The Formation of the Oregon State Golf Association
(later Oregon Golf Association)
First attempt in May 1920
Walter Pearson of Waverley canvassed for the formation of a state golf association. Waverley introduced a state championship for men and women in 1905. Because Waverley hosted every event except 1917 (Gearhart) various members acted as chairman of the state championship committee. In May Pearson argued the tournament required a permanent organization to operate the event. This association would canvass the Oregon clubs to send players. Most important was the fact Oregon required a standard handicapping system for all clubs. At this time clubs determined the handicaps for their members. During the state championship four- man teams from the clubs competed for the John G. Clemson trophy. Because the players used their handicaps, the Waverley committee had to make adjustments to the players’ handicaps competing in order for each team to compete on an equal basis. Unfortunately, his efforts failed. Only the three private Portland golf clubs, Portland, Tualatin, and Waverley expressed an interest in forming a state association.
Formation May 1924
In 1924 at their annual general meeting, the USGA encouraged the remaining states that did not have a golf association to form one. Golf expansion hit Oregon. Newspaper accounts illustrated the extent of the expansion. By the end of 1924, the Portland area would have 11 clubs and the remaining state would have 17 clubs in existence or under construction.
Portland Area: Waverley Portland, Tualatin, Eastmoreland, Rose City, Oswego Lake, Alderwood, West Hills, Ruby, Multnomah and Columbia. All had 18 holes except for West Hills
Outside Portland Area: Gearhart, Eugene, Astoria, Hood River, Enterprise, Seaside, Medford, The Dalles, La Grande, Salem, Albany, Oregon city, Baker, Corvallis, Marshfield, Roseburg, Pendleton. Except for Gearhart (18) all were 9-hole courses.
In February 1924, two representatives from each of Waverley, Portland, and Tualatin golf clubs decided to sponsor the formation of a golf association. The six founders, invited the other golf clubs throughout the state to send representatives to a meeting at Waverley on March 15th, 1924. Immediately seven clubs – Hood River, Oregon city, Corvalis, Eugene, Roseburg, Astoria and Alderwood – responded positively. Albany, Illahee, Salem, and Pendelton joined the March 15th meeting. The group elected Lester Humphreys, Portland GC, as President, Harry Thompson, Waverley CC, as Vice-President, and Edwin Neustadtler, Tualatin GC, as Secretary of the new OREGON STATE GOLF ASSOCIATION. Nine directors formed the OSGA Board. Most important for the future, the new association adopted, with a few minor changes, the bylaws of the PNGA. This meant, the men’s and women’s state championships would be hosted each year at an eighteen-hole golf course. The state association also added a handicap men’s event just like the PNGA operated. Similar to the PNGA, the President of the host club also acted as the President of the state association. Most important all member clubs agreed to a standard handicap system and a standard set of rules of golf. Each member club could send two representatives to the annual general meeting to be held during the state championships. The new OSGA immediately began the organizing the 1924 state championships hosted by the President’s club – the Portland GC.
At this time Mrs. Pat Allen acted as President of the Portland Women’s Golf Association. Immediately upon the formation of the OSGA, she invited women’s clubs from outside the Portland area that belonged to the PNGA or the OSGA to form the Oregon Women’s Golf Association. This group operated inter-club events, pro-am tournaments, and exhibition matches throughout Oregon. The OSGA operated the women’s state championship.
Further research is required to determine:
When was the word “State” eliminated from the state Association name?
Did the Oregon Women’s Golf Association ever operate the state championship?
Were the state championships ever held on a nine-hole course?