History of the Canadian Ladies' Golf Association

 

HISTORY OF THE CANADIAN LADIES' GOLF ASSOCIATION

 

 

Although early records indicate that lady golfers were paying annual dues and holding monthly competitions as early as 1891, the first Canadian Ladies' Championship wasn't conducted until 1901 at the Royal Montreal Golf Club by the gentlemen of the Royal Canadian Golf Association. An interprovincial match between Quebec and Ontario was inaugurated at this tournament, laying the foundation from which the Inter-Provincial Team Matches eventually evolved.

 

At the historic 1913 championship, which was the first "Open", Canadian women golfers bonded together.  Founded by Florence Harvey, the Canadian branch of the Ladies' Golf Union was formed with a membership of 37 clubs. Due to the war, the championships together with organized golf were discontinued in 1914. Women golfers in Canada, directed by Miss Harvey, united to raise money to purchase an ambulance for the Scottish Women's Hospitals in Serbia.

 

The first Annual Meeting was conducted in 1920. As the interest in ladies' golf grew, provincial branches were formed. The records lack the exact birth dates of the individual branches but it would appear those organizations were formed as follows: 1921 Quebec, 1922 Manitoba, 1925 Maritime Branch; 1926 Saskatchewan; 1926 Ontario (previously administered by the National Officers as the head office was in Toronto); 1928 Alberta; 1933 British Columbia.

 

In 1924, the CLGU assumed responsibility from the RCGA of the Open Championship and in 1925, junior golfers were permitted to enter the Championships as a result of a hard fought battle by Ada Mackenzie.

 

1934 heralded Canada's first Inter-Provincial Team Match. For the first time the possibility of being able to have a field truly representative of Canada's best golfers was put forward on the basis that payment of team expenses would not infringe upon the amateur standing of a golfer. Prior to this, the ability of a golfer to compete in tournaments hinged as much on her financial position as on her golfing ability.

 

In 1936, the CLGA separated from the LGU.

 

The championships were cancelled during the Second World War. However, the CLGU raised $82,000 and purchased a Spitfire for presentation to the British Government, three mobile kitchens, three Fordson vans, an ambulance as well as made donations to the relief of child victims of the war, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Royal Canadian Navy.

 

In 1947, the National Open resumed at the Toronto Golf Club and for the first time each of the Provinces had a team entry for the Inter-Provincial Team Matches.

 

In 1954, the Maritime Branch divided into three divisions - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and a branch composed of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. In 1962, Newfoundland was admitted as a separate Provincial Branch. The vision of the 1913 group of women who founded our union became a reality - a golfing union active in every province of Canada.

 

In 1966, the Canadian Ladies' Golf Union changed its name to the "Canadian Ladies' Golf Association" which remains the governing body of ladies' amateur golf in Canada.

 

In 1971 the first Canadian Senior Ladies' Championship was held and with teams representing all provinces.

 

In 2004-2005, the Canadian Ladies’ Golf Association amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Golf Association.

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