The Women's Ohio State Golf Association was organized on November 12, 1919, in Columbus by a group of women from Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. In June of 1920, Scioto Country Club hosted the first women's State Amateur championship. The State Amateur tournament is an individual event conducted for women golfers who are residents of the State of Ohio and who are members of private clubs belonging to WOSGA, as well as non-private club women who meet current qualifications.
At the first championship, there were 101 entries from 31 clubs. The championship is now limited to 80 contestants. Today, approximately 100 clubs from around the state are members of the WOSGA and their members are eligible to enter our tournaments.
The WOSGA championship has been held every year since 1920, except during World War II, and is considered one of the top five state tournaments in the country.
The Amateur Championship Tournament, the only one of its kind in the state, attracts the finest women golfers. At present, former contestants are teaching and coaching at golf facilities, colleges, and universities around the country. They include Jamie Fischer, Tammie Green, Amy Langhals, Barbara Mucha, Michelle Redman, and Emily Bastel. Former champions who have competed on the LPGA tour and mini-tours include Cheryl Stacy, Jane Kang, Jodi Logan, Lisa Strom, Kathleen Ekey, Emma Jandel, Allie White and Natalie Goodson.
In 1999, two tournaments were added to the schedule. One was the Women's Ohio State Senior Invitational Championship with the inaugural event held at Wooster Country Club. The other was the Ohio Junior Girls Championship. The Ohio Junior Girls was founded by Kay Wigton and Andy Fischer in 1976 and has been held every year after that at Marion Country Club. WOSGA assumed the leadership of this tournament at the request its founders.
In 2017, a Mid-Amateur division was added to the State Amateur to encourage players over the age of 35 to keep enjoying tournament golf. At this time, the Mid-Amateur plays concurrently with and at the same Club as the State Amateur; however, the Mid-Amateur players enjoy a more forward set of tees making the course shorter, and hopefully, more fun to play while still being a challenge.
The longest match, 43 holes, was played by Janet Schock Beardsley and Dorothy Gardner Knight at Losantiville Country Club (now The Ridge Club) in 1940. Janet won 1 up.
The only “Hole-in-One” recorded in the finals was made by Barbara McArthur in 1964 on the 16th hole at Belmont Hills Country Club, St. Clairsville.
Only three women have won the tournament a total of four times each: Louise Fordyce of Youngstown Country Club, Claire Doran Stancik of Canterbury Country Club and Lida Fee Matthews of Portsmouth Elks Country Club.
Those watching the 1994 championship witnessed an outstanding display of golfing abilities by both finalists. In route to winning the championship, Shani Roth set a tournament record of thirteen birdies, defeating Pat Milton 3 & 2.
In 2003, Emily Bastel, Lynn Thompson, and Heather Zielinski represented Ohio and won the 5th USGA State Team Championship.
In 2004, Kelsey Lindenschmidt won the state amateur at the age of fifteen, the same year she won the Ohio Junior Girls Championship and joins the list of Ohio Junior Girls Champions who have also won the state amateur.
The Governor's Trophy
The Governor's Trophy was donated for the first WOSGA championship by the then Governor the Honorable James A. Cox. The trophy was sterling silver and given to the first champion to keep for a year. Over the years, the traveling trophy began to show signs of wear and tear and thus the WOSGA decided to halt moving the Governor's Trophy from championship to championship. Today, the Governor's Trophy is displayed at the Northern Ohio PGA.
Governor Cox served two terms with a four-year gap, so he is considered Ohio's 46 & 48th Governor. He was a journalist and founded Cox Enterprises. He also ran for President but lost on the 4th ballot. He passed away in 1957.