A HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN VETERAN GOLFERS ASSOCIATION. A.V.G.A. Inc.
(Now AVGU) and the
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN VETERAN GOLFERS’ ASSOCIATION INC.
The first meeting of this Association took place between four businessmen on 7th JuIy 1965 and a certified incorporated company was officially formed known a The Australian Veteran Golfers Limited. The purpose of the Association was firstly to become affiliated with the World Body, The World Senior Golf Federation, to participate in their activities ofthe World Senior Golf Championships and to further their policy in our region of the World, being "the promotion of Senior Golf and through it Goodwill between Nations".
The primary purpose of the Association was to become affiliated with the World Senior Golf Association whose policy was the "promotion of Senior Golf and through it Goodwill between Nations". Authority to select a team to represent Australia at the World Seniors Championship was given by the Australian Golf Union through the New South Wales Golf Association President, Mr D.W.Dwyer to the Australian Veteran Golfers Association.
Secondly, it was to become affiliated through State Associations and the A.G.U., this was to cause a dilemma as all members were already affiliated golfers. The AVGA's headquarters was in Sydney, and areas visited over the years that followed included Hobart, Launceston, Geelong and Townsville who were all encouraged to establish their own Veteran Golfers Association. As the Association had to be non profitable, the name of the Association was changed on 22nd June 1970 to The Australian Veteran Golfers Association, the Constitution stating that the A.G.U. was their beneficiary.
By 1977 the Sydney membership was 699 and together with 15 affiliated Associations totalled approximately 2500. Whilst every endeavour was made to promote veteran golf in the many Clubs it was considered that improvements could be made to the overall Association. Many had contributed to its progress, like Jack Barkel (the only Australian to win the World Seniors Golf Championship), Vic Kendall and Clare Higson of P.G.F. Sporting Goods.
In 1977, whilst in the United States, Bill Sidwell (Sec. of the A.V.G.A.) discovered that not all Senior Associations were compatible with each other, and upon his return set about organising a National Association to amalgamate all veteran senior golfers under the one banner in Australia. Considerable negotiations took place with various Clubs over coming years, the main drawback being the control was in Sydney and this needed to be decentralised.
To obtain funds for this National "breakout" an International Championship was staged in March 1981 by the A.V.G.A. at The Australian Golf Club, Kensington, Sydney, with the full support of Qantas Airways and Citizen Watches. Donations were received from many well wishers, resulting in a successful event. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara then Prime Minister, later President of the Republic of Fiji attended this inaugural Championship. Later he established the Fiji International Seniors and Golf Championships in Suva.
Funds from the event were then distributed to interested parties in each State for the purpose of promoting Veteran Golf in their respective States.
A National Body was considered most essential and the first meeting of the "steering" committee took place on the 16th June, 1981 at The Australian Golf Club for the purpose of the establishment of the Australian Veteran Golfers Union for the organising of veteran golf in Australia. All States were represented and so was "born" the Australian Veteran Golfers Union. (Later - but it took until 1998 to have a Constitution agreed to by all States. Each State has continued to grow, with representatives from each State on the National Committee of the Australian Veteran Golfers Union.
The Australian Veteran Golfers Association continues with its overseas activities of creating "Goodwill between Nations" and the promotion of veteran golf within Australia and is managed by a board of seven dedicated golfers.
AUSTRALIAN VETERAN GOLFERS UNION
Each State has continued to expand, with representatives from each State on the National Committee, and membership of the A.V.G.U. today is reaching 30,000.
Under The Australian Veteran Golfers Union each State Association is fully autonomous within its own ambit, organising Clubs and Associations under its banner. All District Clubs and Associations throughout Australia are ful1y autonomous in their own right.
The A.V.G.U. holds only one event each year, being the Australian Veteran Golfers Championship.
The Australian Veteran Golfers Association under its agreement with Qantas Airways continued to hold the Qantas Australian International Seniors Golf Championship which is open to all golfers aged 55 years and over in Australia providing they are an affiliated golfer to their State Association and hold an A.G.U. handicap. It is also open to all overseas golfers with a current handicap.
Representation to these championships has been received from: U.S.A., Canada, Puerto Rico, Jersey Islands, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Republic of China, Harare, and ALL STATES of Australia.
Today their are many Clubs and Associations formed staging their weekly "get together".
AII Members of Veteran Associations have a membership card which entitles them to participate throughout Australia at veteran golf outings