Dick Engel is coming up on 20 years in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The 44-year-old from Quartz Valley, Calif., is a full-time deputy on the force. Since age 30, he has been serious about competitive golf.
He is playing in his second USGA championship. But it was his first appearance at the 2008 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina that showed him that his true desire to improve existed. He did not qualify for match play.
“I realized then that my game was nowhere near where it needed to be,” Engel said. “That’s when I started working with my instructor Marshall Patterson in order to get to that next level, to get to things like this.”
Now, he hits a lot of balls on the weekends and has played competitive golf in the Southern California Golf Association as well as police golf events.
The practice has proved fruitful, with a 1-under-par 71 at Atlantic Golf Club in the first round of stroke play today at the Mid-Amateur. He made three birdies against two bogeys.
Asked if doing police work made his perspective on the golf course different, he said: “No, there’s still pressure. I feel pressure on 4-footers. I had a few of them today.” --Pete Kowalski