The Arkansas State Golf Association (ASGA) was founded September 25th, 1915 when delegates of seven country clubs in Arkansas met for the purpose of organizing a state golf association. The following country clubs were represented: Fort Smith, Helena, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Texarkana.
F.T. Hollenberg and H.A. Tune acted as temporary chairman and appointed a committee of six to determine officers and directors for the ensuing year. The Committee retired and upon returning nominated the following officers:
- President – J.E. England, Jr., Little Rock
- Vice-President – Dr. W.O. Forbes, MD, Hot Springs
- Secretary – H.A. Tune, Little Rock
- Treasurer – Joe Nichols, Pine Bluff
The following also served on the first Board of Directors:
- E.M. Allen, Helena
- W.J. Buchanan, Texarkana
- W.E. Chester, Hot Springs
- E.P. Mathis, Jonesboro
- H.E. Trulock, Pine Bluff
- Jno Witherspoon, Fort Smith
From the ASGA September 25th, 1915 Minutes
“Mr. J.E. England, Jr., the newly elected President took the chair and expressed his appreciation of the honor conferred upon him by his election as President of the new Association, adding it would be his duty and pleasure to promote the interest of the officers and the Association in everyway possible.”
There was discussion about setting a date for the first tournament and a Ladies Day be arranged either before or after the tournament, but no action was taken on either matter.
The minutes in 1916 reflect the following income: $10 dues from six clubs or $60, $100 donation for the “Championship Cup” and $166 in entrance fee (83 players @ $2 each – for a total revenue stream of $326. Disbursements included $110 to Blake Jewelry for 6 cups and $100, also to Blake Jewelry for the Championship Cup; $52.40 to W.V. Hoare for 7 medals and score sheets, $4.50 to Democrat Printing for a minute book and $9.75 to Democrat Printing for Tournament Programs, with a balance of $49.35 in the England National Bank – a true non-profit organization was established.
In 2010, as the ASGA celebrates its 95th anniversary, the total budget is nearly $600,000 with 125 member clubs and 14,000 individual members. The ASGA rents nearly 3,000 square feet of office space in Little Rock and the original “minute book” from 1915 to present can be found in a fire proof safe.
The original Board of Directors of 10 men, has expanded to 19 men and 5 women from across the state. The original paid staff member was Walter Davis, acting as Executive Secretary and he handed the reins to Charles “Monk” Wade in 1975. Wade and his wife Vera, worked out of a spare bedroom in his home on Mellon Street in Little Rock. The entire contents of the ASGA were given to Wade in a Foot-Joy shoe box, which sits on a shelf in the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame. Wade retired in 1990 and Jay Fox was hired as Executive Director.