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



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Kate Golden - 1985 Texas High School Champion (Viewed: 2300)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 18, 2016 @ 8:00 am

Kate Golden (L) at the 1983 WTGA State Amateur Championship

Jasper, Texas is not especially widely-recognized as the producer of all-star golfers.  However, Kate Golden won the 1985 Texas High School 4A championship only three years after Jasper's Amy Dover Fox claimed the 1982 title.  Golden’s 1985 title was just the beginning in a lifelong career in elite competitive golf.  She qualified for the 2nd flight in the 1983 WTGA State Amateur Championship and reached the Championship Flight semi-finals in 1989 in her senior year as an NCAA All-American at the University of Texas. She was the 1987 Southwest Conference Champion, played on three consecutive Conference Championship teams (1987-1989) and was named to the Southwest Conference’s All-Decade team for the 1980s.

As her Jasper schoolmate Fox built a career as a leading teaching professional (1999 LPGA Teacher of the year), Golden made her career inside the ropes as a player.  She competed on the LPGA tour for 18 years and served on both the LPGA Board of Directors and LPGA Player Committee.  Golden returned to her college alma mater in 2010 as a volunteer assistant coach and currently serves as the UT Golf Team’s Associate Head Coach.


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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Beth Cleckler - 14 time Austin City Champion (Viewed: 2819)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 15, 2016 @ 9:00 am

Beth Clecker has spent her life and career in Austin, TX and has held a prominent place on the Texas amateur golf since she started playing at age 6.  Cleckler picked up the game at the urging of her father and started playing competitively right away.  “I was scared to death, very, very shy and didn’t want to play, but my Dad basically forced me!”  It’s a good thing that he did. 

Before finishing Austin Reagan High School with three district titles, she had qualified for the PGA National Junior Championship, two Junior World Championships and earned a full scholarship to Temple Junior College.  The Austin Native naturally transferred to the University of Texas and completed her college career there under legendary coach Pat Weis.  Cleckler was named 1982 Junior College All-American, 2000 Southern Texas PGA Amateur of the Year, and represented Texas in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship.

Her deep ties to Austin golf extended beyond the junior tournaments, but started just as early.  As an 11-year old, she started working at Morris Williams Golf Course in exchange for playing and practice privileges.  She was won nine Texas Women’s Amateur Golf Championships (TWAGA), the 2000 TWAGA Open Championship and was the medalist at the 1992 WTGA State Amateur Championship when it was played at Barton Creek.  Clecker reached the WTGA Championship final in 2003 before falling to all-time great and Texas Golf Hall of Famer Toni Wiesner.

Her most notable successes, however, have come in her hometown.  Clecker won an astonishing 14 consecutive Austin City Championships and has served as the Manager at Morris Williams Golf Course since 1995.  She considers it a great honor and pleasure to manage the course where she first took up the game and formed so many lifelong friendships.  Because of her sterling career and dominance on the Austin golf scene, Clecker was honored by the “Save Muny” movement as one of the Legends of Lions.  She joins no less than Barbara Puett, Sandra Haynie and Betsy Rawls as the only women among the 18 greatest names in Austin golf history.

Cleckler is in the field this week at The Hills Country Club playing in the 2016 Women’s Four-Ball Championship.  She and Nancy Kromar are firmly established as top contenders, having finished as runners-up and First Flight Champions in 2009 and 2014.  Click here to follow Cleckler and Kromar at the Women’s Four-Ball Championship.
 


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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Wendy Ward - 1991 TX High School Champion (Viewed: 2358)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 11, 2016 @ 8:00 am

1994 U.S. Women's Amateur Champion (Courtesy U.S.G.A.)

Wendy Ward set the standard for amateur golfers in the 1990s.  The San Antonio native learned at the hands of some of Texas’ best instructors including long-time WTGA State Amateur Championship contender and LPGA player Betty Dodd.  Ward won the 1991 Texas 5A High School Championship by shooting 139 in the 36-hole championship, becoming the first player to ever break 140 in the tournament.  Ward competed in the championship as an individual since her San Antonio Roosevelt High School Team failed to qualify.  Although she didn’t get to share the experience with a high school team, she would spend the better part of the next 25 years on some of the most elite teams in golf representing her school and nation.

She went on to play at Arizona State University where she was a dominant force.  The three-time All American led her team to three NCAA championships and twice won the Honda Award given to the nation’s top female collegiate golfer.  She won the 1994 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and represented the United States on the1994 Curtis Cup and World Amateur Team.  After college, Ward played successfully on the LPGA tour for almost 20 years.  She is a four-time winner on tour and was a member of the 2002, 2003 and 2005 Solheim Cup teams.  She served as a Vice Captain for the 2015 team.  Ward and her husband now lead a new kind of “team”.  They operate a cattle ranch in Washington.
 


Ward during the 2012 U.S. Women's Open (courtesy U.S.G.A.)

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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Barbara Puett - 6-time Austin City Champ (Viewed: 2426)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 9, 2016 @ 8:00 am

When Austin’s Lions Municipal Golf Course went to identify the 18 greatest names in Austin golf, only four women made their list of “Legends of Lions”.  Barbara Puett joined Hall of Famers Betsy Rawls and Sandra Haynie, and 14-time City Champion Beth Cleckler on the extremely exclusive list.  Also on the list were her instructor, the great Harvey Penick, and one of her players on the Lamar High School golf team she coached – Tom Kite.

Puett shares her Legends of Lions hole (#11) with her husband Roane.  Between them, the Puetts won 11 Austin City Championships.  They won titles in the same year in 1961 and 1981.  Barbara’s six titles came over a career that captured multiple tournament wins including a Texas Women’s Public Links title.  When she wasn’t dominating Austin golf as a player, she was making her mark as a coach and instructor.  She is currently a teaching professional at Barton Creek and also offers informal golf classes through the University of Texas.  She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and passion for the game and has authored a large collection of articles and books on golf etiquette and women’s golf.  Visit http://barbarapuett.com/ for samples.

In keeping with her passion for the game and 40+ year investment in growing the game of golf in Texas, Puett has joined 10 other Texas pros in supporting the Breaking 100 campaign by giving 100 Lessons to Women and Girls.  She has spent her life growing the game and introducing new players to golf.  Her efforts for Breaking 100 will raise funds and awareness for programs designed to connect women to the game and encourage the next generation of players.  Click here to learn more about Barbara and find out how to support her in the campaign.

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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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Betty MacKinnon - 1949 WTGA Finalist (Viewed: 1955)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on August 4, 2016 @ 8:00 am

Although she never won the WTGA State Amateur Championship, two of Betty MacKinnon’s losses came at the hands of World Golf Hall of Fame member Betsy Rawls.  The Arkansas State Amateur Champion made her first appearance in 1948 where she was a virtual unknown and unexpectedly reached the quarter-finals.  She went on to play the Florida circuit the following winter and had quick success. In the 1949 Southern Championship, she defeated defending champion Polly Riley in the semi-finals before losing in the final match.  The great Patty Berg mentored MacKinnon and was only one of many who considered her a rising star to watch in 1949.  Berg said about MacKinnon, “She has a wonderful attitude, works hard and has the desire to win.  All she needs is experience and competition.  She’ll be great.”

Beginning in 1949, her play proved out Berg’s confidence.  She played well in the 1949 and 1950 WTGA State Amateur Championships, but had the misfortune of meeting World Golf Hall of Fame member Betsy Rawls each year.  She lost to Rawls in the Championship finals in 1949 and in the semi-finals the following year.  She joined the LPGA and went on to win the 1952 Orlando Mixed Championship with partner Sam Snead.


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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