and is a family owned and operated business. With almost 75 years of golf course experience between the two, they hope to assist golf courses so they can thrive in the future while providing their customers with unforgettable experiences on the golf course. Tony and Tom are both very excited to roll up their sleeves and see where this next adventure takes them!
Tony is very lucky to have a supportive, amazingly talented and beautiful wife named Betsy. They have three incredible boys and their oldest just completed his first summer of work at the University of Illinois Golf Course!