HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
The National Capital Region golf season is in full swing and under the influence of perfect weather conditions.
Golfers are putting together their foursomes to take aim on another great season of fun, fiction and maybe some frustration.
If you wanted to assemble two all-star Ottawa foursomes, the Ottawa Valley Golf Association made that fantasy opportunity possible this week by naming its latest inductees for the OVGA Hall of Fame.
The OVGA selected five players and two builders for its second wave of inductees into its hall, but to make two teams of four the association’s president should rightfully fill that last honoured spot.
The first group to tee off would be David (Davie) Black, the first golf professional at the Rivermead Golf Club; Graham Gunn, one of the region’s top professionals over the past 25 years; Bonnie Wolff, a multiple women’s amateur champion at many levels for the past quarter century; and John Holzman, a five-handicapper who was known for his volunteer work as an Ottawa, Quebec and Canadian golf executive member.
The second team would feature Lee Curry, who has numerous wins as an amateur and professional player; Andy Nezan, the winner of OVGA titles from 1959 to 1990; and Mary Drummie, who devoted countless volunteer hours to club, district, provincial and national administrative duties.
The fourth player in group two, and the only player/builder not entering the hall of fame at this time, is Dru Lafave, the OVGA president and hall of fame co-chair. Lafave won the OVGA men’s senior match-play title in 2014 and tied for third at the Quebec men’s senior championship.
“Our class of 2022 recognizes three professional players and two amateur players with outstanding careers, and two individuals in the builder category, who dedicated significant time and effort over many years supporting competitive amateur golf,” Lafave said in a press release.
“I have a great respect and admiration for golfers who excel in our sport and those who give back to the game.”
For its inaugural induction, the hall welcomed 10 players and four builders, which included the Ottawa Hunt, Rivermead and Royal Ottawa golf clubs, in 2021.
Individual and group award presentations for the 2022 inductees will be staged throughout the summer, depending on travel schedules and provincial health and safety protocols. Black, Nezan, Holzman, Wolff and Drummie will be inducted posthumously.
DAVID (DAVIE) BLACK – Rivermead Golf Club
As Rivermead’s first golf professional from 1911-19, he was a two-time Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association (now PGA of Canada) champion (1913 and 1919). He also has been inducted into the Canadian, British Columbia and PGA of Canada halls of fame.
GRAHAM GUNN – Carleton Golf and Yacht Club and GUNNGOLF
During his decade as Carleton’s club pro from 1997 to 2006, he captured the PGA of Canada head professional championship in 2000 and the national senior title in 2006. In 2001, he was named the PGA of Canada Professional of the Year. Locally, Gunn has won six PGA of Ottawa zone championships, four match-play titles and 10 senior trophies. He also played with amateur Stan Hogan of Golf Lac Ste-Marie to capture five Ottawa Sun Scramble senior championships.
BONNIE WOLFF – Hammond, Cedarhill and Carleton golf clubs
For 22 years, Wolff was the dominant amateur women’s golfer on the local scene. She won the OVGA’s city and district title seven times (2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2016). At the season-ending Tournament of Club Champions A tournament, she posted the lowest overall score in 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
JOHN HOLZMAN – Rideau View Golf Club
After serving as the Rideau View representative in the Centennial Golf Tournament in 1967, Holzman joined the Quebec Golf Association (now Golf Quebec) as a member of its board of directors as the voice for the Ottawa District in the mid-1970s. A few years later, he became a director of the Ottawa District Golf Association (now the OVGA). Holzman, the first OVGA president in 1981, was appointed to the national board of the Royal Canadian Golf Association (now Golf Canada) in 1979 and held that role for 13 years.
LEE CURRY – Riverbend, Rideau View and Camelot golf clubs
Curry has found great success as an amateur as well as a professional golfer. As an amateur, he was the OVGA junior match-play champion in 1995, the city and district junior medal winner in 1996 and the city and district men’s match-play champion in 1998. Provincially, he won Quebec’s big three championships a total of six times in a three-year span – Alexander of Tunis in 2001, 2002 and 2003, the Duke of Kent in 2002 and 2003 and the Quebec Amateur in 2001. He also captured the Quebec junior title in 1996 and the match-play championship in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Professionally, Curry won the 2015 PGA of Canada, Canada Cup, six Ottawa Zone titles and three zone match-play championships.
ANDY NEZAN – Chaudière and Rivermead golf clubs
A two-time Ottawa and District medal-play champion in 1960 and 1974, Nezan was a five-time match-play winner over three decades in 1959, 1964, 1970, 1976 and 1977. He also was the Quebec Amateur winner in 1964 and 1965. Off the course, he was named the ACT Ottawa Athlete of the Year in 1964, the Gil O’Julien Trophy winner in 1960, the Le Droit D’Aoust French Athlete of the Year in 1965 and 1966, and was inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame in 1986.
MARY DRUMMIE – Kanata, Irish Hills and Canadian golf clubs
An avid golfer, Drummie made her mark as an administrator from the club to the national level. At the club level, she served as a president and a captain. She was the Canadian Ladies’ Golf Association Ottawa Division vice-president in 1982-83 and president in 1984-85. Drummie was the Quebec vice-president in 1988-89 and president in 1990-91. She moved into the CLGA executive ranks in 1994-95 as vice-president and as president in 1996-97.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 49 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
HELP SHINE A LIGHT ON LOCAL SPORT! The Ottawa Sports Pages has proudly provided a voice for local sport for over 10 years, but we need your help to continue another 10 and beyond. Please donate to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund today.