The Louisiana Golf Association (LGA) had its origin in 1920 when the first Louisiana State Amateur Championship was held at Shreveport Country Club. During the first 40 years of its existence, the LGA’s primary function was to conduct this prestigious Championship.
In 1958, in response to the Board’s feeling of responsibility to promote golf to the youth of Louisiana, the LGA’s first Junior Amateur Championship was conducted. Past Champions of this event include such familiar names as Hal Sutton and David Toms.
As golf continued to grow, the LGA grew as well. Five additional Championships were added over the course of eight years (Four-Ball Championship in 1983, Senior Four-Ball Championship in 1988, Club Team Championship in 1989, Senior Amateur Championship in 1990, and Mid-Amateur Championship in 1991).
In late 1994, the LGA’s Board of Directors made a decision that has had a significant impact on the growth of the LGA and its ability to serve the game of golf in Louisiana. It was determined that the LGA would hire its first full-time staff person and would embark on a journey to become a full-service state golf association and not just an organization to conduct the major Amateur Championships in the state. The LGA’s offices were moved from Monroe to Lafayette in an attempt to become more centrally located and more responsive to its membership. Since that time, the organization has worked hard to enhance and further develop its core services of Championship Administration, oversight of the USGA Course Rating and Handicapping Systems, and serving as the area authority for the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status.
In January of 1998, the LGA initiated the LGA Handicap Network. One of the main purposes of this program was to bring consistency statewide to handicapping and to provide assurance to LGA Member Clubs that their members’ USGA Handicap Indexes would be computed by USGA Handicap System guidelines. The Network has grown from 30 clubs and 5,000 individual members at its inception to over 100 clubs and approximately 16,000 members at present. As an offshoot to the LGA Handicap Network, the LGA Net Amateur Championship was initiated in August of 2000. The first-ever LGA Championship played under a ‘net’ format, the Net Amateur Championship is open to golfers that have their USGA Handicap Indexes computed through the LGA Handicap Network and is one example of how the LGA is working hard to become an organization dedicated to serving all golfers in the state. In 2003 the Net Amateur Championship was expanded to include a concurrent Net Club Team Championship, allowing clubs to compete in a Net Team event as well.
The LGA expanded its staff yet again in January 2002 as a second full-time staff person was hired to oversee the growing Handicapping and Course Rating programs. In 2005 the LGA began providing a computer hardware and software package to all LGA Handicap Network participant clubs. This program created a consistent ‘golfer score posting station’ at each club and has significantly enhanced the integrity and validity of handicapping in Louisiana.
In 2006, the LGA partnered with the Audubon Golf Trail (AGT) to provide each of its almost 20,000 members an LGA discount card, entitling each LGA member to receive a complimentary cart fee at each of the 12 AGT facilities once a year.
In 2012, a third full-time staff position was added to manage LGA Championship operations. The increase in staff came at a good time, as 2012 also brought an additional event to the Championship schedule: the Junior River Cup Matches (LA vs. MS).
In 2019, the LGA partnered with the Gulf States PGA to establish the Louisiana Junior Golf Tour(LJGT) to promote junior golf in Louisiana. The mission of the LJGT is to create more playing opportunities for ALL junior golfers in Louisiana and to do so at an affordable rate. The LJGT will help junior golfers build a foundation of skills and knowledge that they will be able to use throughout the rest of their lives.
The LGA continues to strive to meet its mission of fostering the enhancement and expansion of amateur golf through the development of member and information services, the promotion of opportunities for all who want to play, and the protection of the game’s integrity and valued traditions through its many initiatives.