Celebrating A Hundred Years of Fellowship and Friendly Competition
It was October 25th, 1923 at Detroit Golf Club, day two of back-to-back blustery days. Yet forty hearty golfers from clubs across Michigan were not about to miss out on something that would prove to be historic, especially since they had already paid their $10 entry fee.
As each player stepped to the first tee, he was required to announce his date of birth, confirming that he was entered in the correct age group-50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, or 70+. Late on the second day, J.E. DuBois of Red Run, whose approach putt on the signature 18th hole had run through the valley to end up 12 feet past the cup, sank the tricky come-backer for a score of 182 (an admirable number considering the conditions) to claim the State Senior Championship, and in the process launch the Michigan Seniors Golf Association.
The original membership numbered one hundred and the Charter Board of Governors represented twelve clubs: Detroit Golf Club, Country Club of Detroit, Barton Hills, Oakland Hills, Flint Country Club, Washtenaw, Kent Country Club, Highlands, Lansing Golf Club, Bay City, Red Run, and St Joseph CC.
A hundred years later, on October 2nd, the Michigan Seniors will once again gather at Detroit Golf Club for golf, dinner, and this time to permanently retire the 1923 trophy that now bears so many prominent names from Michigan’s rich golf history.
Jim Standish, Jr.-MSGA President in 1949-50, a four-time Michigan Amateur Champion and two-time President of the U.S. Golf Association (pictured top-right, presenting the 1951 U.S. Open trophy to Ben Hogan at Oakland Hills; Tom Draper-winner of the North-South Amateur in 1965 and the U.S. Senior Amateur in 1971 (pictured bottom-right with one of his three Michigan Seniors Championship trophies; Dick McLear- a three-time Michigan Seniors champion (bottom-center); Glenn Johnson-five-time Michigan Amateur Champion who still holds the Michigan Seniors scoring record of 137 set in 1980; Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members Bud Stevens, and Ben Smith, and 1995 honorary Michigan Senior, the legendary Chuck Kocsis.
Also, this October, Al Hibbert (Birmingham Country Club) will step down after fifteen years as Executive Director and pass the gavel to Fred Adams Jr. (Orchard Lake). Poetically, Fred Adams is the son of the late Dr. Fritz Adams (pictured presiding in his Michigan Seniors tie and blazer). Fritz served as MSGA President from 1985-86, and as its Executive Director from 1987-2001.
So what comes next? “The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, another century of “Fellowship and friendly competition on Michigan’s finest courses”. And what could be better than that?!