Golf in Westchester would not be the game we play today if a couple of dozen clubs hadn’t answered the call of the greens committee at the St. Andrew’s GC in Hastings-on-Hudson 125 years ago to gather at Delmonico’s in Manhattan to form the Metropolitan League of Golf Clubs. We know it today as the Metropolitan Golf Association, the organization that runs our tournaments, manages our handicaps, and ensures that golf in the county and the rest of the metro area is a growing, vibrant game available to thousands of players at all levels.
When the MGA was formed in April of 1897, wooden golf tees hadn’t yet been invented, much less golf carts with GPS systems. The purpose of the organization was to promote the game and arrange tournaments. The first Met Amateur Championship was held in 1899; this year’s 120th edition will be contested at Fenway GC in Scarsdale. The Met Open, considered a major until WWII, premiered in 1905. Today, the MGA conducts dozens of tournaments on its own roster, as well as those of affiliated groups, including the Westchester and Long Island Golf Associations, not to mention the qualifying tournaments for USGA events, like the U.S. Open.
But the MGA has grown into much more than an operator of golf tournaments, as important as that role may be. It also rates courses, an integral but seldom-understood part of the handicap system, runs programs like Youth on Course, MGA Play Days, and numerous educational events. Then there’s the MGA Foundation, which funds important efforts, like GOLFWORKS, which provides internships for hundreds of young people throughout the metro area.
Today’s MGA serves every facet of the game from its headquarters in Elmsford. Membership has grown from the original 26 clubs to 520 private and public golf clubs and courses, with more than 140,000 golfers throughout the metro area.