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Jun 15, 2018 6:22 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Former Coach, Teacher Vinny Mangano Marshaled Hole No. 15 At U.S. Open

North Sea resident Vinny Mangano working as a marshal at the U.S. Open this week. DREW BUDD
Jun 18, 2018 1:18 PM

Due to his responsibilities as a math teacher, North Sea resident Vinny Mangano never really had a chance to volunteer for any of the U.S. Opens at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Although he attended the championship tournaments in 1986, 1995 and 2004 as a spectator, he just couldn’t commit to volunteering since end-of-the-year testing typically took place the same week.

This year was different.

The opportunity to become a volunteer at the 118th running of the U.S. Open presented itself and, having retired from teaching in 2016, Mangano, 62, jumped at it. He was a marshal on both Friday and Saturday, enjoying one of the most scenic holes at the historic golf course at no. 15.

Mangano, in addition to being a teacher, coached football on the East End for the past 40 years. He was a longtime varsity coach at Southampton for 26 years—head coach for 18 of those years—leading the Mariners to a Suffolk County Championship in 1993. Mangano, most recently, was an assistant coach on the varsity football team at Westhampton Beach the past 10 years, helping the Hurricanes win both Suffolk and Long Island championships this past fall. He announced his retirement from coaching, along with head coach Bill Parry, at season’s end.

“It’s nice working here when you live and teach in the community because you bump into former students, parents all the time,” he said.

Typically first-time volunteers get some of the least sought after jobs, but Mangano had an in.

Each hole at the U.S. Open is marshaled by a local or surrounding golf course. Hole 15 is marshaled by The Vineyards in Riverhead. The head pro at The Vineyards just happens to be a good friend of Mangano, Louis de Kerillis. The two are pickle-ball buddies.

“He asked if I wanted to do 15. I said, ‘Yes! It’s, like, the most beautiful hole.’” Mangano said.

There were a number of marshals peppered along the course at Shinnecock. Many of them had a number of different tasks, but the ones assigned to specific holes were there for multiple reasons. They needed to be aware at all times where each player’s ball landed. If it landed in the three-foot high rough—which was the case more often than not this past week—they needed to be able to spot it. They also kept the spectators in check during play, making sure they’re quiet, especially for the more well-known golfers, but also to keep them away from a ball that lands out of regulation, which is exactly what happened right when Mangano started his job on Friday.

Matthieu Pavon hit his initial tee shot from 15 well off the fairway and just in front of the “Suites On 15.” Mangano and other marshals made sure Pavon had enough room to make his next shot, which he did nicely, putting his ball back on the green.

Mangano said he was pretty busy, but he enjoyed it.

“What they do, which is a great idea, is every half-hour or so is rotate us clockwise, so that no one gets stuck doing that one spot for the whole six-hour shift, so you get to see the entire hole. I love the way they do it,” he said. “I’ve worked with a guy from Philadelphia. Yesterday I was working with a guy from Seattle, Washington. There was a guy from the Bronx yesterday. So you get close to people and talk to them, and it’s all golf.”

With the 126th U.S. Open slated for 2026 back at Shinnecock Hills, Mangano didn’t hesitate when asked if he would volunteer again.

“God willing,” he said. “I’m really enjoying my time here. I would love to do it again.

“I like golf … this makes you really love golf.”

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By BENWHB (1), East Quogue on Jun 16, 18 8:28 PM