Pride and love filled the banquet hall at one of America’s top clubs on Friday evening. Longtime Executive Director Marianne Reece was inducted into the Toledo Golf Hall of Fame during the course of the Toledo District Golf Association Centennial Celebration at the Inverness Club on September 24th.
With a baker’s dozen of TDGA past Presidents filling the audience wearing the green blazers designating their service, the sense of accomplishment for 100 successful years of managing a historic golf association was unmistakable.
After a day of golf at Inverness for a number of guests followed by a delicious dinner, Northern Ohio Golf Association CEO Robb Schulze kicked off the festivities by introducing golf media star Jimmy Hanlin as emcee.
A brief multi-media presentation on the history of Toledo golf and the TDGA followed.
Then Hanlin conducted a series of fireside chats with TDGA and USGA representatives, to give the audience a sense of scale from a century of golf.
Joe Foley from the USGA discussed the importance of local Allied Golf Associations to the growth and management of the game across the United States, and recognized the importance of the TDGA to the golfers of Northwest Ohio.
Then Cliff Siehl and Reece discussed their history of working together as TDGA Executive Directors, and how the pair loved their work as Rules Officials on behalf of not only the TDGA, but at other competitions and championships as well.
After that, Alan Sprunk introduced Reece as a 2021 Toledo Golf Hall of Fame inductee, discussed the many reasons for her inclusion, and presented Reece with her Hall of Fame plaque.
Finally Reece spoke to the audience from the podium about her experiences of running the TDGA for 37 years, with additional years of service as a volunteer and assistant. She expressed her gratitude for the support and love of her family who were in the audience, and told stories about how the past TDGA Presidents made her job a joy.
In her usual plain-spoken way, she acknowledged that while there are always small concerns that can be a test of patience (“it’s not the job of the tournament director to make sure there are bananas at the breakfast buffet”), she has loved her job since the day she started and couldn’t imagine a better life.
It was clear the amount of respect she has earned throughout the years from the TDGA members in attendance in that during the presentations she was frequently referred to as the ‘First Lady of Toledo Golf’.
At the end of the evening, NOGA’s Schulze recognized that the Centennial marks the beginning of a new era, as the Toledo District Golf Association will become a part of the Northern Ohio Golf Association in 2022.
“A century’s worth of dedication to the game of golf by everyone ever involved in the TDGA will help our organization to even better serve the golfers of Greater Toledo going forward,” Schulze remarked to close the event.
The entire day was a fitting tribute to the TDGA and to Reece, one of its brightest lights.