History

The Rhode Island Golf Association is a non-profit organization private and public clubs and courses dedicated to the service of golf in Rhode Island. Founded in 1902, our primary mission is to promote and preserve the traditions of the game of golf in the State of Rhode Island.

To the best of our knowledge, there were ten founding member clubs. They include Agawam Hunt, Choppequonset GC, Long Meadow GC, Melrose GC, Mianatuck GC, The Misquamicut Club, Newport CC, Pawtucket CC, Quinnobequin GC and Wannamoisett CC. Of the original ten, five are still active in the Association. The RIGA is now comprised of 49 member clubs. The Association is operated by an Executive Committee and Operating Committee. The day to day operations are managed by an Executive Director and his staff.

In 2013, the RIGA took another step to advance its mission by merging with the Rhode Island Women's Golf Association. The merger provided the opportunity for the RIGA to serve all golfers in Rhode Island, regardless of gender. The RIWGA, founded in 1914, has its own long and storied history as 2014 marks it 100th-year Anniversary.

Also, as the state representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA), the RIGA conducts local qualifying for both the USGA Amateur and Open Championships. Also in accordance with the USGA, the RIGA acts as the local authority on the Rules of Golf, and maintains a course rating and handicap system for member clubs.

Joseph J. Sprague, Sr.

If there is one person most responsible for the success of the R.I. Golf Association during his 13 years as Executive Director, that man is Joseph J. Sprague, Sr. While golf in Rhode Island has been amazingly successful, both individually and as a whole, Sprague was the one person most responsible for making it all happen. He took over an already thriving operation from fellow Hall of Famer Ed Perry and not only kept it going, he brought it to new heights. Mr. Sprague passed away in 2004.

Ed Perry (1915-1994)

It's been 30 years since the passing of Ed Perry. He was the secretary of the RIGA for 33 years. He passed away Jan. 2, 1994. Perry was considered the "embodiment" of golf in Rhode Island.

Newport Country Club golf course
Newport Country Club

Founded in 1893, Newport CC hosted both the first U.S. Open and the first U.S. Amateur in 1895. Tiger Woods won his second U.S. Amateur Championship here in 1995.

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Rhode Island Country Club golf course
Rhode Island Country Club

Built in 1911, this Donald Ross course has spectacular views of Narragansett Bay.

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Quinnatisset Country Club golf course
Quinnatisset Country Club

One of the best hidden gems just over the Rhode Island border.

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Montaup Country Club golf course
Montaup Country Club

Montaup has hosted the Rhode Island Amateur three times 1996, 2014 and 2023. It also has some of the best water views in the state.

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Joseph J. Sprague, Jr.

Sprague began his golf administrative work as assistant director for the Rhode Island Golf Association in 1992, under his father, Joe Sprague Sr. Sprague, Jr. took over as RIGA executive director in 2000 and served in that position until 2007. He then succeeded Tom Landry as executive director for Mass Golf.