Southeastern Deaf Golfers Association

History of SEDGA

     The Dixie Deaf Golfers Association was organized on September 15, 1968. The occasion took place after the 4th Annual South Carolina Deaf Golf Tournament which was held at the Shoresbrook Golf Course in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

     A meeting was held at the home of Tom Ligon with the expressed aim of promoting deaf golf tournament within the borders of the Dixie States for Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina deaf golfers to play golf together under one banner annually. They have had been playing together in tournaments in those three states. The other objectives of the organization was to upgrade the deaf golfers’ vocation and to promote its members to full membership in the Deaf Golfers Association of the Dixie States so that they may be fully qualified as members of this organization.

     Heyward Thompson was elected President; Olin Creasy, C.R. Parish, and Carlisle Saunders were elected as Vice Presidents of Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina respectively. Albert Gibson of South Carolina was selected as Secretary-Treasurer.

     A brief history of the Dixie Deaf Golfers Association in the South was rewritten in this issue after some advertisements about the Virginia Deaf Golf Tournaments and Ralph Crutchfield’s recordings of the North Carolina Golfers Association of the Deaf were founded. Since before1962, several well-known deaf golfers in Virginia were Olin Creasy, Glover Wright, Carlton Lewellyn, Odie Nunn, Melvin Crew, Jr. Joe Smith, Fred Yates and Charles Alexander (some, who should have been named above, may have been missed). They formed deaf golf tournaments and these tournaments attracted North Carolina and South Carolina deaf golfers for several years. This had a great influence on some deaf golfers in North Carolina that encouraged them to establish their own organization.

     At the beginning of 1964, Ralph Crutchfield and his golf buddies, who lived around Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C., founded N.C.G.A.D. and wrote the first by-laws of N.C.G.A.D. The First Annual North Carolina Deaf Golf Tournament was held at Deep River Golf Course near Greensboro, N.C. on September 12, 1966. There were numerous deaf golf tournaments and social events in Burlington, Lenoir, Morganton, Black Mountain, High Point, and other cities in N.C. Twenty five members including some deaf golfers from Virginia were recorded in 1966.

     The Dixie Deaf Golfers Association was organized in 1968. During the early spring of 1969, Charles Crowe and Robert Watson came to the N.C.G.A.D. meeting in Winston-Salem, N.C. They gave an excellent pep talk to a group of members about forming an Eastern Deaf Golfers Association in Wilson, N.C.

     The following year, 1969, the first official deaf golf tournament was held in Morganton, N.C. In June 1970, the name of E.D.G.A. was changed to the Southeastern Deaf Golf Association (SEDGA) by vote of the members.

     Jack Whisenant of Thomasville, N.C. captured the First Annual SEDGA Championship with a score of 169 in two rounds. Sixteen deaf golfers were present and one deaf golfer from California, Truitt Sanders, had come out to play with this group.

     Since this small beginning, SEDGA has grown steadily each year. Today, we have a strong organization with outstanding leadership in which SEDGA covers 10 states with 7 affiliated organizations under the SEDGA Banner.

     Let’s keep the SEDGA’s Flame burning brightly for many more years to come.