OVGA Hall of Fame Welcomes John Holzman

by Joe McLean

The Ottawa Valley Golf Association inducted the late John Holzman into its Hall of Fame in the Builder category at the Rideau View Golf Club on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

Dru Lafave, OVGA President and co-chair of the Hall of Fame committee, welcomed members of the Holzman family, Rideau View Members and friends of the Holzman family to the induction ceremony. After giving a resume of John Holzman’s accomplishments, Dru along with OVGA Hall of Fame Committee Member Ross Heuchan presented Mark Holzman with John’s OVGA Induction Certificate.

Ross Heuchan (left) and Dru Lafave (right) presented Mark Holzman with the OVGA Hall of Fame Certificate recognizing his father, John. (Photo: Joe McLean, Flagstick.com)

Mark then spoke on behalf of the Holzman family about his father’s life and accomplishments. He then turned the microphone over to family friend and local celebrity Liam Maguire. Liam talked about his association with the Holzman family and his admiration for John Holzman who, unknown to members of the Holzman family in attendance, helped in turning Liam’s life around at a critical time in his life. 

After a Holzman family photograph on the 10th tee at the Rideau View, guests were invited into the clubhouse to socialize and reminisce with the Holzman family. 

Bill Holzman, when asked about what this induction ceremony for his late father John in the Builder category means to the Holzman family, talked briefly.

“Well the word builder is very appropriate because John, my late father, was always there for organizations that needed some growth. It was never really about himself. The Ottawa Ski Club benefited from him and of course golf. It started with the Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA), the Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA), the Quebec Golf Association (QGA) now known as Golf Quebec and of course the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) now known as Golf Canada. He got great pleasure out of playing golf but he got more pleasure out of giving back and growing the game as they say. 

We’re thrilled that he has been recognized with such an esteemed award. I know from my own competitive golf activities what the Ottawa Valley Golf Association is and what it means to junior golfers in the area. Some people don’t. Dad would have been thrilled and humbled by this recognition. He would say that it’s not necessary because that’s not why he volunteered. It’s also appropriate that this ceremony is being held at Rideau View because he loved this Club.”

John Holzman (Photo: Scott MacLeod, Flagstick.com)

Following is a brief biography on John Holzman from the OVGA website (ovga.org)

John Holzman was honoured by Flagstick Golf Magazine in 2009 by having the OVGA Senior Men’s Intersectional Trophy named after him. It was just a small recognition for what he has done for the game of golf, not only in the national capital region, but throughout Canada.

As a Rideau View Golf Club member, John said at his best he was a 5 or 6 handicap but when it came to administering a game he loved he was far better than scratch. “I enjoyed the administration part of the game,” he told Flagstick Golf Magazine in a profile interview in 2009. “I met the greatest people. Not only the players but the people on the committees, and working in the associations.”

John’s start in golf administration came in 1967 when he represented Rideau View in a Centennial golf tournament. He soon found his way onto the Board of the Province of Quebec Golf Association (PQGA) now Golf Quebec representing the Ottawa District. In 1977 he became a director of the Ottawa District Golf Association (ODGA), the precursor to the current Ottawa Valley Golf Association (OVGA), and his climb simply went upward after that. He spent 19 years on the Ottawa District Board and he was the 1st President of the OVGA when it was created in 1981.

“It was a great honour and privilege to be part of that board,” John commented. “We had some great people and I think we were able to do a lot for golf.”

John was appointed to the National Board of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) now Golf Canada in 1979, a position he would hold for 13 years. In that time he was the director of 10 different national tournaments including the Canadian Junior held at Rideau View in 1976 and the DuMaurier Seniors Championship on the Champions Tour at Royal Ottawa in 1984. At various times John held the position of junior chairman of the RCGA and the Quebec Golf Association.

Especially significant was his captaincy of Canada’s golf teams at the 1985 and 1989 Maccabiah Games. These were particularly satisfying as not only did they win gold and silver medals, but his son Bill, an accomplished amateur, was part of both teams.

As the top senior golfers in the region looked on at the 2009 OVGA “A” Men’s Intersectional presentation, many of them touched by John’s work through the years, the sentiment was universal. Said one player, “If not for the work of John golf in the region and beyond would not have been the same for many of us.”  

John Holzman passed away in December, 2010 leaving his daughters Linda and Lisa and his sons Bill and Mark.

John Holzman profile information from the July, 2010 edition of Flagstick Golf Magazine.

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