Popularity of Senior Golf Growing in Michigan
Organized opportunities for "senior golfers" (men over 50 years of age) to participate in regularly scheduled golf competition were made possible for the first time in 1979 when the Michigan Publinx Senior Golf Association (MPSGA) was organized. As with most efforts to establish sports competition for the first time, a few people stepped forward to lead the way. In the case of senior golf in Michigan, these people founded and served as officers of the first MPSGA Board of Directors: George Blake, President; Jack LaRose, Treasurer; and Bob Hopkins, Secretary; along with Bob Farmer, Gus Kranites and Roy Iceberg. Their early leadership set the tone for senior golf in Michigan for the years that followed.
The first Constitution and by-laws of the MPSGA were approved in 1982. In these documents it was required that to become a member of the association each person had to sign a "playing contract," and pay a $50 membership fee to cover the cost of conducting the five regular tournaments. These events were scheduled at various public golf courses in and around Detroit. The first two State Tournaments were held in the Detroit area at Salem Hills and Northbrook golf courses. Later, this statewide competition was moved to Gull Lake, then to Riverview golf clubs. Most recently Shanty Creek has become the regular site for the MPSGA State Tournament. It is important to point out that the decision to move up north has resulted in a rather substantial increase in new entries from areas around the state of Michigan.
It appears obvious that senior golf in the State of Michigan is on the move.
To date, the growth of MPSGA membership has exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic early leaders. In recent years, the membership has averaged about 250 participants for the five regular tournaments. Entry in the MPSGA State Tournament is open to all male golfers in the State of Michigan who meet the eligibility requirements, and are able to verify an established handicap. This outreach to all senior golfers who reside in Michigan has been successful as seen in the increase in entries from outside of the Detroit area.
From the above information it seems that "senior golf" in Michigan is on the move, that the future will bring more and more "eligible members" into the fold who will seek tournaments to play in, more organizations to join and more courses on which to play. The future will surely bring more "eligible members" into the fold who will be seeking organizations to join, tournaments to play in, and more courses to accommodate the NEEDS of SENIOR GOLFERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MICHIGAN.
(I would be most pleased to receive any information about senior golf organizations and activities from around the state. Please send them to Dr. Patric L. Cavanaugh, President Michigan Publinx Senior Golf Association, P.O. Box 700810, Plymouth, MI 48170-0954.)
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