The aim of the Essex Ladies County Golf Association (ELCGA) is to promote women’s golf in the County of Essex.
Anyone who is a member of an affiliated club in the County is automatically entitled to membership, anyone who is a member of an affiliated club outside the County can be an individual member, but no player can be a full member of more than one County Association in one year.
ELCGA celebrated its centenary year in 2000. Early records show that the Essex County Secretary, Miss Harris from Halstead, attended the Central County Committee meeting at Aberdovey on May 16th 1901, held during the annual championship. A record of probably the first inter-county match between Essex and Kent appears in the April 1901 edition of Golf Illustrated when Essex were beaten 6 ½ to 1 ½ . Unfortunately no minutes exist until 1936 and no record of the Championship until 1923 when Miss M Parkinson was the winner. The interclub Silver League started in 1926 when Thorpe Hall were the winners and the Bronze League in 1929 when Wanstead won.
Currently ELCGA run a variety of competitions and events throughout the season. The interclub Silver Shield, Silver Trophy, Bronze Shield, and Harris Bowl are of a ‘round robin’ format with a draw placing the teams in leagues according to the number of entries. The Harris Bowl is played off full handicap difference, all the rest off scratch. The Munro Foursomes is a scratch foursomes interclub knockout tournament. Mrs Olive Munro presented the shield for this competition in 1950 – the year she was County Champion.
More recently Gold, Silver, and Bronze County Knockout tournaments for individual players have been introduced in handicap categories and are proving to be very popular.
Open meetings are held in the spring and autumn with a chance for all members to meet and play with others in their handicap range. Meetings are held at various golf clubs around the County and there are scratch and handicap prizes including trophies presented by Miss Harris, our first Secretary, and Mrs H H Raphael who was President of the Romford Ladies Club in 1901 and according to Golf Illustrated in that year was not only a patron and official but also a player of note herself. There is also an Open Seniors Meeting held each year.
ELCGA has 1st and 2nd County Teams who play in the East Region division. 1st team matches are played during County Week each June. The East Region comprises of Bedfordshire, Cambs & Hunts, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. The counties take turns in hosting the event. The 2nd team has one-day matches throughout the season, home one year and away the next with the final match being played by all six teams at one venue held in a different county each year. The are also Seniors’ one-day matches played against Cambs & Hunts, Suffolk, Middlesex, Surrey and Kent.
Essex has a very active Junior section with a team representing the County at East Region Junior County Match Days, and at the East Region Junior Team Trophy. As well as the Girls’ Championship there are also Spring, Summer and Autumn meetings, Junior Singles Knockouts, and a Women's/Junior Foursomes interclub competition. Coaching is provided for selected groups through the winter and spring months. ELCGA, in conjunction with the Golf Foundation, also runs a beginners Girls Golf Rocks programme at different venues throughout the year.
Both ELCGA and the Essex Golf Union work together on providing volunteers to undertake USGA Course Rating assessments. Essex has a Handicap Adviser who is currently also the East Region Handicap Adviser and any handicapping query should first be directed to her. Both men and women can volunteer to be part of the Essex Rules Officials team. They are particularly in demand for County Championships and Finals as well as having the opportunity to referee at East Region events.
Each affiliated club in Essex nominates a Delegate to represent them at County level and meetings are held quarterly with County Officials when information is exchanged and decisions are made. Delegates also act as a central point of contact for all England Golf and County communications throughout the year. The County Management Committee is elected annually and meets several times a year.
Representation to England Golf is through the County Voting Member who attends England Golf meetings and acts as the main contact for all information.