Altvater: Browns active in area golf sceneWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Richard and Andrew Brown are a father and son team that is deeply immersed in the golf culture of Northwest Ohio.
They host the Toledo Golf Show annually, author the BW Golf Newsletter every week and can be seen at many area outings or just enjoying a casual round of golf at one of Toledo’s many public courses.
Richard has a unique story of his first experience in golf. As a young man, he was involved in sports car racing and never had time to play golf. Most weekends were spent traveling to road courses, zipping through hairpins and chasing checkered flags in a Porsche.
His first encounter with the game came at the Holy Grail of golf, Augusta National. The company he was working for had traveled to Augusta, Georgia, for a construction job, but when they arrived the company was not ready to begin the project.
The owner of the company was apologetic and offered to pay for the crew to play golf for two days at a local golf course. It turned out he was a member of Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters Tournament, and the crew was allowed to play the course.
At the time it meant nothing to Richard, who was more concerned about the 24 hours at Sebring than the Masters. After a couple of days of shanking, skulling and slicing golf balls through “Amen Corner,” he decided golf was not in his immediate future.
For most golfers, an opportunity to walk the hallowed grounds of Augusta National and take a few divots out of the pristine fairways would be a once-in-a-lifetime story passed down through generations. For Richard, it was just another ho-hum day at the office.
Oh, how times change. As Andrew grew and took up the game, Richard found golf to be a perfect venue to spend more time with his son and a replacement for the competition he received from racing.
“I love the spirit of the game, the camaraderie with your playing companions and the ability to enjoy playing a sport with my son. Each hole is a new beginning, past trials and errors are forgotten and every new hole holds the promise of improvement,” he said.
The Browns’ passion for golf grew over the years and turned into a partnership hosting the Toledo Golf Show each February.
Andrew travels the country as the sales director of Industrial and Manufacturing Accounts for UPS, but still finds time to meet with local golf businesses and work at growing the game of golf in the Toledo area.
In addition to the golf show, the Browns created Buckeye Wolverine (BW) Golf, www.buckeyewolverinegolf.com, which endeavors to unite area golfers with local golf courses.
With the number of golfers dropping since 2009 and the overall suffering of the golf economy, Andrew and Richard both understand the need for communication between golfers and golf facilities.
BW Golf strives to provide updated information to Toledo-area golfers and communicates via a newsletter that is sent out every Monday morning. The newsletter is packed with outing information, discounts and a general recap of the national and local golf scene.
In the early years, they worked with Maple Hill Golf to build the Toledo Golf Show. Richard and Andrew assumed total ownership of the show in 2011.
The Toledo Golf Show attracts both local and nationally recognized golf vendors. Representatives from area golf courses attend, offer discounts and answer questions to attract new golf leagues and outings to their course. Check it out Feb. 20-22 at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania.