FOUNDED IN 1922
Celebrating our 101th anniversary in 2023, the Connecticut State Seniors Golf Association (CSSGA) is one of the oldest and most respected golfing organizations in Connecticut. It was founded in December of 1922 when a select group of distinguished Connecticut business and financial leaders met in New Haven at the Graduates Club to form an organization to encourage “friendly competition in golf among senior players”.
In the early years, the Secretary’s record indicates that no greens fees were charged because it was considered “an honor and privilege to host an association of good sports under all conditions and circumstances”.
The Tradition Continues
CSSGA of today continues this tradition of friendly competition and fellowship among seniors with approximately 250 members from fifty clubs throughout the state.
The Association normally holds five tournaments each season, spaced as evenly as possible from late May through early September, at Connecticut’s finest golf and country clubs. Each tournament is charged for on the basis of respective fees at the various clubs where we play, and includes a brunch or lunch, range, greens fee, cart, and dinner with a cash bar for refreshments between golf and dinner.
In addition to the regular tournaments among our own members, there are special team matches with the senior golf associations of neighboring states which are open to all members. These matches provide an excellent opportunity for making new friends while enjoying serious competition for interstate bragging rights.
To qualify for membership in the Association a golfer must be a member in good standing of a golf or country club which is a member of the Connecticut State Golf Association (CSGA) and be a gentleman of good character fifty-five or more years of age and be sponsored for membership by two current members.
Click below to read more history…
In December 1922, a select distinguished group of Connecticut business and financial leaders met in New Haven at the Graduates Club to form the Connecticut State Seniors Golf Association (CSSGA) to encourage “friendly competition in golf among senior players.”
This time-honored tradition of friendly competition among senior golfers will be repeated, as it has each year since 1922 when, in May, a similarly august band of senior golf aficionados will take up play at the New Haven Country Club.
In the early years, the Secretary’s record indicates that no greens fees were charged because it was considered “an honor and privilege to host an association of good sports under all conditions and circumstances.” Perhaps some things do change; but only the fees, not the spirit.
Trips to Fishers Island go back as far as 1931 when $18.50 brought you two days of links fees, lunches and Saturday night dinner. And all were encouraged to bring their bathing suits. The Cape Cod outings at Wianno, beginning in the 1970’s, three days of golfing and gastronomical indulgence, were truly elegant affairs. The President’s cocktail party and Saturday night dinner are still fondly remembered by many in our midst. New members were expected to attend, almost as a rite of initiation into the club. Price was not a consideration; it shouldn’t matter when such a select opportunity was available. Charlie Speidel’s wonderful photographs recorded these cherished events for us.
Today’s CSSGA tournaments include raffle prizes featuring top-of-the-line golf equipment. By comparison, back in ’24, the Treasurer’s notes show disbursements for that year’s events of “$12.00 for hors d’oeuvres, $11.00 for cigars and $1.60 for A. M. Dickinson’s chauffer.” Sounds like A. M.’s driver got the short end of that one, doesn’t it?
The 1928 log of the Directors’ meeting tells of concern for members’ attendance. Not enough of the lads were showing up to play according to C. Royce Boss, Secretary. In 2004, Secretary Ken Fitch and Tournament Chairman Paul Duevel bemoan the identical phenomenon – we must have better participation at events, further evidence of “what goes around comes around”, one would speculate. Also of interest is the custom of combining committee meetings with a round of golf. This custom would go back to the nominating committee’s soiree of 1927 wherein the notice indicated that “attendance is particularly desirable in order that business be promptly disposed of and a game of golf indulged in.
As the game of golf exploded in popularity and customs changed, CSSGA has adapted. This year, for example, we will play two events not dressing for dinner. One can only imagine the chagrin such heresy would bring to the countenances of the likes of J. P. Cheney, Henry Sargent or “Uncle Herbert” Pease. The above mentioned would no doubt be proud, however, to see our creation and funding of the CSSGA Foundation and the scholarships awarded.
Imitators have come along for sure, but none with the stature and élan of our venerable CSSGA. The roster of our founding fathers reads like a “Who’s Who” of Connecticut’s business and social elite. Fortunately, the names in this booklet continue that tradition. Strong, solid men who believe that golf and its life guiding principles give us the foundation to endure and thrive.
– Richard D. Carlson, 2005
2023 OFFICERS & TRUSTEES
Michael Michigami, Hartford
James Stewart, New Canaan
Michael Hopkins, Waterbury
Joseph A. Palsa, Patterson
Paul Duevel, Mohegan Sun
Peter Lawrie, Assistant Secretary Membership
Jeffrey Bernstein, Assistant Secretary Collections
Michael Ingenito, Tournament Director
TERMS EXPIRING 2023
Michael Chulkovs, Candlewood Lake
Edward Detmer, Madison
Gerald Vitkauskas, Farmington
TERMS EXPIRING 2024
Russell Paine, Hop Meadow
Andrew Skipp, Waterbury
Peter Lisi, Hartford
TERMS EXPIRING 2025
Eric Besman, Glastonbury Hills
Peter Lawrie, Silvermine
Eugene Swain, Norwich
Kenneth Sunshine, Black Hall
INTERSTATE TEAM CAPTAIN
Bruce Ruehl, Silver Spring
Richard Zanini, Wethersfield (Chair)