Elizabeth Goss Round Robin History

Elizabeth Goss Round Robin Match Play tournament.

The Elizabeth Goss Round Robin Championship is, the highlight of the season and is rich in history.

Mrs. Goss who began her athletic career at Vassar gained national recognition as a low handicap golfer.  In 1922, she advanced to the 2nd round of the Women’s Amateur, the following year she made it to the semi- finals where she was eliminated by 3-time champion Alexa Sterling. At the Women’s Amateur in 1926 at Merion she began the week as the runner-up for the qualifying medal and ended the week as finalist to Helen Stetson, 3 – 1.   The years followed she spent as a member of Somerset Hills.  She was also a member of the Women’s New Jersey Golf Association and one of the first ladies to join Garden State Women’s Golf Association. She was also very active with the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association where served as president from 1942 to 1945 and won the WMGA Senior Championship in 1950 and 1951.

In looking to promote more match play among the ladies, she donated a trophy for a Round Robin Tournament to the Women’s New Jersey Golf Association.  It was in 1954 that Mrs. Goss’ daughter [Jane] who was also member of GSWGA informed the GSWGA Board that Mrs. Goss being a low handicap player all her life, both she and WNJGA believed that the newly formed GSWGA would be the better organization to sponsor such a tournament.

Over the tournament’s 65 year history the format was ever-changing.  It first ran for 4 or 5 days depending upon the number of participants, some years there was a separate qualifying round, as well, for a period of time, handicaps were used. In the mid 60’s the tournament settled into a 3 day format of match play with Nassau scoring with the final change coming in 1968 when qualifying was eliminated and players are seeded according to their handicap – the format we play today.

Although she died soon after the GSWGA was officially formed, her legacy lives on, not only through this championship but also by the honor Somerset Hills has bestowed upon her by hosting this event in her memory for its first 38 years and every 3rd year since then.

The Round Robin is the most enjoyable event on our calendar and this is due part to you all who make up the GSWGA and the friendly competition but more importantly due to Mrs. Goss’ legacy and the Somerset Hills site.