Two Ontario-born men now living Ohio with an intertwined golf life have been named as the latest inductees to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Herb Page, 67, of Newmarket, Ontario and Rod Spittle, 63, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, become the 82nd and 83rd members of the hallowed hall. Both are already members of the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame.
The pair, who both attended college in Ohio and make their homes there, were introduced in an emotional and guest-filled call on Tuesday. Page, the long-time Head Golf Coach and Director of Golf at Kent State University, and Spittle, a successful amateur, college player at Ohio State, and PGA TOUR Champions winner, were elated at the honour and the response by their friends.
Among those calling in to pass on accolades to the pair was a bevy of notables from the golf world including Larry Nelson, Richard Zokol, Cathy Sherk, Jan Dowling, Ben Curtis, and Joey Sindelar.
“The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame strives to recognize the outstanding achievements of golf’s greatest players and supporters and it’s an absolute privilege to welcome Rod Spittle and Herb Page as our newest honoured members,” said Sandra Post, Chair of the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee. “Rod was an accomplished player at the amateur level and later as a professional, while Herb has made a significant impact in the lives of countless student-athletes through his long tenure with Kent State’s golf program. I know I speak on behalf of the entire selection committee as well as the honoured members when I say they are both very deserved of their appointments.”
A PGA TOUR Champions Winner and Outstanding Amateur
“I am humbled and thrilled beyond words to be inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame,” said Spittle the 1977 and 1978 Canadian Men’s Amateur Champion. “It is an honour to be recognized and included in this group of golf ambassadors and elite players, the induction will be even more special for me since the ceremony will be hosted at Hamilton Golf Club, where my dad caddied as a youngster and where I won my first Canadian Amateur in 1977.”
Larry Nelson, 10-time PGA TOUR winners, and 19-time PGA TOUR Champions winner was effusive in his praise for good friend Spittle.
“Rod is just a great guy…He’s one of those guys you don’t really have to make up good things about,” said Nelson on the conference call. “The biggest honour I could give him is if I had to pick one person to play in a pro-am on my behalf, to go around with four amateurs he hadn’t met before, it would be Rod Spittle.”
A Collegiate Coaching Legend
With his induction, Page, the 24-time NCAA Mid-American Conference Coach of The Year, becomes the 25th person inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame’s builder category and the first-ever coach.
“It’s been an honour and a pleasure to have the opportunity to help so many young student-athletes grow both on and off the course,” said Page from his home in Ohio. “It’s always great to be recognized for your hard work and this nomination is extra special, but the real gratification comes from seeing players mature into outstanding people.”
Among the players Page has brought to Kent State have been more than two dozen Canadians including PGA TOUR winner Mackenzie Hughes and his first recruit for the women’s team, Jan Dowling. She is now a successful Head Golf Coach at the University of Michigan.
2003 Open Champion Ben Curtis, who played for Page at Kent State through 2000, added his sentiments to today’s announcement. Curtis, currently a volunteer assistant coach for his alma mater’s golf program remarked, “I cannot be more proud of what Herb has done…He’s an amazing coach…He’s put Kent State on the map…I wouldn’t be the man I am today without Herb.”
The official induction ceremony for Herb Page and Rod Spittle will take place on June 4 (RBC Hall of Fame Day) during the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club
– Scott MacLeod, Associate Publisher, Flagstick.com