History of the European Senior Golf Association – ESGA
Since more than a century amateur senior golfers meet worldwide. After World War II it became obvious that “this little white ball” could further develop golf friendship between senior golfers and promote golf in Europe. President Michael Kieffer from the French Senior Association invited on December 4th 1980, representatives of several European Associations among them: Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.
It was decided to organize an annual Championship only for male members of the European Associations. MM Negre (France), Mondolfi (Italy) and De Bruijn (Luxembourg) were asked to prepare Rules and Guidelines for such an event, stressing a friendly sportive character between European Associations for good and average golfers of age 55 and older. It was decided to have two categories: an open gross Championship and a net one with handicap (the Cup). The Italian Association organized the first Championship in 1982 in Rome and also invited Greece, Finland, Iceland and Ireland.
It was set up in November from 5th to 7th at the famous Olgiata Golf Club. Twelve Associations participated with almost 100 players. Sweden with John Andersson won, 2nd Italy and 3rd Spain. For the Cup: 1st Italy, 2nd Switzerland, 3rd Sweden.
In 1983 the Championship took place in St. Cloud and the Cup in St. Germain, France, with 12 Associations and 108 players. Sweden won, 2nd France and 3rd Spain. For the Cup: 1st France, 2nd Spain, 3rd Switzerland. In 1984 Golf Club Grand Ducal-Luxembourg hosted the event and 14 Associations came to visit Luxembourg, the results: 1st Sweden, 2nd Spain, 3rd Italy. For the Cup: 1st France, 2nd Germany and 3rd Luxembourg. In 1985 it was Portugal, Quinto do Lago beginning October, a golf paradise. Since then ESGA has organized continuously and every year in another country the European Senior Team Championship and Cup.
Following a proposition of Spain it was decided to have a second tournament for senior golfers of 70 and older, the European Masters Team Championship and Cup, also divided in a gross Championship and a net Cup. This successful initiative started in 2000 in Spain where it was also played in 2001. Since then the tournament has been organized every year in another country.
Since golf took up in the former Eastern European countries, the ESGA expanded rapidly with the Senior Golfers Associations from Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia with many more countries to come from the Eastern part of Europe.
In the spring of 2009 the ESGA website has been launched. In 2012 a standard website for ESGA tournaments was developed. Thanks to GSG Deutschland the website's home is in Germany with Loose Media Agentur, Erkrath.
The first President of ESGA, was Adriaan de Bruijn from Luxembourg. He resigned in 1998. Paul Lozé (France), Secretary-general, took over. Hans Tuyt (Netherlands) became Vice President and Philippe Verstraeten (Luxembourg) was appointed secretary-general/Treasurer. Paul Lozé passed away in 2003. Hans Tuyt became the President and Philippe Verstraeten Vice President. In 2008 the function of secretary-general/Treasurer became separated. Philippe Verstraeten remained to be the Treasurer and Rolf Olland (Netherlands) was appointed secretary-general. In 2010 Hans Tuyt resigned as President and Philppe Verstraeten became his succesor, while Rolf Olland was also appointed Vice President and Georges Kieffer Treasurer. In 2013 Philppe Verstraeten resigned and Georges Gevers was appointed as President. in 2014, Rolf Olland resigned and Georges Kieffer became "Secretary-Treasurer".
The ESGA with its head office in Luxembourg, Golfclub Grand Ducal, rue des Trèves, Senningenberg, was officially registered and the Statutes filed on April 30th 1996.
In 2017, the function of "Secretary-Treasurer" was again separated. George Kieffer remained Treasurer and Gutmann Habig was appointed General Secretary.