MARTHA Martin, a former St. Clairsville resident who recently died at the age of 93, wasn’t a competitive golfer, but she certainly was involved in the golfing world.
She was presented in 1995 with the Ike Grainger Award by Judy Bell, U.S. Golf Association vice president, for 25 years of dedicated service to the association. Martin was surprised with the award during a holiday dinner at Bell’s home.
Martin’s husband, Lewis, now deceased, and their daughter, Maggie, were champion golfers, and Maggie later became involved professionally with the USGA.
The nonagenarian had resided in St. Clairsville from 1944-99 and then moved to Colorado where her daughter and son-in-law, William Giesenhagan, are residents.
In addition to the family’s interest in golf at the Belmont Hills Country Club, she was active in civic and church activities. She did research and interviewed people about some historic residences and businesses and wrote a paper, “A Walk Along Main Street in St. Clairsville.”
Because of her efforts, Belmont Hills was host for two Women’s Ohio State Golf Association Championships. When she undertook an office or a task, she was thorough. Not only was she involved locally, but she became involved in the organization and administration of golf tournaments on the state and national levels.
Her endeavors related to golf tournaments and activities were numerous, and the people that she met or heard of were a vital part of her life.
She became acquainted with Nancy Lopez when Lopez was competing in a national juniors’ event. Later, when the professional golfer participated in the LPGA in Wheeling, the Martins invited her to have dinner at their home, and Martin prepared Mexican food. The St. Clairsville woman later recalled that Lopez admitted, “You know, I don’t like Mexican food, but it’s such a pleasure to be here.”
Martin once said golfers are “nuts about collecting,” and she collected golf pencils. Learning of a paraplegic in California with the same hobby, she sent him some of her golf pencils.
When her husband died, Martin and her daughter requested memorial donations for USGA turf grass research in addition to their own tribute for him. He had been Belmont Hill’s greens committee chairman for 35 years.
CONSIDERING Martin’s efforts, it’s not surprising that she often was called the “goodwill ambassador for women’s golf.”