1980 Canadian Men’s Amateur Champion Greg Olson Inducted Into OVGA Hall of Fame

Greg Olson receives his OVGA Hall of Fame Certificate from Dru Lafave of the OVGA (Photo: Joe McLean, Flagstick.com)

by Joe McLean

“I’m certainly grateful to everybody involved. You had a vision of a Hall of Fame along with all the great work the OVGA does to support golf in Eastern Ontario and to be a part of that and to be recognized like this is both meaningful and humbling. Thank you very much. My sister is here which I’m grateful for as well. If my dad was still with us, I know he’d be very proud. He was the inspiration for me getting into golf. He introduced me to golf. I’m thinking of him today. This is very humbling.” – Greg Olson, July 13, 2022

Greg Olson was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Golf Association in 2021 and was finally able to travel from Seattle, Washington to receive his Hall of Fame Certificate from OVGA President Dru Lafave on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at the Kanata Golf Club in Kanata, Ontario.

Greg played golf locally at the Pine View, Hylands and Chaudiere (now Chateau Cartier) golf clubs.

The following Greg Olson profile information is from the 2020 July Edition of Flagstick Golf Magazine (Read Full Profile Here)

Greg Olson won the Canadian Amateur in 1980 and he is still the only Ottawa golfer to accomplish that feat. He was also close in 1979 finishing 4th and again in 1981 finishing 3rd. “I am super proud of winning both the 1980 individual and team Willingdon Cup championships (Quebec!)”, said Greg. He continued, “When I won the Canadian Amateur in 1980, it had been decades since a Quebec team had won. I’m proud of that in addition to my Canadian Amateur solo win. Also, I’m super proud of playing in 6 Canadian Opens, 3 as an amateur and 3 as a Pro (made the cut my first year as a Pro in 1984).”

The Associated Canadian Travelers, now the Ottawa Sports Awards, recognized Greg three times as the Golfer of the Year and in 1980 named him their Ottawa Sports Award Athlete of the Year. Bob Stimpson, Andy Nezan and Don Rioux are the only other Ottawa amateur golfers to be recognized as Athletes of the Year.

After winning the Quebec Amateur in 1982, Greg decided to turn professional because “At that point I felt like I’d accomplished enough in amateur golf and decided I better give professional golf a shot rather than ever regret not trying.” 

After turning pro in the Fall of 1982, he had as he described in a 2020 Flagstick Golf Magazine profile story “…an up and down professional career over the next 5 years in Asia, North America and Europe”.

When he stopped playing in 1987 Greg ended up in Toronto working for an ad agency that had Apple Canada as a client. He ended up moving over and joining Apple in Markham in the summer of 1989. By 1994 Apple wanted him to move to California. Newly married, Tracey and Greg left Canada for Silicon Valley working for Apple in Cupertino, just outside San Jose. That’s where their daughter was born. He eventually became the US Advertising Manager for Apple and he worked at Apple a total of 15 years in two separate stints. His career post-golf is essentially a high tech marketing career. In addition to Apple he worked at Hewlett Packard and Symantec in the San Jose/SF Bay Area. After 21 years he and his wife were ready for a lifestyle change and with their daughter they left California and moved to Seattle after he accepted a job managing the Amazon Prime Retention Strategy team in 2015. Greg now works for Adobe managing a team of digital marketing consultants working with mostly high tech Fortune 500 companies across the US. 

Greg and his wife Tracey live in Seattle, Washington with their daughter Samantha.

Note – Greg is now retired and working with his friend Dick Zokol to develop a mobile app, www.mindtrakgolf.com, that helps golfers improve their mental performance. “The concept is based on how Dick managed his own on-course mindfulness during the latter stages of his career on the PGA Tour in the late 90’s. It’s lots of fun and a way to combine my passion for golf with my passion for technology (both halves of my working life).”

Greg Olson Record

Canadian Championships: 

1980 – Canadian Amateur Men 

1980 – Canadian Eisenhower Cup Team Member

Quebec Championships 

1982 – Quebec Amateur

1974, 1976, 1980, 1982 – Quebec Willingdon Cup Team Member

Local Championships:

1971 – High School Championship

1971 – OVGA City & District Junior

1979, 1980 – Ottawa City & District

University of Florida:

1974 – 1978: Golf Team Member

Professional Championships:

1985 PGA of Ottawa Zone Championship

1985 Canadian Tour Players Division Championship

1984, 1985, 1986 – PGA of Ottawa Spring Open

Awards:

1971, 1979, 1980 – ACT / Ottawa Sports Award – Golf

1980 – ACT / Ottawa Sports Award Athlete of the Year

Greg Olson (Photo: Joe McLean, Flagstick.com)

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