Texas Golf Association, Since 1906
Texas Golf Association, Since 1906



Golf with Texas Women
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Diane Dill, 6-time Women's Senior Champion (Viewed: 1967)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on September 29, 2016 @ 8:00 am

Diane Dill was born in Gilmer in East Texas.  In fact, she was once crowned the Gilmer “Yamboree Queen”!  She learned to play golf as a child on the sand greens at Gilmer’s 9-hole course.  After graduating from the University of Texas, Dill went to work for Humble Oil Company and was eligible to join what would become Baywood Country Club – an Humble Oil-owned club.  She found her love of golf while playing with the “par plus” group there, and eventually progressed to win 17 club championships.
 
As her game progressed, Dill began her career as a statewide competitor.  She first played in the WTGA State Amateur Championship at Colonial Country Club in 1961 where she was paired with all-time great Polly Riley.  Dill also began what would become a long-time affinity with Amarillo Country Club.  “I loved playing the Amarillo Partnership”, she recalls.  She won in 1982 with Bev Baetge (1983 WTGA President), in 1987 with fellow Houston golf hero Preston Crow, and twice in the 1990s with Juanita Jones.  She was the WTGA State Amateur co-medalist with Toni Wiesner at Amarillo in 1979, and shared co-Senior Medalist honors with Wiesner at Amarillo in 1988.
 
Her greatest stretch of golf, however, came in 1993-1994.  Dill retired in1992 after almost 35 years with Humble Oil and her golf quickly took off.  After winning the Houston City Championship and Southern Texas Golf Association Tournament of Champions in 1993, she set a goal to win the 1994 Houston City Senior Championship, WTGA Senior Stroke Play Championship and both of her club championships (Baywood and Bay Oaks)…and she did!  After decades of success, Dill shared much of the credit with her husband.  “Of course, I would never have been the player that I learned to be without the patience of my teaching pro who just happened to be my husband, Bill Dill.  Because he was so supportive of my love of golf, it made it so much easier to play for so many years and enjoy the satisfying experiences.”
 
Dill served on the WTGA Board of Directors for six years in the 1990s including a term as President and is one of five women selected to serve on the TGA Board of Directors in 2014 when the two associations merged.  Among her greatest accomplishments, Dill counts her six victories in the WTGA Senior Stroke Play Championship.  In an alignment of events that may seem daunting to her opponents in the field, the championship returns this weekend to Dill’s beloved Amarillo Country Club.  One should never count out a seasoned champion playing one of her favorite events on one of her favorite courses.  Follow the action here.



100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  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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Agatha Lee - West Texas legend (Viewed: 2321)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on September 27, 2016 @ 8:00 am

West Texas has certainly seen its fair share of great women golfers.  One of the trailblazers was Agatha Lee.  A late arrival to golf, Lee took up the game at the urging of her husband.  She would become frustrated when he practiced until dark and decided to take up the game to see what could possibly occupy his attention past dinner.  In an interview with Ray Sanchez, Lee recalled the early days of golf in El Paso.  “That was in 1932”, she recalls.  “We would practice at Washington Park.  One thing I remember about practicing there is that there were usually some baseball games going on.  We would hit balls over the heads of the players with 3-irons.”

The precision demanded by those practice sessions quickly paid dividends and led to a Hall of Fame career.  Lee would go on to win the El Paso Country Club Championship 18 times.  Before there was an El Paso City Championship, she played in a regional tournament sponsored by a Dry Goods store.  She won that event eight times before it was replaced by the El Paso City Championship – which she then won seven times.  She played in the 1951 WTGA State Amateur and reached the quarterfinals at Lubbock Country Club.

To complete her West Texas pedigree, Lee claimed two Women’s Southwestern Amateur titles and the Women’s West Texas Amateur Championship.  She continued her dominance after reaching the “senior” amateur ranks.  She won the Texas Women’s Senior Championship in seven consecutive years (1959-1965), earned medalist honors at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and won the Broadmoor Senior Division.

In 1983, Lee joined Lee Trevino and others as an inaugural member of the El Paso Golf Hall of Fame.  According to Sanchez, one of West Texas Sport's greatest chroniclers, “She is without doubt the greatest amateur woman to ever swing a golf club in El Paso.  She was a grand lady”.

The Women’s Senior Stroke Play returns to West Texas this weekend.  Play begins Sunday, October 2 at Amarillo Country Club.  Click here to follow the action.
 


100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  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.

Special thanks to Thomas Forbes and Ray Sanchez.  Mr. Sanchez in the author of several books and articles about West Texas Sports including El Paso’s Greatest Sports Heroes I Have Known, from which much of the above is taken.

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Carol Mann, World Golf Hall of Fame (Viewed: 2298)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on September 23, 2016 @ 8:00 am

 
By the time Carol Mann made it to Texas, she had lived in Buffalo, Baltimore, Chicago, Greensboro, Atlanta, and Palm Springs.  The well-travelled Mann had also already built a world-class amateur golf career and inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame.  However, once she reached the Lone Star State, she stayed put.
 
Mann started playing golf at the age of 9, but things really started to happen for her after her family moved to Chicago and she began taking lessons at Olympia Fields Country Club.  During her amateur career, Mann won the 1958 Women’s Western Junior and Chicago Junior Championship.  She earned medalist honors in the 1960 Women’s Trans-Miss Championship where she competed against Sandra Haynie, who would become her close friend and trusted colleague.

Mann joined the LPGA tour in 1961 – the same week as Haynie.  In her early days on tour, she was mentored by all-time greats Patty Berg, Mickey Wright and Betsy Rawls and worked hard to “live up to their coaching”.  In 1964 she won her first tournament, and it happened to also be a major championship, the Western Open.   She claimed her second major championship in 1965 at the U.S. Women’s Open when it was nationally televised for the first time.  Mann would go on to win 36 more times in only 11 years.
 
At the height of her success, she became the President of the LPGA and led the organization through critical changes that would set the stage for the tour’s growth and sustained success.  Along with increasing the tour’s focus on marketing and business activities, during her time leading the tour, the LPGA would hire its first Commissioner and form the first Board of Directors.  In just a few short years, both prize money and TV coverage would increase exponentially on tour.

As Mann continued to win at an impressive rate, her activities away from the golf course began to crowd her competitive focus.  She retired from competitive golf at the age of 40 and started another career – actually several of them – in various aspects of the game.  She formed and operated the first female-owned golf course design company, developed a successful hospitality company, served as the “Ambassador” to the World Golf Hall of Fame and was instrumental in its evolution into a world-class collection of golf history.  She advocated for women’s athletics and Title IX legislation and taught golf to juniors, amateurs and some of the world’s best professionals.
 
Mann is a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and was also inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame when it merged with the LPGA Hal of Fame in 1998.  She has been widely recognized for her excellence as a player, leader and visionary.  To read her Hall of Fame bio and view a complete list of her honors and awards, click HERE.
 
Mann has been a member of the Texas golf community for more than 30 years and will join her Texas peers Sandra Haynie, Sandra Palmer, Judy Rankin and Kathy Whitworth on the Breaking 100 Gala panel.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Texas Golf Association, this collection of Texas’ greatest golfers will share an evening and share stories of their remarkable careers with a collection of golf fans and supporters on November 1 at Houston Country Club.  Click here to see a preview of the event.  Click here to purchase a ticket and join the celebration. 100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  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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Lynn Adams, LPGA pro (Viewed: 2452)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on September 21, 2016 @ 8:00 am


Lynn Adams was born in Kingsville.  Although she spent her life travelling for golf – she’s been to 49 of 50 states and only lacks South Dakota – she says, “I always knew I would come back to Texas.  Adams’ athletic start was in tennis, but she eventually got into golf.  Her brothers and parent played and golf was something they all enjoyed together.
 
Adams didn’t set out to be a professional golfer, her first job was as a high school tennis coach, but teaching math and being in the classroom didn’t suit her.  She took a job at River Oaks Country Club and took a lesson and the “rest is history”, she says.  Adams joined the LPGA tour in1978 and played professionally until 1994.  She won the 1983 Combanks Orlando Classic over Janet Anderson and her mentor, JoAnne Carner.  “JoAnne taught me everything I ever knew about the short game”, Adams recalls, and it certainly served her well.
 
A severe thumb injury ended Adams’ playing career, but she remains connected to golf as a teaching pro.  She is also actively involved as a teacher for the Special Olympics and The First Tee.  “I love how golf brings people together”, she said.  “Golf is just fun”.  
100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  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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Susan Knox, 2007 WTGA President (Viewed: 2769)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on September 19, 2016 @ 8:00 am

Knox (Right) starting at the 2014 WTGA State Amateur Championship

Suzan Knox is as Texas as they come.  The Houston native attended college at Baylor University and settled in Crockett with her husband Larry.  If ferocity of football allegiance is an indicator of state pride, then Knox’s devotion to the Houston Texans and Baylor Bears put her among the all-time greatest Texans.
 
Knox casually took up golf after she married Larry, a collegiate golfer whose love for the game inspired her to try for herself.  She eventually worked her way into the field of the 1997 WTGA State Amateur Championship. She had never participated in an event that had a starter and announced players at the tee.  She was very nervous and she remembers that, “I think I prayed that the ball would get off the tee and into the fairway.”
 
The impression made by a championship starter will not surprise any recent participant in the State Amateur Championship.  Knox has served at the official starter at the WTGA State Amateur Championship for many years and introduces competitors to the tee in a voice that is somehow equal parts reverence, excitement, warmth and encouragement.  Knox joined the WTGA Board in 2000 and served as the Association’s President in 2007.  During her WTGA tenure, she was part of the team that drafted the Association’s first Strategic Plan, instituted “Project Youngblood” to encourage participation by junior and collegiate golfers, and implemented the WTGA’s “extreme makeover”.  The WTGA went into that era as an historic association especially adept at administering three championships (WTGA State Amateur, Senior Stroke Play and The Partnership), and came out of it a full service association with junior golf programs, college scholarships, and new events in the pipeline.  The Winners’ Program is especially close to her heart.  Seeing so many young girls introduced to the game is her second greatest golfing accomplishment – topped only by playing with her grandchildren and helping them learn to love the game.
 
Knox is well-known for encouraging people to “Dream Big”, and this vision and drive has kept her in leadership positions wherever she goes.  She served on the Board of her almost 100-year old country club and was the first female ever elected President.  When the WTGA and TGA merged in 2014, Knox was elected to serve on the TGA Board of Directors.  She continues in that role today and also serves as a member of the WTGA Committee, TGA Nominating Committee and on the Board of Directors for the TGA Foundation.  In 2016, she was recognized by the TGA for her exceptional service as a volunteer and will be awarded the Bob Wells Award, the TGA’s highest honor, at the Breaking 100 Gala in November.  It is fitting for Knox to be acknowledged on such a special night celebrating the 100th anniversary of the association she has given so much to help transform.
 


Knox (Far left) at the 2008 Texas Challenge

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100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  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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