On April 5, 1920, a golf association is born

On April 5th, which marks the 100th anniversary of its founding, Golf Québec is offering you the first of a series of articles that will serve to promote the history of the Federation as well as highlight its builders and key events. At the end of the year, these columns will be combined to form a souvenir program.


On April 5, 1920, a provincial golf association was created

Historians do not agree on the origins of the game of golf, but the sport as we know it today would have appeared in Scotland in the last half of the 15th century.

The province of Québec is without a doubt the cradle of golf in North America. As early as 1788, a Montrealer named Philip Loch applied to be a member of the R&A. Later, an advertisement in the Montreal Herald informed us that some people played golf in Square Victoria on Christmas Day 1826. We also know that the Plains of Abraham hosted the first rounds of the Capitale-Nationale as early as 1854.

On November 4, 1873, a Scottish immigrant gathered seven of his fellow expatriates near the port of Montréal to create the first club in North America, the Montreal Golf Club. The prefix "Royal" was added in 1884 with the permission of Queen Victoria. The annual fee to join the club was set at $25 with a limit of 25 members.

A few months later, the Quebec Golf Club was founded in 1874 by two bankers also from Scotland. They settled on the Cove course in Québec City, which stretched from the Citadel to the Plains of Abraham. Until 1899, the annual membership fee was $2 for the 20 or so privileged members who were, for the most part, influential businessmen linked to banking, maritime trade and the forestry industry.

In May 1876, the first interclub competition in North America was held in Québec City and featured matches between the Montreal Golf Club and the Quebec Golf Club. The host team defeated the Montréal team by 12 holes, in a competition cumulating the lead of each of the five members on each team.

The first meeting to discuss the formation of a Canadian Golf Association was held at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club on June 6, 1895. The Association, under the chairmanship of the Honourable George A. Drummond of the Royal Montreal Golf Club, had 10 clubs, including those in Montréal, Québec City and Ottawa. It was in June 1896 that the name of the association was changed to the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) with the approval of Queen Victoria. Today, better known as Golf Canada, the organization is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Golf at the provincial level for the first time

In Québec, a new organization was officially founded in 1920 when the Montréal & District Golf Association amended its constitution to adopt the name Province of Quebec Golf Association (PQGA). In doing so, golf clubs outside of the Montréal district were able to take advantage of the governance and golf development services provided by the Association. The Montréal & District Golf Association, which had been in existence for about ten years, was dissolved.

This decision was made at a meeting of interested parties held at the offices of the Montréal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) on Peel Street in Montréal on Monday, April 5, 1920. (La Presse, BAnQ)

The new association appointed its officers at this meeting in April 1920 and Mr. Arthur D. Huff of the Country Club of Montréal was chosen as the first president in history. The other founding clubs represented on this committee of officers were Beaconsfield, Kanawaki, Laval-sur-le-Lac, Outremont, Royal Montreal, and Whitlock.

As a result, a single organization will control the sport of golf in the province of Québec in the future and members of all clubs in the province will be able to participate in the annual championships, which will be held for the first time at the Country Club of Montréal in Saint-Lambert on June 18 for professionals and the following day for amateurs.

A well-preserved legacy 100 years later

On May 11, 1920, the inaugural meeting of the PQGA was held at the Old Colony Club of the Windsor Hotel in Montréal. In the Association's first Annual Report, Secretary-Treasurer W. A. Sutherland of the Country Club of Montréal felt that the Association's twofold objective of uniting the province's golf clubs and organizing tournaments had clearly been achieved.

One hundred years later, we can safely confirm this statement!

Marcel Paul Raymond

100 years, it's time to celebrate!

Find all the centennial chronicles and highlights from 2020 in the Centennial Souvenir Programme (webzine - downloadable as PDF).
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