Riverside golf club owner Jay Miller is now the well-liked and successful owner and operator of Hidden Valley Golf Club, an award-winning facility that caters to players in Riverside as well as Orange County golf enthusiasts. But the course wasn’t always the shining star amongst Riverside golf courses that it is today. In fact, it was once a bit of an eye-sore, and as Jay admits himself, one of the worst courses he’s ever come across.
But Jay has a long-history of identifying a need and taking steps to improve the situation. That’s exactly what he did in 2006 when he heard news of a homeless shelter near the Riverside and Orange county golf communities that was about to shut its doors for lack of funds. For Jay, that was just unacceptable; there had to be a solution, and he set out to find one.
The results? Two huge new billboards on Jay’s newly renovated Riverside golf course. These billboards aren’t advertisements for Hidden Valley Golf Course though; they’re fundraising tools Jay plans to use to revive the dying shelter. The billboards are in plain sight of the over 200,000 people that use the 91 freeway for their daily commutes, many of them Riverside and Orange County golf community residents. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from the billboard go directly to the Corona Homeless Shelter, a donation that will eventually translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars for people in need around the Riverside golf club. Many Riverside and Orange County golf players think what Miller is doing is admirable, but in Jay’s mind, it’s just the right thing to do: ‘Their annual operating budget is $200,000 and they were running out of money and I thought this was a novel way that we could help them out.’
What’s to become of the other 25 percent of the advertising profits? The money will go to yet another one of the Riverside golf owner’s charitable efforts, of course, his Get a Grip Foundation which represents the fulfillment of his life’s dream: to motivate kids to succeed academically through the game of golf. The foundation serves the Riverside and Orange County golf communities and is open to all kids ages seven to seventeen. Jay hopes to expand the scope of the foundation by partnering with juvenile delinquency facilities and foster care organizations.
Miller continues to look for new opportunities to give back to his community. When asked why he’s so generous, he humbly replies, ‘Sometimes you just have to speak up for those who don’t have a voice. I have been blessed with what I have and why not take those blessings and let others benefit from them in some way?’
In essence, Jay Miller is an example of what all golf course and private club owners can do to help their fellow man while bringing positive attention to the game of golf. His generous spirit and solution-oriented attitude is truly an inspiration to us all.
About the Author
The Hidden Valley Golf Club, located in Riverside County is a unique golf layout for Southern California. The overall design of the course concentrates on preserving the natural vegetation, dry streams, and boulder outcroppings throughout the property. Visit our website www.hiddenvalleygolf.com for more information.