In the early days of the Griscom Cup, an Inter-City competition between women from Philadelphia, Metropolitan, and Boston golf associations, the terms “competition” and “fun” were all but synonymous. Gathered together at the Griscom Cup venue, they looked for any opportunity to enjoy their sport and the camaraderie it afforded.
The legendary Margaret Curtis recounted the beginning of the Eastern Championship this way:
“Out of the Inter-City grew the ‘Eastern.’ It started informally by having the girls arrange to play their practice rounds with someone from another city; then it seemed wise to actually pair the girls, then a prize was put up, first for one day, then two days and finally it was called the Eastern and made three days but always it was the fun of playing with the girls whom one saw but rarely and not under the strain of a match, that was its great charm.”
Thus did the Eastern Championship formally become a separate competition in 1906.
By 1921, when Fanny Osgood donated the Osgood Shield, there were women competing in the Eastern Championship who were not a part of the Griscom Cup matches. Competition for the Osgood Shield brought the element of team competition back into the Eastern event.
The Osgood Shield Shield is given for medal team play and is competed for concurrently with the Eastern Championship. These days, all Eastern Championship competitors are assigned to one of eight teams. The five best gross scores for each team are posted on each day of the Championship. The team with the lowest aggregate score wins. The names of many illustrious women golfers adorn the impressive engraved plaques.
Fannie Osgood won the first Eastern Championship in 1906. Fanny was the Boston area Champion in 1903, 1904, 1910, 1911 and 1913. She was President of the Women’s Golf Association of Boston for the years 1925 – 1929.