MSGA Introduces New Vision with Rebranding, New Website, and Maine Golf Center Freeport
Building on over 100 years as Maine’s leading advocate for amateur golf, the Maine State Golf Association (MSGA) announced a new strategic direction, as the demand for golf and outdoor activities soars. After three years of market research and strategic planning, the MSGA has rebranded as Maine Golf, charting a new vision and mission for the organization. As part of the rebranding, Maine Golf has launched a new website at www.mainegolf.org and will operate a new family-oriented golf learning facility, Maine Golf Center Freeport.
“Our mission is now clear, to strengthen today’s game, launch tomorrow’s, and lead the collective effort to grow the game of golf in Maine.” said Brian Bickford, Executive Director of Maine Golf. “Our new direction acknowledges that golf is not only a leading outdoor activity that brings families and communities together but an economic driver in Maine that warrants a focused effort with a unified voice aligned with our vision—to help people discover themselves and the State of Maine through the game of golf.”
This new direction comes on the heels of the historic merger of Women’s Maine State Golf Association (WMSGA) and Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association (SMWGA) into the MSGA in 2018 and more recently the MSGA’s merger with GolfMaine in 2021. Under its new brand, Maine Golf will continue to administer the men’s and women’s championships and play days, junior golf championships, USGA-sanctioned programs and tournaments, the Youth on Course program, and Maine Golf Scholarship Fund.
“Maine Golf will continue to be a leader when it comes to amateur golf in the state, including conducting statewide competitions, administering handicap services in conjunction with the United States Golf Association (USGA), Course Rating® services, and promoting junior golf for the next generation of players,” continued Bickford.
A key aspect of Maine Golf’s new direction is its new lease relationship with L.L.Bean to launch Maine Golf Center Freeport, at the site formerly known as Freeport Country Club. With its fun yet challenging 9-hole golf course and expansive driving range and practice area, Maine Golf Center Freeport will focus on providing a welcoming and affordable place for families, juniors, and anyone looking to discover and enjoy the game. Leading the Center is AJ Simokaitis as Director of Operations and Player Development. Further details with a formal announcement and opening dates are forthcoming.
“The future of golf is our youth and making golf accessible and fun to those who have yet to discover the joy of the game,” said Neil Angis, Board President. “I am proud of our board, staff, and leadership for their focus and dedication to reimagine golf in Maine, improve access to our service and member courses, provide advocacy in Augusta and launch the new Maine Golf Center Freeport.
These changes are good for our members, our competitors, our communities, and the state. It was time for a new beginning, one that will position Maine Golf as a premier amateur association for the next 100 years.”
With these new announcements, there will be no further changes to Maine Golf’s current staffing. Maine Golf headquarters will remain at 58 Val Halla Road, Cumberland, ME for the time being, as the details of the Maine Golf Center Freeport are finalized. Additionally, Maine Golf will continue to represent its amateur players and member clubs at the local and national level.
Further information on the changes is available at www.mainegolf.org, with a detailed FAQ to answer questions and help members and competitors navigate Maine Golf.
New Direction and Fresh Look
Through a formal strategic planning process going back to 2019, Maine Golf collaborated with consultant Josh Kaplan, formerly of Graphite Direction, to create a new name and fresh look for the association. Kaplan focused on building strategic business and brand solutions with design and innovation methodologies.
- New Mission: To strengthen today’s game, launch tomorrow’s, and lead the collective effort to grow the game of golf in Maine.
- New Vision: To help people discover themselves and the State of Maine through the game of golf
- New Logo:
Maine Golf worked in partnership with Portland-based digital marketing firm, iBec Creative to redesign and modernize the association’s website. Founded in 2006, iBec has grown and evolved from a one-woman web studio to a team of eighteen designers, developers & digital marketers servicing a variety of well-known Maine brands. iBec aims to help businesses and the people behind them to thrive online.
New Maine Golf Center Freeport
Maine Golf Center Freeport (formerly Freeport Country Club) is a walkable, player-friendly 9-hole golf course situated along I-295 in Freeport. The course has a great deal of potential with healthy greens and a comprehensive practice area that includes a driving range, putting green and short-game area.
In Spring 2022, Maine Golf finalized the details of a lease relationship with L.L. Bean to develop the course and facility to further its mission by offering junior, men and women’s player development programs with an emphasis on growing junior and family golf in a safe and encouraging environment.
About Maine Golf
Maine Golf is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen today’s game, launch tomorrow’s, and lead the collective effort to grow the game of golf in Maine. Founded in 1917 as the Maine State Golf Association, Maine Golf is comprised of 120 member clubs and 16,000 golfers from across all 16 Maine counties. Maine Golf is an Allied Golf Association of the United States Golf Association. The association provides an approved Handicap Index® in conjunction with USGA, conducts statewide championships for golfers of all abilities, fosters junior golf, oversees a longstanding scholarship fund, and promotes the game for the golfers of Maine. The Maine Golf Scholarship Fund, once known as the Maine Caddie Scholarship, is the primary charity of the association. A portion of all revenues generated by Maine Golf is set aside for the fund, which has assisted more than five hundred Maine students with the cost of higher education since its inception in 1950. To date, the Scholarship Fund has given more than $1.8 million to deserving Maine students with an interest in golf.