The First 20 Years

(taken from the Ann Arbor News, Saturday, October 27, 1951)

The Beginning

En route home from a district golf match in Detroit 20 years ago, three local women conceived the ideas of a women’s golf association in Ann Arbor. Mrs. Russell T. Dobson, Jr, of Tuomy Rd., Mrs. James H. Cissel of Steere Pl., and Mrs. Harold Scarth, now of Concord Calif., enthusiastic over the district golf meetings, decided Ann Arbor women should have the opportunity for organized golf activities.

While city golf tournaments for women had been conducted since 1927, there were no other activities for women as a group, unless they were members of private clubs.

Met in September

Thus, on Sept. 2, 1931, a meeting was held at the Ann Arbor Golf and Outing Club and the Ann Arbor Women’s Golf Association was born. Two days later, the first city tournament under the auspices of the group was held. By-laws and a constitution for the new organization were adopted at a meeting on Sept. 26 and the organization was declared open to “all women golfers over 15 years of age, if residents of Ann Arbor or its immediate enviorns, for six months.”

Mrs. Scarth was elected the group’s first president. Dues were set at a dollar and a fee of 25 cents was voted as an assessment for each monthly tournament. During the first year monthly tournaments were held at Golf and Outing Club, Huron Hills Country Club, Barton Hills Country Club, and Loch Alpine.

The Club Hasn’t Changed

The pattern of the organization has changed little during its 20 years of existence. Monthly tournaments are still held at various clubs in the summer, and spring and fall luncheon meetings are yearly features. Dues are now $2 (they are $3 for the first year of membership), but there is no fee for the monthly tournaments. Membership has grown to about 130 and a bowling group, to keep the women together during the winter months, was formed about 10 years ago.

The city championship tournament still marks the climax of the golf association year. The tournament, which antedates the association itself, was started at the urging of a man — Prof. Harry C. Carver — who felt that inasmuch as the men were having such a wonderful time at their tournaments, the women should have them too. To get the tournament ball rolling, Prof. Carver solicited merchants for prizes for the first two years. The women then took over with Prof. Carver’s blessings.

Mrs. Cissel, the first city champion, won three other city tournaments as well. Mrs. Thomas Findley (Jean Kyer), now of New Orleans, La., Mrs. J. W. Wilkins (Dorothy Lyndon) of Brockman Blvd., also were four-time winners.

Mrs. Charles U. Wilson (Betty Jane Courtright) of Tappan Ave., won the city tournament three times and Josephine Lange of Ypsilanti, formerly of Ann Arbor, was twice a winner. The late Mrs. Forrest Stauffer, Mrs. William Johnson (Betty Bonisteel) of Grand Rapids and Mrs. Reed (Mabel Nesbit) of Melrose Ave., were winners for one year each.

Mrs. John W Malloy of S. Main St. is the current Golf Association president. She and other members of her board are planning for another association year which will continue the 20-year tradition of well-organized golf competition for the women of Ann Arbor.