The State Employees Golf Association (SEGA) was founded in 1977 under the leadership and direction of William E. “Bill” Stages. It was the personal ambition of Bill Stages to have an organization where the Austin area State Employees could have their own association to promote the game of golf; to promote the camaraderie and fellowship of golfers who had a common work ethic, i.e., being a career State Employee; and, to provide a reputable base of operations to establish a handicap system for State Employees for their use in local and national amateur golf tournaments, and for everyday play with the other members of SEGA.
Bill Stages initially solicited the help of some co-workers, friends, and some of his former players, who were also fellow State Employee golfers, to get things started and to help establish SEGA. From the very beginning, Bill worked extremely hard to recruit at least one potential SEGA Board Member from each of the State Office Buildings in the Capitol Complex to serve on that first organizational SEGA Board of Directors. These men also worked very diligently to spread the word to as many Austin area State Employee golfers as quickly as possible, and to ask for everyone’s help in getting things started by actively participating in the first SEGA Golf Tournament.
The first SEGA Tournment was a 4 person select-shot event and was held on Columbus Day, Monday, October 10th, 1977 at the Great Hills Country Club. Gib Kizer – son of the namesake of the Roy Kizer Golf Course – was the Golf Pro at Great Hills Country Club at that time and Gib personally opened up the course and reserved it for the first SEGA Golf Tournament. (This was back in the days when Columbus Day was still an Official State Holiday.)
There were more than 140 active State Employees who participated in that first SEGA Tournament. The general consensus among the members present was that SEGA would hold future tournaments only on those days which were designated as Official State Holidays. The SEGA membership was also voted on at that time to be defined as: “Any employee who receives a payroll check from a State Agency which was required to participate in the State of Texas Employees Retirement System.”
As expected, Bill Stages was elected to be the first President of SEGA. The other volunteers who helped to get things started were also elected to the first Board of Directors. Those members included Vernon “Cotton” Ashton (TEA), Nick Carter (Water Development Board), Larry Carpenter and Don Burks (State Board of Insurance), Robert Greening (Department of Public Welfare), and Dick Jones (TxDOT). The first organizational meeting of SEGA was being held at Scholz Garden on Tuesday, August 16, 1977 when the news was broadcast that Elvis Presley had died.
It was during the time Jim Davis was president of SEGA that the SEGA hot line was set-up, optional gross and net skins were instituted, and the hole-in-one fund ($500) was established. Coincidentally, Jim Davis was the first SEGA member to win the hole-in-one fund.
During Robert Greening’s first year as president of SEGA, he and John Moorman drafted the original Constitution and Bylaws of SEGA – with the assistance and guidance of George Turner who was a PGA Golf Pro at that time. Under Robert Greening’s direction, the SEGA Board of Directors approved the policy of establishing SEGA Handicaps to be based only on scores from Official SEGA Tournaments. Also established was the tradition of the Annual SEGA Member/Guest Tournament to be held on the day after Thanksgiving. The policy of electing the SEGA Board Members for staggered two year terms was also put into place at that time. The SEGA Constitution was further amended to expand the membership to include State Employee Retirees and the spouses and dependant children of all SEGA members. The definition of SEGA membership was further amended to include anyone who was an employee of a Political Eleemosynary; which was defined as any “Agency” created by an act of the Texas Legislature, or in that specific instance – the LCRA.
On April 11, 2005, State Resolution #594 recognizing the State Employee Golf Association was adopted by the Texas Senate.