Life, and golf, has been much different in the last fourteen months. Obviously, due to the pandemic, the game in our region has been forced to operate under different regulations. Even though there has been times where the playing of the sport has not been allowed at various times, in the balance of days, the game has thrived to levels not seen in decades.
It is not the first time the sport has been interrupted. Wars and previous pandemics have made an impact, but those situations, and the difficulties they brought on, are largely lost to time. They are history; times most of today’s populations did not live through, so don’t always evoke much emotion. We all tend to have a recency bias.
That also applies to golf in general. The normal banter of the game locally often refers to things happening “awhile ago” meaning a few years back. Not everyone’s deal is exploring history, nothing wrong with that. But if you dig deeper, you begin to appreciate the depth of golf history in the region and also realize that the latest era of the game is relatively a blip in time. Impactful, yes, but just another chapter in a long story.
That tale certainly includes the Ottawa Valley. Many key moments in the history of Canadian golf has taken place in the area. In fact, I was honoured to recently discuss the founding of the ‘Canadian Golf Association”, subsequently the RCGA and Golf Canada, for a short film as part of the 50th anniversary celebration for the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
Which brings us to the feature this month in this issue, which also happens to mark 25 years since the first Flagstick Golf Magazine published in May, 1996.
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of regional association golf in the Ottawa area. The roots of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association reach back to that date. The cooperative is celebrating with the introduction of their Hall of Fame.
To commemorate the occasion, our Joe McLean took a look back at the time frame, keying in on important moments and people who have shaped the golf narrative here. Joe is the perfectly suited person for the task, as a past Editor for for the Jigger newsletter for the Golf Historical Society of Canada, the official archivist of the OVGA, and a member of the OVGA Hall of Fame committee.
From the first City & District Championship, golf competitions in the Ottawa Valley over the the last century have gone on to encompass thousand of events, many with ramifications around the world. It’s a rich tapestry of the sport involving hundred of courses, world-class players, and a sport that has provided joy for millions.
Whether history is of interest to you or not, you’ll likely find the feature enhances your perspective.
We’ve been proud to be around for a quarter of that first century, to help document the game of golf in the Ottawa Valley, and are delighted to bring you this retrospective from the last 100 years.