In 1933 the first womens golf match against New Zealand was staged in Victoria and this biennial contest, the Tasman Cup, has continued ever since. That year, Miss Oliver Kay (Mrs G.W. Hollis) became the second New Zealander to win the Australian Championship. In its one hundred and three year history the Australian title has been won by overseas players on only 11 occasions.
The first team from Great Britain and Ireland to tour Australia arrived in 1935, playing fourteen courses in five states. Team Captain, Pat Walker, from the Malahide Golf Club outside Dublin, eventually won the Australian Championship defeating local player Susie Morpeth 4 and 3 in the final. The star of the British team was Pam Barton, later tragically killed in an aircraft crash during the Second World War, who created new course records at Royal Melbourne and Royal Canberra during the tour.
Two more Golf Tasman Cups were played before the intervention of the Second World War during which time all official competition ceased. The last Australian Championship was played in 1939 and was won by Miss Joan Lewis (Mrs J.D. Fisher) who, following service in the WAAF, returned to golf and her winning ways by taking the first post-war title in 1947.
Backed by her home state, New South Wales, in her effort to gain control of the national championship and form the Australian Ladies Golf Union, Lady Halse Rogers and her colleagues eventually succeeded. By mid-1920 the AGU indicated that it would relinquish its control. The Australian Ladies Golf Union was formed on the 22nd of November, 1921 and was constituted to control and co-ordinate women’s golfing activities in this country.
The fledgling ALGU was run by delegates from New South Wales and Victoria, with Western Australia having a proxy vote. By 1925 all states were affiliated and Miss Rene Austin was appointed the first Honorary Secretary and Treasurer.
An early goal womens golf had in mind was the establishment of a uniform handicap system for women Australia wide, which they eventually achieved. However, despite the early successes of the ALGU it took until 1926 before the men finally surrendered the Australian Championship Cup!
Until the 1930’s the ALGU harbored no ambitions to have players compete at an international level, although individual players had competed abroad. South Australian, Florence Fowler, was the first Australian to claim an international title when she won the Italian title in 1931. Players have also competed in the British Championship from very early times, a number of them doing extremely well. However, it was not until 1978 that 19 year old Edwina Kennedy from New South Wales, became the first Australian to win the coveted title.