By Tim Cotroneo
Golf professional Scott DeLong ’07 will never forget his first day relocating to the Caribbean island of Anguilla for his new job as the head golf professional at the Greg Norman-designed Cuisinart Golf Course. Hours before his plane touched down at the neighboring island of St. Maarten’s International Airport, Hurricane Gonzalo slammed the island with 100 mph winds.
“When I stepped off the plane there was only a skeleton crew still working at the airport. I learned that the boat scheduled to take me over to Anguilla had been canceled,” DeLong said. DeLong managed to book one of the last rooms still available in St. Maarten.
As DeLong made his way up in the golf industry, he noted that many of the audience research skills he gained from his advertising and marketing classes at Drury University served him well in the job interview process. The resort chose DeLong after conducting an extensive global search for their new golf head professional. Cuisinart lures five-star guests from around the world, so their first hiring priority was finding someone with excellent communication skills.
DeLong appreciates how his advertising and public relations classes at Drury assist him when he’s asked to speak in front of a group. He regularly serves as the welcoming emcee for Cuisinart tournaments and shares closing remarks at dinner functions.
DeLong never knew he’d someday be living the Caribbean dream, nor thought he would enter the words “Hurricane Gonzalo” in his career journal. After a stormy first day on the job, Scott DeLong’s career chapter titled “Island Life” has only just begun.
Tim Cotroneo is a freelance writer specializing in Caribbean travel, business and golf.