Once Upon a Time, a Women’s Golf Tournament: Shenecossett Invitation,

Richard A. Voyer
Independent scholar, Mystic, CT.

richard-a-voyerShenecossett Invitation, or the Griswold Cup as it was also referred to, was played at the exclusive seaside summer resort located at Eastern Point in Groton, Connecticut USA in years 1919 through 1940. A product of hotel management, it served to attract tourists as well as to satisfy the want of women to enjoy their sport. Recognized as one of the more important summer events within the circle of women golfers, it attracted nationally well-known players that included Glenna Collett, Edith Cummings, Maureen Orcutt, Marion Hollins, Edith Quier and Jean Bauer, as well as champions of state golf associations in Illinois, Kansas, Maine Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Because of its importance, the Invitation constitutes a significant link between the past and present in the tradition of women’s golf.

A beneficiary of the “Roaring Twenties” and a casualty of the Great Depression the following decade, history of the Invitation is an early example illustrating the thesis that economic productivity is fundamental to success of the tourism and leisure industry. The number of entries and number of scores reported in newspapers, and the distance players traveled to compete at Eastern Point were used to assess the changing fate of the tournament.

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RICHARD A. VOYER worked thirty years as an environmental scientist for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and its predecessor departments. His research focused on study of the influence of factor interactions involving natural and chemical contaminants on lethal and nonlethal responses of estuarine organisms. As a last project he put together a historical study of New Bedford, Massachusetts USA to show changes in the environment that accompanied development of that city as it evolved in a step-wise progression from a small farming community, to whaling, to cotton textiles, and to light industry. Since retiring, Richard has played golf, and more recently has become involved with restoration of an old house.

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