IMGA Golfer of the Month

Bill Beltz, April IMGA Golfer of the Month

Bill Beltz, April IMGA Golfer of the Month

Mike Willinger

Bill Beltz realized he had a natural athletic ability for sports early, but it was not until much later that golf became one of those that he played.

He was the only child born to a couple living modestly on the far south side of Chicago. His father, an immigrant from Germany, married Bill’s mother late in life. Bill’s love of baseball started by hitting rocks with a wooden bat, collecting baseball cards, and following the White Sox. His introduction to organized sports was at age 12, when he played shortstop and pitcher in Little League. His focus changed when he grew eight inches his freshman year and turned to basketball. His career ended when shattering his right arm while rebounding.

His father had a strenuous job, delivering and unloading bricks and cement. Bill helped him in the summer, which unfortunately resulted in a life of back problems. His favorite memories were fishing for perch on Lake Michigan with his best friend, his mother.

Bill pursued his education at the University of Illinois, interrupted by the Navy and the Vietnam conflict. His military career ended prematurely for medical reasons. Then a life-changing event occurred, marrying the love of his life. Married now 55 years, Bill and Karen have raised four children; three daughters and a son, and are blessed with 10 grandchildren. Two grandchildren have graduated in marketing from the University of Arizona, where another is enrolled. Two others attend the University of Missouri and Purdue, while another is a state champion cheerleader. One is a free-spirited daredevil skydiver, and another plays football at Perry High School. Two more attend a grade school in Gilbert where their daughter teaches.

Thanks to high school vocational training in electronics, Bill’s first real job was at Western Union, installing equipment in offices and at government bases, maintaining a top-secret crypto clearance. Recruited for a sales position, he realized the potential. His success earned him numerous awards, with promotions following to district manager and then to regional vice president. He then joined Motorola for 20 years, during which time he became a vice president of sales and retired in Arizona. Bill and Karen had also opened an awards business and gymnastic center which they ran until relocating. Then a bit bored, a friend talked them into becoming realtors, and they are still active in Sun Lakes. Bill also loves to remodel and upgrade homes.

He remained active in several sports. In softball, he played in Sun Lakes with traveling teams until recurring shots for back pain forced his retirement. He had also been a bowler, with a 190-plus average. Sun Lakes, however, provided him the opportunity to play golf, which he does very well, scoring five holes-in-one.

Bill has given much time to the Ironwood Men’s Golf Association (IMGA), serving as league president and helping at league events like the member/guest outing, and promoting IMGA—for example, Bill initiated this recognition, the “Golfer of the Month” article.

Thank you, Bill, for all your great effort for IMGA.