I grew up in Indiana, where the corn grows tall, the summers are short, and golf is more than a four-letter word. My father exposed me to golf at the age of ten, and I have since celebrated my “golden +” golf anniversary. Our town was very fortunate to have a golf course, as most courses at that time were located only in larger cities. Each day began with my dad supervising a two hour practice session, followed by playing at least eighteen, if not twenty seven, holes daily. Playing that much golf on the same course becomes second nature to you, and along with a little luck, I was able to record a two on each of those nine holes, plus a hole-in one over the course of those many years.
My interest and enthusiasm for the game can be attributed to my father who was an outstanding amateur golfer. We used to drive to the Masters, park along the side of the road and walk in. We would go yearly to the Tam-O-Shanter in Chicago, IL, where my father would introduce me to many professionals with whom he had played exhibitions. Our time together was special; unfortunately, my father died when I was seventeen, and he was not able to see me accomplish some of the following:
- winning seven consecutive ladies club championships
- setting five course records throughout Indiana with scores of 69-72
- qualifying in the top sixteen in the Indiana Women’s State Amateur eight times
- playing an 18-hole exhibition match with PGA champion, Jerry Barber, the day following his PGA win in 1960.
- being interviewed by Sports Illustrated
Although some of my friends decided to play on the LPGA tour, I headed to DePauw University to pursue a teaching degree. With a starting salary of $4,400, I began a rewarding career which would last for thirty-five years. Beginning in the elementary classroom, and retiring as an elementary principal, I finished my career with our school receiving a distinguished 4-star rating. There have been so many wonderful people in my life whose paths I have crossed because of golf. Remembering the fun and enjoyment of my junior golf experience, I spent many summers setting up junior golf programs where my husband, who was a PGA golf professional, was located. I had the privilege of serving as the Executive Director of the Indiana Jr. Girls Golf Association directing their state tournaments for two years before my tenure was interrupted when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With a life expectancy of five years at that time, I am blessed to be able to celebrate thirty two years being cancer free. South Carolina became my home eleven years ago when I moved here to be near my daughter and her family, following the birth of my grandson, Kyle. From the age of two, Kyle has had a golf club in his hand. When Kyle was five, Scott Rosenthal, the Director of Golf at Charleston National, became his coach and continues to work with him. Kyle has established himself as a national ranked junior golfer at the current age of twelve. There is nothing more special than to watch him enjoy the game and work hard to accomplish his goals. My life has come full circle, as I am now the one on the practice range with Kyle, just as my dad was with me. I am presently a women’s golf instructor with Scott Rosenthal at Charleston National for our ‘Never-Ending Ladies Golf’ weekly clinics. It is a terrific way to give back as I watch other gals enjoy this great game of golf which has been a wonderful part of my life.