Lefty golf goes back a lot further than when the NALG was formed in 1936.
While researching to find the past Indiana tournament winners, I obtained temporary Newspapers.com access and found the following articles about left-handed golf that preceded the formation of the NALG. As more newspapers are indexed we will likely find more references. From one of the articles below, it appears that a left-handed tournament was held in Chicago every year from 1910-1921!
Fort Wayne Daily News – April 25, 1916 – “What is believed the first tournament for left-handed golfers in the history of the game is to be played this summer at the North Hills Country Club, near here (Philadelphia, PA). All of the southpaws in the eastern district have been invited.”
Indianapolis Star – February 3, 1924 – “A southpaw tournament is being arranged at Hollywood, and Sol Meyer, president of the Meyer-Kiser back of Indianapolis; his son Ferd Meyer, vice president of the bank and Joe Kelly of Indianapolis, all of whom are left-handed at golf, are enthusiastic entrants.”
Lafayette (Indiana) Journal and Courier – August 9, 1924 – “A Chicago columnist says, in referenc to the left handed golf tourney up there, that the only reason that southpaw golfers do not achieve more fame than they do can be blamed on the prevailing scarcity of left-handed golf links.”
Evansville Journal – July 28, 1927 – “Nearly 100 southpaw golfers lined up at Spring Brook Country Club course today for the first left-handed golf tournament ever staged in Ohio. During the two day meet the portsiders will compete for the “state portside championship trophy” awarded by the Lima Daily News, which is sponsoring the tournament.”
South Bend Tribune – July 29, 1927 – “Final 36 holes in Ohio Tourney for Portside Golfers gets underway.” “Elkins Brawner, Dayton, and A. A. Wells, East Liverpool, brother of Joe Wells, former state champion, were leading the field of Ohio’s portside golfers when play started today in the final 36 holes of the state amateur left-handed golf tournament.”
Brawner and Wells each had cards of 163 at the end of the first 36 holes yesterday. Wells took an 83 for low score in the morning round and followed up with another 83 in the afternoon. Brawner had an 87 in the first round but came back with a brilliant 76 in the second round.”
Richmond (Indiana) Palladium-Item – July 30, 1927 – Lima Ohio Associated Press article - “A. A. Wells of East Liverpool today holds the distinction of being Ohio’s best amateur left handed golfer. Wells won the honor here yesterday when his total card of 324 for 72 holes play over the Springbrook course was the lowest of 17 portsiders who competed in the state amateur left-handed golf tourney. Incidentally the tournament was believed to be the first state tournament of its kind ever held.”
Munster Times – July 2, 1930 – “Indiana State Golf Title for Left-handers to be Decided” – The event is being held at the Cressmoor Country Club of Gary and is sanctioned by the Western Golf Association. The club plans to sponsor a similar tournament each year. This was a 36 hole event with 18 holes played in the morning and afternoon.
Lafayette Journal and Courier – July 4, 1930 - “Two score entries are expected for the first annual left handed amateur golf tournament to be held Sunday at the Cressmoor Country Club. The tournament is sponsored by the Cressmoor Club in the hope that it will become an annual affair. The winner will represent the state in a national tournament for left handers to be held in Chicago.”
Lafayette Journal and Courier – August 5, 1930 – “Southpaw golfers will rally in Chicago Thursday for the Midlothian Country Club’s twenty-first annual left-handed championship tournament. Rudy Juran of Minneapolis, will defend his title.”
The above article implies that they have held a lefty event since 1910!
Indianapolis Star – January 8, 1933 – Miami United Press article – “The southpaw golfer will have his day here this winter and the assurance that for a week at least the season on him will be closed.
He is invited to hook or slice from the port side, glare down any stray professionals and conduct his own sport clinic from January 16 to 21 at the first annual winter left-handed golf championship under the auspices of the Florida Year-Round Clubs.
It also is the outgrowth of the unique organization formed at Columbus, Ohio, several months ago by Everett G. Livesay, who, after holding state and district titles, organized the American Left-Handers Golf Association on the principle that any man who can perform a manual feat better with one hand than with the other can do the same thing in golf.
More than 3,500 Invited.
The left-handers have drawn thousands to their banner and the competition will be the first national round-up of the strangest bird in the golf aviary. More than thirty-five hundred left-handers have been invited to take part.
The tournament will be a match play event, conducted along the same general lines as last summer’s United States Amateur championship at Five Farms, Baltimore.
The American Left-Handers Golf Association, comprising several hundred members, includes Babe Ruth, as honorary president, and many other noted figures of sport and American industry.”
The above article was also printed in the Evansville Press.
Munster Times – January 31, 1933 – “Freddy Webb, of Shelby, North Carolina, admires the trophy he won along with the national left-handed golf championship in a tournament over the Miami Biltmore Country Club course in Miami, Florida.” Picture included.
Indianapolis News – September 26, 1933 – “The opening round of the national championship matches for left-handed golfers found the Ohio southpaws in the favored positions today. E. G. Livesay, of Columbus, Ohio, one of the leaders of the National Left-Handers’ Association and present champion, was regarded as having a good chance to repeat. He won last year’s tournament at White Suphur Springs, Virginia.
The tournament is open to players of all classes of ability, and consists of four eighteen-hole rounds on the Acacia Country Club course in Cleveland. Among Livesay’s rivals are Eddie Merkle, of Columbus; Charles Teskey, Cleveland district southpaw champion, and Duncan Thompson, of New York. Frank Page, another Clevelander, is entered on his home course.”
I confess! I am an avid golfer. I also play left-handed. Since I now manage the National Association of Left-handed Golfers website, I thought I would start a Blog...this blog! What will I have to say? Stay tuned and find out.