The Maine State Golf Association (MSGA) was founded in 1917 to conduct golf tournaments in order to name state champions on an annual basis. After celebrating 100 years of serving Maine golfers, in 2018 the MSGA merged with the state’s longstanding women’s golf associations, the Women’s Maine State Golf Association (WMSGA) and Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association (SMWGA). In 2022, the MSGA announced its rebranding and new direction as Maine Golf.
Starting with just eight clubs at the onset, Maine Golf now serves over 120 courses across the Pine Tree State. In addition to running statewide championships, Maine Golf oversees a Scholarship Fund, provides handicapping and Course Rating™ services, and promotes junior golf for the next generation of Maine golfers.
What started as a small group of golfers who got together to run the annual Amateur Championship has grown to an association of more than 120 clubs and 16,000 members. Today, Maine Golf is directed by a volunteer-based board of amateur golfers passionately dedicated to promoting the game of golf and providing valuable benefits and services to its members.
From the Archives:
“Maine Golfers Form A State Association”
Reprinted: Saturday, October 13, 1917, Daily Eastern Argus
With representatives present at the Portland Country Club last night, from the Portland Country Club, the Brunswick Golf Club, the Conduskeag Canoe and Country Club of Bangor, the Kennebunkport Club, the Northport Club and letters read from Augusta, Camden and Rockland organizations, the Maine State Golf Association was formed, officers elected and a vote taken to incorporate the body.
The meeting resulted in a movement, on foot for the past month, to form such an association and the second annual golf tournament of the State, which started at the local links yesterday afternoon, brought about the occasion.
Ernest A. (Di) Randall, of the local club, was elected president of the new association; Percy Hill of Augusta, first vice president; Samuel Cobe of Northport, the second vice president; Charles S. Erswell, of the Brunswick Club, treasurer; and William F. Clapp of the local club, secretary.
It was voted to incorporate the association and a committee appointed for the purpose.
The first 18 holes of yesterday’s tournament saw Alex Chisholm, the local professional, leading with a 70, Fred Ryall, of the Waumbec (NH) Club, his opponent in second place with a 74, and Ernest Ryall, of South Byfield, Mass., in third with 75. Thirty-six holes will be played today.
Reprinted: July, 1918
“Meeting Set For Aug. 3 to Formulate Plans For Amateur and Professional Title Tournaments Eight Clubs Already Allied”
This state now has a golf association, known as the Maine State Golf Association, and it is confidently expected that the game will prosper throughout the state as a result of the organization and the plans outlined for its conduct. As set forth in the constitution of the association, it is proposed to arrange for competition between the teams representing the several clubs, to arrange the annual amateur and professional state championship, and generally to promote interests of golf in Maine. It is also planned that the association arrange for state handicaps, for individual golfers, and act in an advisory capacity to the tournament committees of various clubs belong to the state association.
Every club in Maine has been invited to join the association, and already eight have become members. Other clubs are favorable to the idea, but are not ready just at present to ally themselves with the association. At least three of the others, York, Northeast Harbor and Kebo Valley Club of Bar Harbor are expected to join at the close of the war, memberships in these clubs being sparsely represented this season because of the war conditions and the fact that so many of the members are in the service.
The eight clubs now of the association are the Portland Country Club, Herbert Payson president; the Augusta Country Club, Guy P. Gannett president; the Arundel Golf Club of Kennebunkport, E.A. Blacklock president; the Brunswick Golf Club, R.C. Tobey president; the Kenduskeag Golf Club of Bangor, Walter Higgins president; the Megunticook Golf Club of Camden, Chauncey Keef president; The Northport Country Club of Belfast, Charles Bradbury president; and the Waterville Golf Club, N.W. Barrows president.
The Maine State Golf Association has the following officers:
- President – Ernest A. Randall, Portland Country Club
- Vice Presidents – Percy V. Hill of Augusta and Ira Cobe of North Port Country Club
- Treasurer – Charles S. Erswell of Brunswick Golf Club
- Secretary – William F. Clapp, Portland Country Club
Delegates are as follows:
- Portland CC – E.A. Randall, W.F. Clapp
- Augusta CC – P.V. Hill, Guy P. Gannett
- Arundel GC – E.A. Blacklock, Booth Tarkington
- Brunswick GC – C.S. Erswell, R.C. Tobey
- Kenduskeag CC – Charles Bartlett, J.H. Lyons
- Megunticook GC – I.L. Merrill, L.E. Wardwell
- Northport CC – William Hatch, Ira Cobe
- Waterville CC – William Brown, W.C. Campbell
To Assign Tournaments
A meeting is scheduled for the evening of Augusta 3, at the Augusta Country Club when arrangements for the Maine State Amateur tournament and the Maine State Professional tournament will be decided upon, dates set, courses selected, etc. President Ernest A. Randall of the association has offered a cup for the amateur tournament.
Need for such a body as this association has been apparent for some years but last fall a number of those enthusiastic over golf got together and saw to it that Maine, then the only New England state without such an association, have an organization to promote the sport and give a standing to championship tournament play and other golf activities throughout Maine. The organization meeting in 1917 was held at the Portland Country Club and at a meeting this summer a constitution was drawn up as follows:
- The Portland Country Club etc. do hereby associate in the formation of an association to be known as the Maine State Golf Association.
- The officers shall be chosen by the delegates determined as provided for in Article five and shall consist of a president, two vice presidents, a secretary and a treasurer, who with other delegates hereinafter referred to shall constitute the executive committee of the association.
- The president of each enrolled club shall be an honorable… [this text missing from the newspaper article]
- … [this text missing from the newspaper article] to arrange for the annual amateurs and professional state championship; and generally to promote interests of golf in Maine. Also to arrange for state handicaps for individual golfers and to act in an advisory capacity to the tournament committee of the various clubs belonging to the state association.
- At its annual meeting each club enrolled in the state organization shall choose two delegates to represent the club on the executive committee for the succeeding year; the delegates so chosen will constitute the executive committee, which shall choose a president, two vice presidents, a secretary and a treasurer as provided in article two.
The executive committee shall have the power in its discretion to elect to membership in the association, approved clubs in the state, and such clubs shall be entitled to all rights enjoyed by the clubs enumerated in article one.
- On the first Thursday of June in each year the executive committee shall hold a meeting to make rules and regulations governing the time, the place, the method of determining the club and the individual championships for the year, and as soon as convenient thereafter, the secretary of the association shall certify to the secretary of each club enrolled in the state association, the action of the executive committee.
- The executive committee, constituted as provided for in article five, shall have complete legislative and executive power in determining places and conditions governing competitions for the club and individual excellence.
- Special meetings of the executive committee shall be at the call of the president or any three members of the executive committee. Notice shall be issued at least seven days prior to the meeting. Five members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
- The annual payment by each club to the association shall be three dollars ($3.00), payable to the treasurer on or before the first Thursday in June of each year.
- The constitution may be altered or amended by a two-thirds vote of those present at the annual meeting. Notice of such proposed amendment shall be incorporated in the call of the annual meeting.
A tentative schedule of team matches already drawn, includes a match between the Portland Country Club and the Augusta Country Club at Augusta, on August 3, between Portland and Waterville, August 4 at Waterville and between Portland and Kennebunkport at Kennebunkport, August 10.
Women’s Maine State Golf Association (WMSGA) History
The following article was written by longtime player and WMSGA champion Helen Plourd reflecting on the history of the association.
“A Remembrance of the History of the WMSGA” by Helen Plourd