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Belle Burney (Viewed: 5552)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on January 25, 2016 @ 9:00 am

Mrs. I.H. “Belle” Burney was the driving force in organizing amateur golf for women in Texas.  Her leadership of a group of women helped establish a state amateur championship and an organization to promote the game of golf for women in Texas.  She was the inaugural president of the Women’s Texas Golf Association and helped secure River Crest Country Club as the host site for the first ever State Amateur Championship.

In addition to her organizational accomplishments, Burney was also a fine player in her day.  She qualified for the Championship Flight in 1916, 1917 and 1919.  Burney also founded the “President’s Cup” which later came to be called the Team Cup.  This competition honors the club with the two players returning the lowest aggregate score during the stroke play qualifying round.  Burney and future WTGA State Amateur Champion Pauline Stripling Hedrick represented River Crest in the inaugural President’s Cup and finished 5th.

In 2008, the WTGA created the “Belle” Burney Award that is presented to the outstanding volunteer for women’s golf.  Previous winners of this prestigious award are Sandy Dalehite, Cathy Holland, Becky Spears, Doris Kallina, 'Nez Muhleman, Pam Murray, and Mary Lucas.

100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  Follow the blog by bookmarking THIS page.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.

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Toni Wiesner - 5-time Champion (Viewed: 9068)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on January 21, 2016 @ 9:00 am

It took Toni Wiesner 12 tries before winning her first WTGA State Amateur Championship in 1985.  She would add four more titles by 2003.  Her five championships are the third most in the history of the event.  Only Edna Lapham (7) and Mary Ann Morrison (9) have won more.  Toni’s accomplishments on the golf course are among the most impressive of any golfer of any era.  Outside of Texas, her titles include the Women’s Southern Championship, Mexican Amateur, Broadmoor Invitational, Doherty Cup and International Four-Ball.  She was a perennial USGA championship contender, and finalist for more than 30 years.  She is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.

Toni was as celebrated for her attitude, wisdom and sportsmanship as she was for her championship titles.  As collegiate players continued to excel and their participation in amateur competitive events grew, Wiesner was asked how she felt about competing against younger players.  She said, “Golf is a lifetime in which age doesn’t matter”.  On the way to her first State Amateur title in 1985, Toni said, “I like to think of myself as my opponent.  If I don’t get the job done, I can’t blame anyone else but myself”.

Toni gave back to golf through service on the USGA Junior Girls Committee and as a mentor, encourager and role model for countless women in Texas, this author included.  Toni passed away in 2009 leaving a legacy of class, character and a fierce competitive spirit.  The Women’s Texas Golf Association provides two junior golf programs in her honor.  The Wiesner’s Winners program identifies outstanding participants in selected LPGA / USGA Girls Golf sites across Texas.  The Toni Wiesner Cup is awarded to the winning team at the annual Texas Challenge, a statewide competition for participants in these Girls Golf Sites.  The world of golf and the world in general all benefit when young girls are introduced to the game Toni loved and are shown how to be true champions.

All proceeds from the Breaking 100 campaign are contributed directly to the TGA Foundations’ Women’s Initiatives like Wiesner’s Winners and the Texas Challenge.  For more information click HERE.  To make a contribution in Toni’s memory, click HERE.

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Janean Murphy (Viewed: 6605)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on January 19, 2016 @ 9:00 am

Janean Murphy has been a fixture in the Houston–area golf scene for the better part of 20 years in several different capacities.  An accomplished amateur player in her own right, Janean has competed in Houston City Amateur Championships and represented South Texas in the annual Texas Cup matches.  While still an amateur, Janean worked as the Golf Coach for The Woodlands High School and guided her team to three consecutive State Championships (2001-2003).

After her coaching career, Janean became a full-time teaching professional and has worked with players seeking to improve their skills all over the Houston area.  She has held teaching positions at Houston Country Club, WindRose, Memorial Park Golf Course and Wildcat Golf Club.  She is currently teaching at Lakeside Country Club.

“I want the opportunity to invest into other people’s lives and use golf as a vehicle to make an impact”, Janean says.  It is this passion for teaching others to love golf that makes Janean a perfect leader for the Breaking 100 campaign.  She is one of 11 pros who are giving 100 Lessons for Women and Girls on behalf of the campaign.  Through the campaign she will raise funds and awareness to increase the opportunities for women to enjoy the game in Texas.  For more information and to support Janean in her efforts, click here.

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Babe Didrickson Zaharias - 1935 (Viewed: 5821)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on January 15, 2016 @ 9:00 am

“The Babe” is widely considered the greatest female athlete of the 20th century. Golf was her second hall of fame career, coming after Olympic glory in track and field. After playing in the Fort Worth Women’s Open in 1935, she entered the Texas Amateur Championship as her first major amateur championship. Didrickson tied Betty Jameson for the second seed in the qualifying round, both shooting 85 at River Oaks Country Club. She advanced through her match play bracket and went on to face Peggy Chandler in the final match. In front of an estimated 2,000 fans, Babe used booming drives to claim the title 2 up.

Her plans were then to compete in the Women’s Southern Amateur Championship and then vie for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. However, her application to the Southern Championship was declined after she was declared ineligible due to her previous professional sports affiliations.  After much national controversy and enduring a three-year wait, she was reinstated as an amateur.  She went on to win the 1946 US Women’s Amateur Championship, become the first American to win the British Women’s Amateur, and generally dominate golf.  She turned pro and went on to win the 1948 and 1950 US Women’s Open and then joined fellow Texans Betty Jameson and Bettye Danoff, and 10 others in forming the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

After much professional success and a battle with cancer, Didrickson Zaharias passed away in 1956. The W.T.G.A. founded a charity event in her honor to be contested on the day before the opening round of the Women’s State Amateur.

100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  Follow the blog by bookmarking THIS page.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.

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Nannette Wheelis (Viewed: 7307)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on January 13, 2016 @ 9:00 am

Nannette Wheelis has been an avid golfer and golf supporter for many years.  She has been a top-level competitor, golf coach, volunteer and overall golf fan since taking up the game in college.  Her interest in golf goes back even farther, but as a 12-year old, she discovered that no one she knew played golf, so she played tennis instead.  Once she started learning golf, she improved quickly.  She learned in San Diego by taking video lessons and hitting balls into a net.

Wheelis played in her first WTGA State Amateur Championship in 1978 and has only missed five tournaments since then.  Over the years she has won Senior Medalist honors, won the Championship Consolation flight and gone up against the very best players of her era.  She qualified for the USGA Senior Women’s Championship five times and has been a regular contender in the State Partnership and Senior Stroke Play Championship.  She has won 17 club championships and represented the North in the Texas Cup matches both as a player and co-captain.  Nannette spent six years serving as a Director for the Women’s Texas Golf Association and also served as a volunteer coach for the Vanguard High School Golf Team from 1990-1999.  The girl’s team won the State Championship in 1996!

After all she has accomplished and contributed to golf over the years, Nannette continues to give back to the game as one of five players committed to playing 100 Holes of Competition as part of the Breaking 100 campaign.  Click here to learn more about Nannette and support her in her work to raise funds and awareness to increase opportunities for women and girls through golf.

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