Story of the First Fifty Years
It all began during the Indiana State Amateur Golf Tournament qualification at the French Lick golf course on June 12, 1929. After failing to qualify for the Championship flight, eighteen senior golfers stepped aside and analyzed their situation. They were not ready to return home, and they wanted to play more golf. They decided to organize a group of their own. You had to be at least fifty years old to be included. They held a separate eighteen hole tournament. Those participating in the first Seniors tournament were W. A. Humphrey, H. E. Clark, E. H. McClaskey, Jess MossIer, Henry Simons, G. A. Young, W. L. Sparks, Dr. Goethe Link, J. E. Patton, J. V. Stout, J. M. Daley, A. H. Flanigan, W. E. Williams, S. P. Templeton, W. K. Martin, E. J. Posten, E. M. Young, and L. E. Slack. W. A. Humphrey won the initial tournament shooting 72.
Flushed with the success of their first tournament, the group added three new members and had a second outing in 1929 at the Martinsville Country Club in September. W. A. Humphrey was the winner shooting 78.
So the Indiana Seniors began to grow, not only in membership, but in the number of tournaments. Even though there was only one outing in 1930 at Broadmoor Country Club in Indianapolis, 38 players registered. E. H. McClaskey turned in an 84 to win. Three tournaments were played in 1931 with one each in Crawfordsville, Greencastle, and Indianapolis. In 1932 and 1933, three tournaments were scheduled each year, but in 1934 the schedule was increased to five. Since 1934 other tournaments have been added such as the Senior - Junior, Pro - Senior, Fall Foursome, etc.
According to earliest records the first trophy was awarded in 1936 based on eighteen hole play at Tippecanoe Lake Country Club in Leesburg. The cup was donated by A. C. Manning of Kokomo and was shared six months each by Co - Champions T. L. Elmore and Mr. Manning, both of whom shot 70. In 1937 L. W. Burris of Washington was the recipient of the trophy shooting an 80 at Lebanon.
Our present two - day thirty six hole championship format was adopted in 1938. George Ade, the famous Hoosier author, entertained eighty four entrants at the Hazleton Country Club in August of that year. An entry fee of one dollar was charged to buy the George Ade trophy. This trophy is still in use and each year the names of the new winners are engraved just as those of previous winners starting with F. W. Davis in 1938, who earned it with a 139.
So from a very meager beginning by eighteen disgruntled non - qualifiers for the Indiana State Amateur in 1929, the Indiana State Seniors Golf Association has grown into a very vital, enthusiastic group of golfers with an active membership of over five hundred members, and a waiting list of more than one hundred. As we look to the second fifty years, this growth presents some serious but not insurmountable problems, solutions will be found and the association will be more successful during its second half - century.
Compiled by former ISSGA Secretary Ward S. Cook.