Jon Ladd, executive director of Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, also known as Baltimore’s Classic Five, will retire at the end of the year.
Ladd has served as executive director since 2006 and has been involved with the Baltimore golf community for almost 40 years. He moved to Baltimore in 1980 and was the first employee hired when BGMC, the nonprofit organization that manages the city’s municipal golf courses, was founded in 1985.
“Jon has played a vital role in growing the game of golf in Baltimore during his time with BMGC,” BMGC board chairman Larry Jennings said in a statement. “We wish him all the best in his retirement, and while he will surely be missed, we look forward to continuing his work of managing Baltimore’s golf courses.”
Before becoming executive director, Ladd worked as BMGC director of golf and head PGA professional at Mount Pleasant Golf Course and Pine Ridge Golf Course.
“I am forever grateful to BMGC for continuing my career in Baltimore that started under the legendary Johnny Bass, who was then the head PGA professional at Pine Ridge and allowing me to serve such a wonderful community of golfers,” Ladd said in a statement. “It has been a rewarding experience managing the Classic Five courses and I know the courses will continue to thrive under new leadership.”
Ladd grew up watching his parents manage a golf course in Northern Indiana and soon took after them.
“It’s the only thing I’ve really ever done,” Ladd said. “I worked one summer out of golf in home construction, but all the rest of my life, I’ve either worked on a golf course maintenance crew or the operations side."
At a young age, Ladd said he had aspirations of becoming a professional golfer. But once he realized he was “a big fish in a small pond back in Indiana” and noticed stiffer competition across the country, he set his sights elsewhere while looking to stay involved in the sport.
He graduated with a degree in professional golf management from Ferris State University, one of the only universities at the time that was affiliated with the PGA and allowed students to earn points toward PGA membership. He became an official PGA member on Feb. 1, 1983.
Ladd said his fondest memories of his time with BMGC will be developing a junior program and keeping contact with kids who would go on to become adults, as well as forming lifelong connections with the Baltimore golf community.
“You don’t run into too many bad people in golf,” Ladd said. “It’s a special group of people. Every time someone comes to the golf course, they’re there to enjoy themselves and that’s what we strive to do.”