In Memoriam: Richard Maslow - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Mar 29, 2024

In Memoriam: Richard Maslow

In Memoriam: Richard Maslow, Huntsville founder

Richard Maslow, founder and owner of Huntsville Golf Club, died March 20. He was 92.

| Obituary |

“His love of the game [stands out],” Matt Occhiato, Huntsville’s golf professional of 11 years, said. “I couldn’t tell you how many times he did it, but he shot his age more times than I can count on one hand. He would never admit to any of it, so it was always an inside joke with Mr. Maslow. ‘I shot my age, but if you tell anyone, you’re fired.’ And I don’t think he really meant that, but he didn’t want you to tell anybody. He was a very humble man. He was instrumental to this golf course and this area.”

In 1994, following a 40-year career with InterMetro Industries, a food services company founded by his father Louis, Maslow set out to create a golf course. He hired accredited architect Rees Jones to make his vision a reality.

“Going back to when Huntsville was built, there was Fox Hill Country Club, Wyoming Valley Country Club and Irem Country Club in Luzerne County here. All of those courses were full. They had waiting lists. Clubs were busy,” Occhiato, 45, of Dallas, Pa., said. “He felt the need for another club to be in our area, so that’s why he came up with the idea for Huntsville.”

Scott Burnside, a bondholder since Huntsville’s inception, played golf alongside Maslow a few times per year. A business relationship through Commonwealth Telephone Enterprises facilitated a lifelong friendship.

“I used to tease him a bit about the designs of a few holes at Huntsville, where he actually overrode Rees Jones and did things the way he wanted them done,” Burnside, 79, of Edgartown, Mass., said. “On the 11th hole, there are two fairways. When I had a chance to meet up with Rees Jones, I asked him about the design. He said, ‘That second fairway was all Maslow. I never design a par 4 where two shots — the tee shot and the approach shot — are hit over hazards. And Dick really wanted to have this fairway down the left side, so I did it for him.’ And every time I played with Maslow, I’d say, ‘You can save a lot of money by letting this fairway of yours grow in, fill in the bunkers.’ We had a lot of fun with that over the years.”

Maslow regularly attended club championships and member-guest events at Huntsville.

“There’s no question that Huntsville is his lasting legacy.”

“You can tell the passion he had for the place,” Occhiato, who worked in outside operations (2000-08) prior to leading the club’s professional staff, said. “Going back and looking at some of the bylaws … it was so thought out. This community, I don’t know what it would be without a place like Huntsville. We’re so blessed.”

In turn, the GAP/AGA is a beneficiary of Maslow’s ardent support of the game. Huntsville is the perpetual host of its Junior Tournament of Champions, the Lawler Junior Tour’s culminating event each year.

“Mr. Maslow was an advocate for junior golf,” Patrick Lloyd, GAP Director of Northeast Operations, said. “He left the region with a spectacular golf course. He did what we all hope to do by leaving the game better than he found it.”

A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Maslow earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University in 1954 and an MBA from Columbia University in 1963. He served two years in the U.S. Army before an honorable discharge, with the rank of first lieutenant, in 1956. A collector of 20th century postwar art, Maslow established The Maslow Art Collection, which loaned pieces to museum and art gallery exhibitions. Works are also used in Pennsylvania academic institutions, including Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., for teaching and research.

A community-oriented colossus, Maslow became a founding member of The Luzerne Foundation, a non-profit organization that “works to enhance the lives of Luzerne County residents by evaluating and addressing community needs through strategic grantmaking, promoting responsible philanthropy and connecting donors to causes that matter to them,” per its mission statement. The Maslow Family Foundation, a component therein, provides funds to support art programs and organizations in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Maslow’s masterpiece, however, may be a 470-acre plot along Hayfield Road.

“There’s no question that Huntsville is his lasting legacy. I can’t tell you right now what the future looks like for Huntsville in terms of a continuation of the status quo or it being operated by a different group. I have no idea, and anyone who thinks they know is blowing smoke,” Burnside said. “No matter what happens, Huntsville is a world-class golf course, and he will always be the founder.”

Maslow is survived by his sister Gyana Pendleton, five daughters, eight grandchildren and his companion, Mimi Ostrander. A memorial celebration of his life will be held in Dallas, Pa. at a later date.

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The organization’s 345 Member Clubs and 110,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Share This: