The Society began with 53 Founder Members. By May 1940 its membership had grown to 324. Now the number has exceeded 2,300. It can be said that many golfers eagerly await the attainment of age 55 to submit their membership applications to the Society. As to the age qualification, it had not always been 55. Back in 1931 the qualifying age was 48 and it remained so until 1978 when it was raised to 50.Then in 1992, in keeping with international practice, it was increased to 55.
Originally the Society served both Malaya and Singapore and until soon after the War, the officials of the Society alternated between the two places. The committees were small and the post of Captain was created six years after the Society's formation. We now have a Secretariat but it came into being only in the '80s.
Senior Golfer's have very good reasons for joining the Society. The Society’s Members can play at more than 80 golf clubs at reduced green fees. In addition some 50 hotels give special room rates to the Members. These concessions, no doubt, are great inducements to the qualified golfers to join the Society.
The focal point of the Society’s activities during the early years was the Annual Festival held in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting. There was always a festival atmosphere to the event and it was, and still is, a great get-together.
In 1978 the Committee felt it was time to introduce another competition and the Malaysian Seniors Amateur Open Golf championship was inaugurated. At the same time five age groupings were introduced to enable Members of the same age group to compete among themselves. The age group competition was designated as the Classic. Thus the Festival took on a different character. There were the Festival, the Open and the Classic all rolled into one.
By 1991 the membership had topped 1,300.The following year the Society decided to hold the Open separately from the Festival proper. As the name implies the Open is for all senior golfers from wherever they may be irrespective of whether they are Members or not. The Festival, on the other hand, would be confined to Members only.
Beginning in 1988 the Society also organises competitions regularly for its Members. Most of these competitions are held over two days, while three are one-day events.
The Society’s activities initially consisted mainly of inter-club matches. These have continued although one or two have been dropped for lack of response. In 1995, the Society began a new series-the annual match against the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association. This match is immensely popular and always oversubscribed.
Another inter-organisation event is the annual match against the Singapore Senior Golfers’ Society. It may be recalled that in the early years of the Society the membership included those in Singapore and the leadership of the Society alternated between the two sides of the Causeway. Later, Singapore formed its own organisation and now matches between the bodies are held regularly. Each year one match is played in Malaysia and another in Singapore, and so far the Malaysian have dominated the encounters.
On the international scene SGSM was partly responsible for the formation in 1983 of the Asean Senior Golfers’ Associations, now reconstituted as the Confederation of Asean Senior Golfers’ Associations (CASGA). An Asean tournament is held every year, with very few interruptions, with the venues switching from country to country. SGSM has participated in all these annual events with varying success. Our Society’s membership is the largest among all the members of CASGA and therefore we get the largest allocation of slots for the Asean Championships.
The Society also organises golfing tours to various countries. In recent years, groups of players, with many taking along their wives, have gone to Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland and Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Morocco, and to South Africa and Zimbabwe as well as the United States. Tours have also been arranged to Thailand, China, Vietnam and Myanmar. These tours are popular and they constitute an important part of the annual programmes of the Society.