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Recognizing History – the Inaugural Class of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Golf Hall of Fame

Before we get into the introduction of the newly formed 2021 Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame, its nominees and its 2021 Inductee Ceremonies, this Flagstick Golf Magazine writer and photographer must declare that he is a Member and Co-Chair of the OVGA Hall of Fame Committee. As the historian for the OVGA, I was asked to join the committee by Dru Lafave, OVGA Tournament Director and Co-Chair of the Hall of Fame committee.

FORMATION OF THE OVGA HALL OF FAME

The Ottawa Valley Golf Association celebrated one hundred years of organized golf competition in the Eastern Ontario region in 2021. As an initiative for its centennial year, the OVGA launched a Golf Hall of Fame.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) Hall of Fame is to acknowledge, honour, and perpetuate the memory of amateur players who have achieved outstanding competitive successes in the region, amateurs who may have gone on to successful professional careers, and others who have made a significant and positive contribution to the game of golf in the region as directors, officials, builders, media, or others.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for induction into the OVGA Hall of Fame, whether alive or posthumously, candidates should, normally, have lived or pursued their golfing activities in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association and players must have reached the age of 35.

CATEGORIES

There are two categories for nominees to be considered for the OVGA Hall of Fame.

In the PLAYER category, amateur or professional golfers will be judged on their wins in OVGA and Area Championships, plus International, National and Provincial Amateur and Professional Competitions and as well their significant contributions to the game of golf in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association and beyond.

In the BUILDER category, persons or organizations that have demonstrated a significant impact and influence on golf in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association and beyond as Administrators, Course Managers, Volunteers, Media, and others will be considered for entry.

2021 OVGA HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE

Serving on the inaugural OVGA Hall of Fame Committee in 2021 are Lyle Alexander, OVGA Rules Official; David Ferries, OVGA Director at Large and former OVGA President; Dru Lafave, OVGA Tournament Director; Alex Pugh, OVGA Vice-President and former OVGA President and Joe McLean, OVGA Historian and former OVGA President.

NOMINATIONS

Although the OVGA Hall of Fame Committee made the nominations for induction in its 1st year, a nomination package can be found on the OVGA Website at OVGA.org.

CRITERIA FOR 2021 NOMINEES

Our committee met numerous times in ZOOM calls and considered the multitude of nominees to be considered for the first year of the OVGA Hall of Fame.

That was a pretty easy process, or so we thought.

With the abundance of worthy candidates, the committee decided that the prime criterion for this inaugural year was that each potential nominee in the Player category from the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association had to be a winner of a Canadian Championship.

After researching my Historical Files, we found a few players, who had already been inducted into various International, Canadian, Provincial, and Local Sports and Golf Halls of Fame.

After considerable deliberation, the committee was able to agree on ten names of Players for induction into the first OVGA Golf Hall of Fame and we were also able to agree on our first nominees for induction in the Builder category.

2021 NOMINEES FOR INDUCTION

 Our first three nominees for induction were Alexa Stirling Fraser, Karl Keffer and Alison Murdoch who also coincidentally had ties to the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. We then agreed on Diane Dolan, Bob Fugere, Helen Paget Holmes, Eric Kaufmanis, Margaret Masters, Greg Olson and Brian Vance who were all National Championship Winners while still amateurs in the area served by the OVGA.

The Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, the Rivermead Golf Club and the Royal Ottawa Golf Club as well as Stuart Frederick MacPherson (Swatty) Wotherspoon were nominated in the Builder Category.

Inducting Golf Clubs into any Hall of Fame in a Builder category is unusual, but the Hall of Fame Committee felt we could justify its choice

2021 Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame Inductee Presentations

Because of the still lingering effects of COVID19 and uncertainty about social gatherings, the OVGA Hall of Fame Committee decided that we would honour our 2021 inductees in a less formal setting based on their availability.

Let’s take a brief look at each of these nominees and their induction ceremonies.

Eric Kaufmanis

ERIC KAUFMANIS (Inducted on Wednesday, August 19, 2021)

“It’s a great honour. I never imagined ever being in a Hall of Fame. To be asked to be in one, it’s been a thrill. Honestly, to be able to relive some of those memories and to talk about them has been an absolute pleasure. I’m very thankful.” – Eric Kaufmanis

OVGA Hall of Fame Co-Chair Dru Lafave presented Eric Kaufmanis with his OVGA Hall of Fame Certificate in an informal setting at the Kanata Golf Club in the presence of Eric’s long-time friend John Haime.

In addition to his Quebec Mosquito (1972), Pee Wee (1974), Juvenile (1977) and Junior (1978) Provincial Championship wins, Eric was the winner of the Jack Bailey trophy for his Canadian Juvenile Championship win in 1977 at the Cooke Municipal Golf Club in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Locally, Eric was the winner of numerous OVGA Championships including the Junior City & District (1976), the City & District (1976/77/78 & 85), the Four Ball with Bill Holzman (1979) and the City & District Match Play (1985). Eric was also the ACT / Ottawa Sports Award winner in Golf four times (1975-78).

Now living in Vancouver, British Columbia, we were fortunate that Eric was in Ottawa on his way to the Tremblant area to play golf with a few of his long-time Ottawa friends.

You can also read Flagstick Golf Magazine’s profile story on Eric Kaufmanis from April 16, 2021 at www.flagstick.com.

DIANE DOLAN (Inducted on Sunday, August 22, 2021)

” I am extremely surprised and honoured to have been inducted in the OVGA Hall of Fame. Surprised as I did not expect my golfing career to be noteworthy enough and honoured because I find myself recognized among a list of great players. Receiving this honour helps me pursue my passion with a sense of accomplishment, and a renewed desire for excellence.” – Diane Dolan

In 2017, Diane Dolan was the winner of the Canadian Ladies’ Super Senior Amateur Championship at the Humber Valley Golf Club in Little Rapids, Newfoundland.

Diane has an extensive record of wins in Quebec Provincial Championships beginning in 1971 when she was the juvenile champion at the Quebec games. In 1974 as a member of the Quebec Junior Team she won the Quebec Junior Girls Championship. Playing with her father Richard, they won the Quebec Father & Daughter Championship in 1982. With different partners, Diane has won the Suzanne Beauregard Memorial Championship three times and in 2015 she was the winner of the Quebec Women’s Players Cup.

Diane Dolan

Locally, Diane has won numerous OVGA Women’s Championships including the City & District on four occasions, the Senior Women’s four times, the Women’s Four Ball eight times and the “A” Division of the Tournament of Club Champions twice. Diane also won the 2003 Ottawa Citizen Championship.

As for awards, in 2014 was named the 50 Years & over Athlete of the Year by Loisir Sport Outaouais and in 2017 she was the named the winner of the Ottawa Sports Award in Golf.

Diane Dolan was awarded her Hall of Fame certificate by OVGA Hall of Fame Committee Member Alex Pugh at the Hylands Golf Club at the conclusion of the Hyland’s Golf Club Women’s Championships.

Five days after her OVGA Hall of Fame induction, Diane continued her winning ways winning the OVGA Cup for Women at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.

You can also read Flagstick Golf Magazine’s profile story on Diane Dolan from the 2013 Winter Edition at www.flagstick.com

RIVERMEAD GOLF CLUB (Inducted on August 22, 2021)

“It’s an incredible honour and we’re very proud of our golf course and our community that we’ve built over decades and decades since we were established in 1910. We have the Rivermead Cup which still gets awarded each year to the top Canadian in the Canadian Open Championship. This is another great step in building the legacy of the Rivermead Golf Club.” – Rob Sample, President, Rivermead Golf Club

Rivermead Golf Club

Rob Sample, President of the Rivermead Golf Club received the OVGA Hall of Fame Certificate for Rivermead Golf Club from OVGA Hall of Fame Co-Chair Dru Lafave.

In the presence of many Rivermead Members who had participated in the Rivermead Golf Club Championships, the Rivermead Golf Club and Bob Fugere were inducted into the OVGA Hall of Fame.

The Rivermead Golf Club received its nomination for its support of golf in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association for the past century.

The Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, Rivermead Golf Club and Royal Ottawa Golf Club are inducted into the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame.  Between 1921 and 1973 all the tournaments run by the Ottawa City and District Golf Association of the Province of Quebec Golf Association (PQGA) and the 1948 Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA) were held on these three golf courses.

They also provided their golf courses during the war years to raise funds for the war effort and they also introduced the idea of bringing into their Clubs professional golfers and celebrities to raise funds for charitable organizations in the Ottawa area.

All three golf clubs continue to provide support for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association

ROBERT (BOB) FUGERE (Inducted on Sunday, August 22, 2021)

“This honour means a lot to me. It’s probably the highest honour I could receive, especially at my age. I still play golf and I still enjoy competing, but this is surely the greatest honour for me in my golf life.” – Bob Fugère

Robert (Bob) Fugère is pictured receiving his OVGA Hall of Fame Certificate from OVGA Hall of Fame Co-Chair Dru Lafave.

With his history as a member and coach of Canada’s National Ski Team and his record of local, provincial, national, and international achievements in golf, it could be argued that Mr. Robert Fugère is the most accomplished athlete and golfer at the Rivermead Golf Club in Gatineau, Quebec.

Bob Fugère is the only Rivermead member to win a Canadian Golf Championship and he has accomplished this feat three times. His first win was in the Canadian Senior Match Play Championship in 1999 in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Bob was also the winner of the Canadian Senior Amateur Championship in 2005 at the Beloeil Golf Club in Beloeil, Quebec and the Super Senior Division of the Canadian Senior Amateur Championship in 2013 held at the Briars Golf Club in Sutton West, Ontario.

Dru Lafave, OVGA, with Bob Fugere (right)

Mr. Fugère began playing golf at the age of 16 and has been a member of Rivermead since 1977. With family and business commitments, Bob didn’t play golf in major competitions until the early 1990’s. He averaged at best 10-15 rounds of recreational golf during those early years.

As with a good wine, Bob’s golf game has gotten better with age. Since reaching the half-century mark, he has won the Rivermead Golf Club Championship Ewart Cup six times and the Senior Championship Mayo Cup five times.

Most of his golf achievements have been made outside the links of his home course. Apart from his National titles in 1999 and 2005, Bob has been a dominant player through the years in the Province of Quebec. In 1997, Bob was named the Senior Golfer of the Year in Quebec. Bob was the winner of the 2000 Senior Amateur, the 2001 Mid-Amateur and the 2002 Senior Match Play Quebec Championships. Bob has also been a member through the years of Quebec’s Mid-Amateur, Amateur (Willington Cup) and Senior Provincial Teams at National competitions

Bob Fugère is also a member of the Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association. In 1997 in their annual competition he won the Lord Shaughnessy Cup as the low gross senior. In 1998, Bob tied for the low medal round in the Devonshire Cup Matches to share the U.S. Seniors’ Trophy. From 2004 through 2008, Bob was awarded the Ed Ervasti Trophy for low Super Senior golfer.

Upon receiving this OVGA Hall of Fame recognition, Bob commented, “This honour means a lot to me. It’s probably the highest honour I could receive, especially at my age. I still play golf and I still enjoy competing, but this is surely the greatest honour for me in my golf life.

Bob Fugère was further recognized by the Rivermead Golf Club in 2021. In honour of his OVGA Hall of Fame recognition, the Rivermead Senior Club Championship trophy was renamed in his honour.

ROYAL OTTAWA GOLF CLUB (Builder); STUART FREDERICK MACPHERSON (S.F.M. SWATTY) WOTHERSPOON (Builder);

ALEXA STIRLING FRASER (Player); ALISON MURDOCH (Player); KARL KEFFER (Player); HELEN PAGET HOLMES (Player)

At an informal induction ceremony in the Alexa Stirling Fraser Lounge at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club on Friday, August 27, 2021, the nominees listed above were inducted into the OVGA Golf Hall of Fame.

Alan Wotherspoon, Richard Holmes, Alison Murdoch, Douglas Carwardine, Karen Rothfels

ROYAL OTTAWA GOLF CLUB (Inducted on Friday, August 27, 2021)

“For the Royal Ottawa, it was a great honour to be part of the inaugural induction to the OVGA Hall of Fame.  As Members, we cherish the rich history of our Club as we end our 130th year.  We are proud of both our position in the history of golf in the NCC but also our important position in the history of golf in Canada.  It was very special to share in the stories of Karl Keffer and Alexa Stirling and their rich history and role in the development of golf in Canada and for Women’s Golf.  Having the event in the lounge named after Alexa Stirling also seemed very fitting.  In addition, our more recent history included two inductees, Eric Kaufmanis and Alison Murdoch which shows how our Club’s continuing important role in golf in the national capital region.  Thank you for recognizing The Royal Ottawa Golf Club. – Karen Rothfels, President, Royal Ottawa Golf Club

Karen Rothfels, President of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club, was presented with the Club’s Hall of Fame certificate by OVGA President Gerry Bower in the presence of several other Hall of Fame Inductees and their representatives, families and friends.

As previously noted in this article, but worth repeating, the Royal Ottawa Golf Club received its nomination for its support of golf in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association for the past century.

The Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, Rivermead Golf Club and Royal Ottawa Golf Club are inducted into the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame.  Between 1921 and 1973 all the tournaments run by the Ottawa City and District Golf Association of the Province of Quebec Golf Association (PQGA) and the 1948 Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA) were held on these three golf courses.

They also provided their golf courses during the war years to raise funds for the war effort and they also introduced the idea of bringing into their Clubs professional golfers and celebrities to raise funds for charitable organizations in the Ottawa area.

All three golf clubs continue to provide support for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association.

Alan Wotherspoon and Gerry Bower, OVGA

STUART FREDERICK MACPHERSON (S.F.M. SWATTY) WOTHERSPOON (Inducted on Friday, August 27, 2021)

“I was very touched and proud that my Father (Swatty) was the first person selected in the Builder Category along with the Ottawa Hunt, Rivermead and Royal Ottawa Golf Clubs. What started out as a Father-Son relationship morphed into a close and wonderful friendship. We are very proud of Swatty’s accomplishments.” – Alan Wotherspoon

Stuart Frederick MacPherson (S.F.M.) (Swatty) Wotherspoon from 1947 through 1980 was not only involved as one of the founders of the Ottawa District Golf Association in 1948; he was also the main proponent for the change of the Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA) to the new organization known as the Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA) in 1981.

SFM (Swatty) Wotherspoon

Mr. Wotherspoon was President of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club in 1949 and their Club Champion in 1951. He was named the Honorary President of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association in 1981.

Accepting the OVGA Hall of Fame certificate for his late father on behalf of the Wotherspoon Family was his son Alan.

ALEXA STIRLING FRASER (Inducted on Friday, August 27, 2021)

Alexa Stirling Fraser was an amazing person – a true Renaissance woman. Beyond her many golf accomplishments, she excelled in countless areas off the golf course.  She drove an ambulance in WW1; she was a bond trader on Wall Street; she owned her own wood lathe and built hand-crafted furniture; she played the violin as a child, and she loved classical music.

We are very pleased that Nan continues to be recognized for her achievements.  Now, more than ever, we need to remember these rare people and recognize their contribution to the game. I often wonder about her parents.  How special they must have been to allow and promote her to be so interested in so many things at a time when women simply didn’t participate as often as today.

Alexa Stirling Fraaser

Of all her skills, golf defines her legacy and this modest woman, our wonderful grandmother, was a true champion. She won with dignity, lost with grace and is a deserving candidate for the OVGA Hall of Fame’s founding group. 

One of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club’s best golfers was an American-born lady, Mrs. W.G. Fraser, who was made an Honorary Member in 1934 in recognition of the distinction she brought to the Club in winning the Canadian Ladies’ Golf Association Championship in that year for the second time.

Mrs. Fraser was born Alexa Stirling in Atlanta, Georgia and, as a girl, played golf with the not-yet-famous Bobby Jones. They were both students of the renowned Scottish-born coach, Stewart “Kiltie” Maiden, the professional at the East Lake club in Atlanta, who is credited with developing Jones’ swing.

Alexa once beat Jones in a tournament but, as she later explained, she was 12 years old at the time and Jones was seven. As Alexa Stirling she went on to win the US Women’s Amateur three times in a row, in 1916, 1919 and 1920. (There was no contest in 1917 or 1918 because of the war)

Douglas Carwardine , grandson of Alex Stirling Fraser, with Gerry Bower, OVGA

In 1920 she also won the Canadian Ladies’ Championship for the first time, making her the undisputed leader of women’s golf in North America.

During World War 1, she and Bobby Jones toured the U.S. and Canada raising money for the Red Cross. At an exhibition in Ottawa, she met Dr. Wilbert G. Fraser, who was originally from Pembroke, and they were later married. Dr. Fraser died in 1967 and Mrs. Fraser in 1976. She is buried in her husband’s family plot in Pembroke.

Locally, Alexa won eight Ottawa Ladies’ City & District Championships and she was the Royal Ottawa Golf Club’s Ladies Champion nine times, the first in 1925 and her last in 1957.

Alexa Stirling Fraser was previously inducted into the Ottawa (1967) and Georgia (1978) Sports Halls of Fame and the Canadian (1986), Georgia (1989) and Ontario (2013) Golf Halls of Fame.

Helen Paget Holmes

HELEN PAGET HOLMES (Inducted on Friday, August 27, 2021)

Miss Helen Paget of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club first came to the attention of Ottawa Citizen Readers in a September 21, 1920 article titled, “Ladies Golf Meet Starts Today in Hamilton” where “Miss Paget is regarded as a very promising player”. The 1920 Canadian Ladies Amateur Championship was won by Miss Alexa Stirling from Atlanta, Georgia giving her both the United States and Canadian titles.

Miss Paget was a member of the first executive of the newly formed Women’s Ottawa City and District Golf Association in 1922 and continued on the Executive as a member of the prize committee until 1929.

Helen was the winner of the first four and the 1928 City and District Championships and was honoured with the “Ahearn Trophy” first presented in 1922 by Mrs. A. T. Ahearn and still played for today in OVGA Women’s City & District Championships.

Mary and Richard Holmes with Gerry Bower, OVGA

In a June, 1929 Canadian Golfer Magazine article titled “FAMOUS OTTAWA LADY GOLFER REMOVES TO TORONTO”, “The ladies of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club on Thursday, June 13th paid au revoir to their fellow member, Mrs. Ronald Holmes (nee Helen Paget), who, as a result of her recent marriage, takes up residence in the city of Toronto.”

The article continues – “Mrs. Holmes removal to Toronto will be keenly felt in Royal Ottawa and Quebec golfing circles. From girlhood up she has been an outstanding figure in golfing circles not only in the Capital but in the Province of Quebec. She won the Ladies’ Quebec Championship in 1926 and 1927. The year 1925, however, witnessed her greatest triumph on the links when at Rivermead, Ottawa, she defeated Miss Ada Mackenzie 2 and 1 for the Ladies’ Close Championship of Canada. Mrs. Holmes will be a great addition to the ladies’ golfing ranks in Toronto and for that matter in Ontario. Heretofore she has always played for the Province of Quebec. Many golfing friends throughout Canada will heartily join in wishing her a happy married life and golfing successes many now and in years to come.”

According to her grandsons, Helen joined the Rosedale Golf Club in Toronto and played regularly into her 80s.

Karl Keffer

KARL KASPER KEFFER (Inducted on Friday, August 27, 2021)

“It is an incredibly humbling and proud experience knowing my Great Grandfather has been inducted into the OVGA Hall of Fame. In life and in golf, we all want to be recognized and for my Great Grandfather to be recognized for his skills, efforts, and loyalty to Golf in Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the Ottawa Valley is a great honour to be a part of.  

My family is greatly honoured by this recognition of my Great Grandfather’s achievements.” – Kyle Keffer

Karl Keffer joined the then Ottawa Golf Club in 1911 and stayed as their head professional until 1945. Mr. Keffer also spent his winters between 1910-1942 working at the Jekyll Island Club on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Although little is known about Mr. Keffer’s time at the Royal Ottawa, we have been able to piece together some background information from the late Royal Ottawa Member King Finney, who took his first lesson on the Royal Nine in 1931 with Karl Keffer, and Charlie Wakelam, son of the late Ernie Wakelam who was Karl’s assistant and eventual successor as head professional in 1943.

According to King Finney, “Karl was a man of principle who played by the rules and knew his place at the Club. He addressed everyone as sir or madam, even the junior members. He spent a lot of time in his workshop making and repairing golf clubs and left the pro shop to his assistants. Karl didn’t play a lot of golf at the Royal Ottawa, but he loved to watch his members play and putt, especially on the 18th green and he could tell the members by their swings. Karl did enjoy a drink and at the end of the workday would go to the kitchen, where bar service originated, to get a drink. Karl was made an honorary member of the club, but only once did he sit on the veranda and that was with George Cumming who was given the same honour at the Toronto Golf Club. After a game of golf, Karl did not want to sit on the veranda, but Mr. Cumming insisted that Karl sit with him as his guest. One must remember that it was unusual for golf professionals in that era to enter the clubhouse or any portion thereof.”

Kyle Keffer (grandson of Karl Keffer)

Charlie Wakelam remembers, “Mr. Keffer was a quiet man who never raised his voice. He was generous to a fault. He loaned my dad money to buy a house and only asked that the money be paid back when Ernie was able to pay. Mr. Keffer hired a man down on his luck to garden for him even though he didn’t need the work done. Once my dad arrived as an assistant professional, Mr. Keffer let him handle the majority of lessons at the Club. One thing I do remember about Mr. Keffer was that he always drove a Cadillac. Mr. Keffer enjoyed the company of his fellow golf professionals and their Sunday afternoon competitions. He had the respect of his fellow CPGA golf professionals, his membership at Royal Ottawa and also the golf community in the Ottawa area.”

Karl Keffer was awarded an Honorary Membership at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club on October 14, 1929 for his “faithful and meritorious service”. This was a rare honour for its time as only George Cumming of the Toronto GC and Charlie Murray of the Royal Montreal had been awarded honorary memberships. A Royal Ottawa member at the time spoke about Karl Keffer. “Not only was he a great golfer, he was also a fine Canadian, a man and a gentleman.”

Karl Kasper Keffer is the only Canadian – born Golf Professional to win the Canadian Open Championship, and he won it twice in 1909 and 1914 and Karl was previously inducted into the Canadian (1986), Ontario (2000), PGA of Canada (2014) and the Quebec (2017) Golf Halls of Fame.

Karl Keffer’s Great Grandson Kyle Keffer accepted the OVGA Hall of Fame Certificate.

Alison Murdoch and Gerry Bower (OVGA)

ALISON MURDOCH (Inducted on Friday, August 27, 2021)

“It is a significant honour to be recognized by the association where I started out in golf. As mentioned in my remarks at the induction ceremony, I have distinct memories of the junior competitions organized when I was a member at Larrimac and all the things done to keep us interested in golf. To be remembered this many years later is truly an honour.” – Alison Murdoch  

Alison Murdoch is a known quantity in Canadian Amateur golf circles and her record speaks for itself.

Although Alison loves her new locale of Victoria, B.C., she has many pleasant recollections of life and golf in the National Capital area.  She spent her summers at various cottages in the vicinity of Chelsea, Quebec, playing golf and tennis, swimming, and boating.  As a junior, Alison collected most of Larrimac’s hardware, participated in CLGA – Ottawa District events and she eventually won the Quebec Junior Girl’s Championship in 1967.  

After her junior years, Alison continued a very successful amateur golf career including numerous club championships at both Larrimac and Royal Ottawa Golf Clubs. Alison’s local record includes 5 Ottawa Women’s City & District Championships, 1 Women’s Match Play Championship and 8 Ottawa Women’s Tournament of Club Champions Championships.

Provincially, Alison has won numerous British Columbia Zone 5 Women’s Amateur and Senior Amateur Championships as well as Pacific Northwest Golf Association Mid-Am and Senior Women’s and Alberta Senior Women’s Championships. In International competition Alison has been a champion in Ireland and England and in the United States in the State of Washington.

Alison has also won 4 Canadian Senior Amateur Ladies’ and 3 Canadian Super Senior Amateur Ladies’ Championships, and she is also a member of the British Columbia, Canadian and Pacific Northwest Golf Halls of Fame.

Alison, during her acceptance speech, talked about her years in Ottawa and playing in OVGA events out of the Larrimac and Royal Ottawa Golf Clubs. She also thanked her sister Judy and her daughter Julie for their support throughout her life. Alison also recognized her grand-daughter Maddie for her interest in the game of golf and commented that she would like to get in a game with her during her visit home.

MARGARET MASTERS (Inducted on Tuesday, September 14, 2021)

“Margie (Margaret Masters) is reticent about people contacting her, so I took the time to make sure she was happy. I am happy to say she is chuffed at the honour being bestowed upon her, which of course is much deserved.  So please accept Margie’s gratitude for that. Margie had largely forgotten many of her exploits in golf and to be reminded of them in this positive way has made an older woman very happy, so thank you! I do know that she is very grateful and honoured to be included in the OVGA HOF!” – Karen Harding

In the presence of several Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club Ladies assembled for their 2021 season-ending closing dinner, Sandy Mazzotta, the Ladies Captain accepted the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame Certificate on behalf of Margaret Masters.

Margaret Masters

“On behalf of the lady golfers, we are proud that one of ‘ours’ has received such a prestigious recognition. Our only wish would be that she had stayed and represented our Club longer. Sadly, we don’t have any current day members that personally remember her or have stories and memories to share.

We have big hopes for more awards in the future, we have a growing young lady golfer membership, two of whom have a + handicap. And of course, we are all proud to call Brooke Henderson a fellow member.

We will proudly hang Miss Master’s award and have hopes for more of our strong lady golfers to also be recognised in the near future.”  – Sandy Mazzotta, Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club Ladies Captain

Miss Margaret Masters came to Canada in 1964 after an outstanding amateur golf career in Australia and joined the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. Eddie McCabe announced her arrival in his Ottawa Journal article on May 23rd titled “Aussie Golf Star Margaret Masters Takes Membership at Hunt Club”.

Sandy Mazzotta, Alex Pugh & Tyler Fitzgerald Ottawa Hunt accepting on behalf of Margaret Masters

In local events in 1964, Margaret won the 36-hole invitational at the Seigniory Club, the Ladies Invitational at the Toronto Ladies Golf Club and an Ottawa District ladies field day held at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. Records also show that in July, 1964 she was the winner in the first two rounds of the Ontario Women’s Amateur and later in August, she qualified for the United States Women’s Amateur. The feather in her cap in 1964 was her Canadian Ladies’ Amateur Championship 1 up win over her friend Miss Gayle Hitchens at the Calgary Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Albert

In 1965, while still a member of the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, Margaret turned professional and earned her LPGA Membership. In her first year on tour, she finished 13th on the tour in scoring average, 16th on the money list and she was named the LPGA Rookie of the Year.

Margaret remained on the LPGA Tour until the end of the 1979 season and her only official win occurred in 1967 at the Quality Chek’d Classic. She remained in America and spent many years after her tour career as a golf instructor in Michigan.

Margaret was previously inducted into the Woodlands Golf Club Hall of Fame, Melbourne, Australia (2007) and the Victorian Golf Hall of Fame (2013)

Margaret Masters is now residing in Tucson, Arizona in her retirement years.

OTTAWA HUNT & GOLF CLUB (Inducted on Friday, September 17, 2021) 

“It’s a great honor for the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club to be recognized by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame.Our Club is over a hundred years-old and we have a lot of passion for golf, and we’ve done a lot to keep this Club current for golfers. Thank you for honoring us tonight.”- Jennifer Brooy, President, Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club

As previously noted in this article, but worth repeating, the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club received its nomination for its support of golf in the area served by the Ottawa Valley Golf Association for the past century.

The Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, Rivermead Golf Club and Royal Ottawa Golf Club are inducted into the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame.  Between 1921 and 1973 all the tournaments run by the Ottawa City and District Golf Association of the Province of Quebec Golf Association (PQGA) and the 1948 Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA) were held on these three golf courses.

They also provided their golf courses during the war years to raise funds for the war effort and they also introduced the idea of bringing into their Clubs professional golfers and celebrities to raise funds for charitable organizations in the Ottawa area.

All three golf clubs continue to provide support for the Ottawa Valley Golf Association.

Nathan Smith, Jennifer Brooy, Dru Lafave Ottawa Hunt

GREG OLSON (Inducted in 2021)

“First, I would like to offer my congratulations to the OVGA, and all involved in the formation of the Hall of Fame. I’m certainly personally appreciative and grateful. To be recognized through this induction was a complete surprise. I’m especially proud to be in the first class of inductees and to be associated with each of the individuals and the 3 wonderful golf clubs on that list. What a rich golf history the area has. I’m truly honoured to be included.”- Greg Olson

Unfortunately, Greg Olson could not make it back to Ottawa in 2021 from Seattle, Washington. The OVGA Hall of Fame Committee looks forward to presenting Greg with his Hall of Fame Certificate at some point in 2022.

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).”

1980 Canadian Amateur, Greg Olson (2nd from right) Photo: Canadian Golf Hall of Fame archives

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.

You can read more about Greg Olson in his 2020 July Edition of Flagstick Golf Magazine Profile story

BRIAN VANCE (Inducted in 2021)

Newspaper articles, as well as Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA) and Ottawa Valley Golf Association records convey Bran Vance’s golf prowess through his junior years at the Chaudiere Golf Club in Aylmer, Quebec until he turned professional in 1985 at the youthful age of twenty.

Brian Vance was the winner of the Jack Bailey Trophy in 1981 awarded to the Canadian Juvenile Champion of Canada for boys 16 years of age and under. The Canadian Boys Juvenile Golf Championship is held in conjunction with the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and in 1981 the Championship was held at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario.

Throughout his junior career in the Ottawa area, Brian Vance was always in the mix when prizes were being awarded in field days and championships. He didn’t win them all, but his overall competition record is impressive. He was a contender when he was 13 and 14, but really came into his own in 1980 when he turned 15.

In 1980 in junior play, Brian won a field day at Rivermead in a playoff as well as the Junior City & District Championship for the J.E. Caldwell Cup. He also took home the City & District Glenlea Match Play Championship Trophy donated by Lyn Stewart. The championship was held at the Chaudiere Golf Club and in the final match he defeated defending champion Don Rioux from Rivermead. A week after his win, Brian played on the 10-man junior amateur team against the Ontario team in London, Ontario. It wasn’t a bad year for the 15-year-old Grade 12 student at Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

Apart from his Canadian Juvenile Championship in 1981, Brian played well in the Quebec Junior-Juvenile Championship at Rideau View; finished third in the City & District Junior Championship; tied for 2nd in the Hylands Junior Invitational; qualified in 2nd for the Junior City & District Championship and lost out in the final of the City & District Championship to Mike Brown from Chaudiere.

Brian finished as runner-up in the 1983 Quebec Junior Boys Championship and was also the winner of the OVGA Junior Match Play Championship. His final win in OVGA events came in 1984 when he defeated Chaudiere club-mate Mike Brown for the Ottawa City & District Match Play Championship.

Brian Vance achieved his goal of becoming a professional golfer on May 31, 1985 when he won his Canadian Tour Players Division card at the Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association tour school.

Brian Vance joins a notable group of inductees in the 2021 inaugural class of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame based on his impressive amateur golf record.

Brian Vance

The inaugural inductee class of the Ottawa Valley Golf Association Hall of Fame is an impressive one and provides a wonderful foundation for the future of the institution.

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