There will be plenty of them out at Inverness Club this week – not just the people but the products they have devoted their lives to developing. They don’t call Toledo “The Glass City” for nothing.
For well over a century – a generation before the founding members of Inverness laid out the new club’s initial nine holes – one of Toledo’s growth industries, a manufacturing base that continues to provide good jobs to Northern Ohioans, has been glass: the sustainable container. At the height of America’s industrial revolution, the proximity to Lake Erie, along with a natural gas deposit, made Toledo the perfect spot for the burgeoning glass industry, as everything from soft drinks to olive oil to perfumes needed packaging for mass distribution.
Toledo became, and continues to be, a hub for that innovation. In fact, if you visit downtown during the playing of the Solheim Cup, one of the biggest attractions is the 74,000-square-foot Glass Pavilion in the Toledo Museum of Art. And if you visit one of the hospitality pavilions during the matches, chances are you will interact with a glass container made in the city.
Just as Inverness Club led the way in innovation and inclusion, becoming the first club to allow professionals into the clubhouse when the club hosted the 1920 U.S. Open, O-I, a leader in the glass industry since the 1880s, continues to set the bar as a sustainability partner of the LPGA and sponsor of the Solheim Cup.
Golf is an outdoor game played with the greatest respect for nature. And glass is the most recyclable container product on the market. All of O-I’s containers are made of sand, limestone, ash and other recycled glass. Every glass product is 100% recyclable and earth friendly. And every O-I employee is dedicated to sustainability. The company is striving to increase recycled content by 50% and to reach 40% renewable energy by the year 2030.
It is a laudable goal, not quite a decade in the future, and one of that fits with the history of Inverness Club, which the original executives at O-I were instrumental in founding.
In 1931, Walter Hagan passed the hat among the day’s great professionals to raise money for a gift to the club that first allowed pros inside. By the thirties, professional golfers were welcome in almost every clubhouse in America. The profession was treated with the dignity and respect it deserved, a practice that began a decade earlier by the people of Toledo at Inverness Club.
Hagan bought a grandfather clock for the members, one that remains in the clubhouse to this day. On it is a brass plaque with a poem that reads:
God measures men by what they are
Not by what they in wealth possess
This vibrant message chimes afar
The voice of Inverness
That message remains the same 91 years later. It is universal. It is sustainable - like Toledo and the product that made the city what it is today. The Glass City.