By Joe DiBlasi
John Ladd was recently named executive director of the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation (BMGC) where he will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the company's five city golf courses.
His goal will be "to offer the absolute best value to golfers, at the most reasonable prices." In his 21 years with the Authority, Ladd says "we have always exceeded expectations."
Ladd came to Baltimore in 1980 to serve his final year of an internship with The Ferris State Professional Golf Program under the late Johnny Bass, then the pro at the Pine Ridge Golf Course. He worked with Bass for two years, then served for the next three years with Jay Perkins at Pine Ridge.
The city courses were still under the jurisdiction of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks during Ladd's first five years in Baltimore. In March of 1985, when the Municipal Golf Authority was created, he became the head pro at Mount Pleasant.
From 1987 to 1989 he was the pro at Pine Ridge before becoming the Director of Golf Operations for the Golf Authority, a position he held for 17 years.
Ladd helped pioneer the BMGC's Junior Golf Program in 1993 and it remains one of his proudest accomplishments. More than 500 young golfers receive instruction through the program every year.
One champion from that program, Billy Wingert, is on the Hooter's Pro Tour today. Wingert won the Maryland Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2001, 2003 and 2004, and was the Maryland Sate Golf Association Amateur Champ in '04.
Another golfer from the junior program, Wilbert Lynn III, won the State High School Championship and the Maryland State Junior Title in 2005.
Ladd grew up in Indiana, where his parents owned and operated the Spring Hills Par-3 Golf Course. He attended Hamilton Elementary, and Hamilton High School there, won a scholarship to Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Mich. He obtained a Business degree form the Ferris State Professional Golf Program in Big Rapids, Mich., where he completed the Pro Golf Management Program.
During his internship, he once shot a 61 at the Parlor City Country Club in Blufton, Ind. He was the Professional Golf Management Student Association's Player of the Year in 1978, and he considered joining the pro tour.
Instead, he applied at Pine Ridge, after hearing about Johnny Bass.
Issue 1.3: May 11, 2006