Shooting Your Age is pleased to be a partner with an outstanding organization- Senior Golfers of America. Read more to find out about what they do, who they are, and where they play (they play at some really, really nice golf courses!)
In The Beginning
In 1976, Bob Swanson, a retired Civil Engineer in Columbia, SC, assembled 25 friends for a golf competition at Pine Lakes Country Club in Myrtle Beach. That informal outing has grown into Senior Golfers of America -a national organization which hosts three-day amateur golf competitions each month throughout our great country and beyond. Bob Swanson’s granddaughter, Catherine Powell, is now the organization’s Tournament Coordinator, and looks upon these senior golfers with appreciative fondness.
“The SGA members are the nicest people you ever could meet,” says Powell. “They have an absolutely fabulous time at the tournaments, and they make lifelong friends and marvelous memories. I feel I’m the luckiest granddaughter on earth to have inherited my grandfather’s legacy, and get to interact with these wonderful people through the great game of golf.”
As you might have guessed by the name, Senior Golfers of America membership is limited to players over the age of 50, and includes golfing couples, non-golfing spouses and friends, and single golfers, both ladies and men. Women are a strong component of the Association, and usually account for 30% of the players in any field. Usual tournament format is three days of medal play, and often an optional Scramble of Captain’s Choice event is incorporated.
Gross and net prizes are awarded at a festive banquet on the competition’s final evening. Often the atmosphere is “old-school” at these awards dinners, with ladies and gentlemen arriving in their dressy dresses, jackets and ties, and enjoying a beautiful banquet presented with white-glove service.
Bill Ries, a lawyer in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, was a new SGA member in 2017. “My friend, Jeff Leech, encouraged me to join Senior Golfers of America and to play in the Northwest Classic at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” says Bill. “Although Jeff built up the experience I would have, I will have to say, he undersold. The SGA members were welcoming to me and enjoyable to play with, and the tournament site was one of the most impressive places I have ever visited. I am looking forward to traveling with the group again very soon.”
Tournament sites vary each year. In 2016 the group traveled as far as St. Andrews, Scotland, and Lake Como, Italy, but also held events in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Competitions are scheduled in 2018 for Maine, Pebble Beach, and Rejakavik, Iceland.
“My dad, Bob Swanson, believed, and so do I, that participating in the Senior Golfers of America events promotes health and longevity for seniors,” states Cynthia Swanson Powell, Tournament Director. “Many of people have told us over the years that they have had some of the best times of their lives at our tournaments.”
Membership is open to all players 50 years and above who are able to play 18 holes of golf in 4 1/2 hours or less. Players must have a good knowledge of the Rules of Golf, and must behave with good sportsmanship both on and off the course. Maximum handicap for men is 30, and for ladies, 36. A complete program is planned for non-playing spouses and friends at each trip.
For more information, go to www.sgagolfers.com, or contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org￼ or 843-626-8100, 3013 Church Street, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577.