Maves A Media Institution In Portland
By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
North Plains, Ore. - If Margaret Maves shows up at a tournament media center, it must be Portland. Maves has been a volunteer in every Portland-area USGA championship media center for 34 years.
Maves doesn’t work just USGA championships. Media rooms at PGA Tour, Champions Tour, LPGA Tour and Pacific Northwest Golf Association events have all had the benefit of her cheerful, can-do spirit.
Bob Cantin, now retired, was in charge of the media center for the LPGA Portland Classic at Columbia-Edgewater Country Club when he first met Maves in the early 1970s.
“Margaret showed up to volunteer that first Monday morning of tournament week very early, arriving prior to me,” Cantin said. “When I walked into the media center, she had all the desks organized, spaces allocated and was vacuuming the floor. I was impressed. I had never seen such devotion to a volunteer position.”
“OK, boss, what do you want me to do?” she asked with a cheery smile.
Telephones don’t ring in the media center very often any more. In years past, at least 10 phones rang frequently and Maves would scurry from one to the other, “Good morning. Media Center. I’ll get that score for you.”
Now, with the advent of the Internet, there is but one phone. If it rings once a day, it’s a big deal. The business has come a long way since Maves would report scores, dashing from tree to tree where telephones had been installed for the job.
“Technology has taken my job,” Maves groused.
But there are other tasks – editing media information sheets, finding pairing sheets, greeting players who are about to be interviewed and seeing that they have a bottle of water – and no one performs these more efficiently than Maves.
Maves has a unique quality that really stands out at a golf championship – she treats everyone exactly the same. Whether it’s the porter taking out the trash or the brightest young golf star on the horizon, each gets a friendly, courteous greeting from Maves. “It’s still a people business,” she noted.
Maves takes good care of the reporters who dash in and out of the media center. She was once a reporter herself. “I had a short stint with the Valley Times, writing odds and ends, soft stuff,” she said. “I got real adamant that there was nothing in there about golf and the kids who played golf. I was adamant that there were sports they should cover. Now my son, Norman Maves Jr., is a sportswriter for The Oregonian. He has to go through his mother to get his credentials.”
Name a USGA championship in Portland and Maves has worked as a media center volunteer. She assisted at the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1981 and 2000, as well as this year’s edition. She worked the U.S. Senior Open in 1982 and 1989, the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1990 and 2000, the 1999 USGA Senior Amateur and the 2003 U.S. Women’s Open. She recently traveled to Bandon Dunes to assist at the Curtis Cup Match.
Additionally, she traveled to work at the 1989 U.S. Open at Oak Hill and was called back into action by the Oak Hill members to work at the 1995 Ryder Cup. She has manned Portland-area LPGA events since 1972, worked at the LPGA DuMaurier tournament three times, and traveled to Scotland, Wales and The Greenbrier to work three times at the Solheim Cup.
She saw Tiger Woods win his third U.S. Junior Amateur while she worked at the championship at Waverly C.C., and when he won his third U.S. Amateur at Pumpkin Ridge in 1996, she was there.
“I was lucky,” she said. “I had a husband (the late Norman Maves Sr.) who allowed me any space I wanted and we had enough money to do things.”
Her memories are many. There was the 1982 Senior Open at her home course, Portland Golf Club. As usual, Maves was working in the media center the day that her first granddaughter was born. Arnold Palmer presented her with a huge cake in honor of the occasion and stayed around to share it.
Then there was the year that the power failed in the media center. “Gordon White of The New York Times threw the most magnificent, well-articulated fit,” she smiled approvingly.
During one of the PGA Tour events in the 1960s, all of the tournament volunteers were asked to gather at the 18th green to welcome Lee Trevino to the home hole. Trevino was leading the tournament, then double-bogeyed the 17th hole, and the volunteers were called away. “Billy Casper won,” Maves said. “He was the most surprised one there.”
It’s the golf writers, as well as the golfers, that she adores. White, Jim Murray, Ben Wright, and from Great Britain, Alex Hay and the late Peter Dobereiner are special favorites.
“These writers are my heroes,” she said. “I have the autographs of writers from all over the world.”
She concentrated on volunteering in golf rather than other sports because of the ambience provided by the people around the game.
“I love competition,” she said. “I love the way the organizations like the USGA treat people. What they do for the game is so important. I have not run into a media relations person who hasn’t been considerate and helpful.”
As Maves ate lunch at Pumpkin Ridge this week, it seemed that every man who walked past her lunch table said, “Hi, Margaret. Working next week?” And to each she replied hello, with a name, and, “Yes, I’ll be there,” referring to the next tournament in the Portland area, the LPGA event.
Associations such as the USGA appreciate people like Maves. Without the help of thousands of volunteers like her, conducting national championships throughout the nation would be a nearly impossible feat.
“It’s just been a wonderful, heartwarming experience working in the media rooms,” Maves said. “The things I’ve done, the people I’ve met, the associations I’ve made over the years are just good for the soul.”
And, at the age of 84, while she says this is her last USGA championship, don’t bet on it. Maves is already lined up for the next LPGA event and there will be many media relations people who will need her assistance in the future.
And, after all, she’s definite about maintaining this pace that is so hectic for someone in her ninth decade.
“I have to keep running,” she said, “so old age won’t catch up with me.”
Rhonda Glenn is the Manager of USGA Communications. E-mail her with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.