MSGA, SMWGA, WMSGA Announce Plans to Merge

Nov 1, 2017

Headline: Maine State Golf Association, Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association and Women’s Maine State Golf Association Announce Plans to Merge

Cumberland, ME — The Maine State Golf Association (MSGA), Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association (SMWGA), and Women’s Maine State Golf Association (WMSGA) are pleased to announce that the three organizations will merge operations, effective January 1, 2018.

The newly-structured organization will retain the name Maine State Golf Association moving forward. By merging the three existing organizations, the MSGA will be better positioned to serve all golfers in the Pine Tree State, along with the member clubs that comprise the association. The merger was approved in early October after months of discussion by all three associations.

“In 2016 the MSGA adopted a strategic plan which put forth the vision of the organization for the next five years,” says Joe Alvarez, President of the MSGA. “One of the key objectives was working to bring together the allied associations in the golfing community. We were excited to open conversations and come to an agreement with both the SMWGA and WMSGA to merge and work together for the good of the game.”

The three associations have long and rich histories here in Maine and look forward to forging ahead together in 2018. The MSGA has the longest tenure of promoting and fostering the game in Maine among the three associations, having celebrated its centennial this year. The WMSGA was founded in 1926 and the SMWGA in 1976, meaning the three organizations have 232 combined years of serving golfers of both genders in the state.

Though the two women’s associations have their own individual members, the promotion of women’s golf in Maine is always at the forefront of their operations. This is evidenced by the fact that in 2012 the two associations combined forces to create the Maine Women’s Amateur to crown one definitive state champion. Their promotion of women’s golf will remain important as they become one with the MSGA.

Though it is difficult in a way to part with their own histories as separate associations, the memory of the WMSGA will be preserved in part due to a collection of memorabilia and pictures compiled by longtime member Helen Plourd. The collection will be displayed for future generations at the Maine Golf Hall of Fame at the Poland Spring Resort.

“I’m very excited for this change,” tells Vicki Lindquist, President of the WMSGA. “I think that a combined effort of growing the game of golf in the state of Maine is a great thing. I’m excited about having more opportunities for the women in the state to play golf.”

The sentiments of expanded opportunities for Maine’s female golfers are shared as well by Michele Davis, President of the SMWGA. “Change brings trepidation, but with that said, we’re excited about the merger,” Davis admits. “There are tremendous opportunities all the way around for all of us to come together and really represent what it’s like to play golf all over the state, from Kittery to Fort Kent.”

The Board of Directors will reflect the integrated nature of the new association, with the SMWGA and WMSGA both appointing two of their members to immediately serve in January when the merge becomes effective. A new women’s golf committee will be added to the existing list of committees the Board maintains to ensure a smooth transition for the women. The current staffs of the three organizations will merge into one, with the MSGA home office remaining at its current location at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland.

The MSGA will continue to service the clubs and golfers in Maine as they have for the last century. With a specialized staff of dedicated professionals, the MSGA will continue to promote junior golf, maintain their long-standing Scholarship Fund, conduct championships and social golf events, and provide handicapping and course rating services to players and clubs in all sixteen counties.

“The golf community in Maine is stronger today because these organizations have come together, and the future has never looked so bright,” says Alvarez.

All three organizations will operate independently for the remainder of the 2017 season.