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GAP/DSGA merger

GAP, Delaware State Golf Association merge

GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia) is thrilled to add another chapter to its storied 125-year history by announcing a merger with the DSGA (Delaware State Golf Association), effective Jan. 3. The exciting new partnership increases GAP’s membership to more than 90,000 golfers across parts of four states with nearly 200 event days annually. This partnership brings the two most recognizable organizations in the area together to continue to celebrate and expand on the long-standing golfing history of the First State.

“Having started my relationship with and affection for the state of Delaware in 1977 as a freshman at the University of Delaware, I am so happy to welcome the Delaware State Golf Association under the GAP umbrella,” said GAP President Oscar Mestre, a four-year letterman for the Blue Hens golf team and 1981 graduate of the university.

GAP, the oldest state or regional golf association in the country, adds the DSGA’s collection of 30 Member Clubs, 20 annual events and nearly 8,000 golfers to its roster. A key part of the merger is Laura Heien, DSGA Executive Director for the past three years. She will be joining the GAP team as Director of Delaware Golf.  

“We look forward to partnering with GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia) to advance golf in Delaware,” said Bob Strong, the DSGA President. “We are excited that Laura will continue to manage Delaware golf events for GAP and believe the experience will be positive for Delaware golfers.”

“Laura has already become a valuable addition to our GAP team. Her commitment and dedication to golf in the state of Delaware matches GAP’s commitment to preserving the DSGA’s rich history,” GAP Executive Director Mark Peterson said.

For both golfers and clubs alike, the advantages of such a merger are simple. GAP’s best in class service and support from a 20-person staff will complement and expand services as well as add to the DSGA’s historic events.

“We’re beyond excited to invest, to enhance and to build upon the handicap administration and course rating services offered to clubs, in addition to the championship tournament experience. We expect great things in Delaware this year and beyond as a result of this new partnership,” said Mestre.

GAP’s commitment to golf in Delaware will be focused initially on administering core USGA services such as handicapping and course rating, in addition to increased playing opportunities for golfers in the state with the full complement of GAP events.

“We are proud to celebrate Delaware golf into the future, as well as expand opportunities for current members, junior golfers and the future of the game across the state, said Peterson.”

The merger continues GAP’s incredible growth over the past decade, which has seen an increase of more than 55 percent in individual members and 100 percent in Member Clubs. It’s also a great start to 2022 for golf in Delaware, which is slated to host its first-ever PGA TOUR event with the BMW Championship in August at Wilmington Country Club, a long-time GAP Member Club.

More communication will follow in the coming months. Stay up-to-date by visiting www.gapgolf.org.

GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia)

(Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 335 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania, the state of Delaware and parts of Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Delaware State Golf Association

Founded in 1952, the Delaware State Golf Association includes 30 Member Clubs and nearly 8,000 golfers. It administers 20 events annually, highlighted by the Delaware Amateur Championship, a three-day, 72-hole stroke play affair.