Every summer just before the excitement of July 4th weekend takes hold, socialites and CEOs converge upon the private course at Hampton Hills for a fun-filled day of cocktails and cigars out on the links. The event, which was founded by Zev Norotsky 10 years ago, has become a Hamptons institution and one of the most sought after tickets of the summer.
Tell us a little about your background.
I was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island. I started coming out to the Hamptons during college and got exposed to all of these incredible Great Gatsby-inspired events taking place all summer long. I have always been passionate about special events and ended up making a career out. As a creative director, I conceptualize and produce large scale programs for brands.
What made you decide to create the Hamptons Golf Classic?
I am a bit of a serial entrepreneur. There is no idea that I will not consider if I think I can make it work. When I was running clubs in the Hamptons after college I noticed a void in the Hamptons scene that was failing to embrace the sport of golf from a social event standpoint. I am a recreational golfer and knew absolutely nothing about how much work goes into producing an event like this, but in a way, my naiveté is what allowed me to think outside the traditional conventions and create something really special.
Is there a charity component to the event?
Absolutely. Through our parent charity, Diamonds In the Rough, we have raised several hundred thousand dollars for a wide array of organizations ranging from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to the International Rescue Committee, as well as local charities such as the Southampton Day Care Center.
What is the key to throwing a successful event?
After 10 years anything can become stale and redundant. For me, the key is to change things up every year to keep people inspired about the event and to elevate their experience. The incredible team at Hampton Hills, led by Stanely Pine and Craig Tumbarello, consistently make me look good year in year out and keep our event running like clockwork.
What is your favorite moment from a past event?
We have had so many, but I think having Russell Simmons drop by to have lunch with Michael Strahan is one of my personal highlights. That, and the final goodbye at the end of each year’s event, when I know I can pack up and start thinking about next year’s Hamptons Golf Classic.