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A brief history of the BGA

A brief history of the BGA







Many years ago, Vestavia Country Club conducted a July 4th annual Invitational Tournament. During the weekend, the club hosted a past Champions Dinner. It was a highlight of the tournament for all former champions and was always a memorable occasion.

At the Champions Dinner in 1962, a discussion evolved that there should be a Birmingham Golf Association with the following objectives: to provide clubs group purchasing for sand, seed, fertilizers, etc. to obtain lower costs per club; to serve as a clearing house for clubs to avoid conflicts of dates in scheduling events; to conduct an annual championship and junior championship; to stage exhibitions for the enjoyment of members in member clubs; and to raise funds for worthy causes, especially junior golf.

In attendance at that 1962 dinner (and the year they won are as follows): Press Thornton 1953, 1954, Buddy DeBardeleben 1955, Walter Wood 1956, Elbert Jemison 1957, John Gross 1958, 1962, Jack Vardaman 1959, and Jim Head 1961. Also in attendance were L. J. Griffis, club general manager, Russ Dimick, club tournament chairman, and Jack Murphy, head golf professional.

It was agreed that there should indeed be a Birmingham Golf Association. Elbert Jemison was asked to serve as the first President, and to formulate a Board of Directors consisting of two members from each of the private clubs in the area. It also was suggested that Joe King and Bob Ramsay represent the Country Club of Birmingham; Jerry Seigel, Pine Tree Country Club; Jim Norton and Russ Dimick, Vestavia Country Club; and Johnny Thames, Mountain Brook Club.

The following year the Board of Directors decided to create a Birmingham Golf Association Hall of Fame. The first induction class was in 1965 and a list of inductees is found on this website. The names of the inductees are also featured on a plaque displayed at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.