Golf is a sport that has thrived in greater Dayton for more than a century, but it was not until 1997 that a successful organization dedicated to coordinating and promoting the game in this region was created. It is a year of celebration for the Miami Valley Golf Association. 2019 marks the organization’s 25th anniversary, and it is the 100th year of the Metropolitan Championship, the region’s premier amateur golf tournament and MVGA’s signature event.
For decades, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo had golf associations in conjunction with the United States Golf Association. Multiple attempts had been made in Dayton, but none remained long term. Today, 25 years after its debut, the MVGA has 8,000 members and 50 affiliated golf courses, says Steve Jurick, executive director of the MVGA.
MVGA serves as the primary caretakers of amateur golf in the Miami Valley, spearheading Dayton District Women’s, Miami Valley Masters and United States Golf Association events, championships and qualifiers among other tournaments. MVGA’s first event this year is the Spring Better Ball at Walnut Grove on May 6 followed by the Ohio Junior World on May 28 and the 100th anniversary of The Metropolitan at Dayton Country Club from July 25 to July 28.
At The Metropolitan, golfers will compete to join original winner Vin Hilton as the names engraved on the “Silver Loving Cup,” the event’s original trophy that was found stashed away at Dayton Country Club and was restored to its former shiny grandeur.
“That the 100th anniversary of what we now call The Metropolitan coincides with the 25th anniversary of the MVGA is relevant because it represents the heritage of golf in the Dayton area, and the growth and success of the game in the Miami Valley today thanks to the group of golfers, clubs and leaders that are part of MVGA,” Jurick said. “The champion will receive a gold medal, along with the name on the Silver Loving Cup, just as Vin Hilton did in 1919.”
The season continues with the Mercedes Benz Dealer Championship at Moraine Country Club on August 12, followed by the Senior & Mid-Amateur Championship at Springfield Country Club and September 3 and 4. The annual Miami Valley Team Invitational is slated for September 26 at Sycamore Creek followed by select group of players representing the MVGA in the bi-annual Ohio Intra-State Matches at Lima Shawnee Country Club on October 3 and 4. The tournament schedule concludes with the annual variable best ball celebration at Dayton Country Club on October 7.
Along the way, MVGA’s volunteer team will rate seven golf courses, the second year of inter-club matches will take place and there will be an array of educational seminars at area facilities throughout the off season, primarily focused on the modernized golf rules that went into effect in January.
Golf legend Peter Jacobsen said, “One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot – the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something.”
This is one of the instrumental reasons why golf is a valuable game that lasts a lifetime, Jurick says.
“Bad bounces happen, in life and on the golf course, after both good shots and bad. It’s how you respond to the bounces that determine your level of success,” Jurick said. “It’s rewarding to be part of an organization that promotes the quality and enjoyment of golf, regardless of age and skill level.”
A Dayton-area native, Jurick has tasted success over a long career that has seen him win local and sectional events and compete in multiple National Club Professional Championships and Nike (now Web.com) Tour Events. He qualified for the National PGA Club Professional Championship and also was a sectional medalist and played in the US Senior Open in his first season as a senior golfer.
Jurick has extensive experience in golf course management, and in 1997, when the MVGA was formed, Jurick became the first full-time staff member. Under the guidance of Jurick and a team of leaders, the MVGA grew to more than 50 member clubs while also taking over management responsibilities for the Dayton District Women’s Golf Association (DDWGA), the Dayton Senior Golf Association renamed in 2013 to the Miami Valley Masters.
The MVGA includes a group of nonprofits and charities that have joined to serve to benefit the community and promote golf and its life-enhancing values.
Among them include:
- The Dayton District Women’s Golf Association, which was launched more than 25 years ago and provides playing opportunities, course ratings and collegiate scholarships to females residing in the Greater Miami Valley. Female golfers are automatically members and may play in any of the DDWGA Events as long as they maintain a USGA-GHIN Handicap Index. The 2019 season begins with the Spring Shambleat Sugar Valley GC on Monday, May 20.
- The Miami Valley Masters, which debuted more than 50 years ago and is an organization for 50-and-older men who like playing some of the Miami Valley’s finest courses along with networking and socializing. Players of all skill levels are welcome to participate in these 18 holes events. Other requirements for eligibility are MVGA membership and the active USGA Handicap Index that accompanies membership. The 2019 season starts at Urbana Country Club on May 13.
MVGA’s 2019 golf season debuts on March 15. Members are encouraged to register for the 2019 Season Challenge to post more rounds of golf during the active season (March 15 to November 30) than they did last year. The Grand Prize will be a $750 Gift Certificate to the Miami Valley Golf Shop of choice for the winner. The drawing will be held in early December. Chances for winning the Grand Prize will increase based on the number of scores posted above a member’s 2018 total. To be eligible, players must have posted at least five rounds last year.
With major changes to the Rules of Golf now in effect, your MVGA will offer an expanded schedule of complimentary workshops.
The next session is March 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at Piqua Country Club. This is free and open to any Miami Valley golfer.
For more information about the MVGA, visit www.miamivalleygolf.org.