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



Golf with Texas Women
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Tiny Leach - TWAGA and Publinx Championship (Viewed: 10832)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on March 1, 2016 @ 10:00 am

Most golf in the “early days” was played at private clubs by country club members.  As the game grew in popularity, public golf courses were developed and members of the public gained access.  However, most championships, including the WTGA State Amateur Championship, were only open to members of private clubs.  The Texas Women’s Public Links Association was founded in 1930 and established the Women’s Public Links (Publinx) Championship.  This event was open to all golfers from public golf courses.  The Publinx Champion and runner-up received invitations into the WTGA State Amateur Championship, and many of the great champions in Texas gained entry through this exemption.  Some of the players who have won both titles include Betty Jameson, Betsy Rawls, Sandra Haynie, Sandra Palmer, Kathy Ahern and many more.

 
“Tiny” Leach began playing golf in her twenties in Austin and won a Publinx title in 1966.  She was in and out of golf as an active competitor while she operated the western leather shop she owned for 41 years.  She became the Publinx Tournament Director in 1977 and is in her 38th year in that role.  During her tenure, great players have come and gone, the names of both the association and championship have changed, and both state championships now welcome players from either public or private facilities.  The former Publinx Championship is now often affectionately referred to as “Tiny’s Tournament” among many players.  The event is held annually and is open to players of all handicaps and offers outstanding history and great golf played on good courses.  The 2016 event will be held May 7-13 at Delaware Springs in Burnett.  For more information about TWAGA and the 2016 tournament, find them on Facebook.
   
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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Wanda Sowell Hendrix - 1972, 1973 Champion (Viewed: 7218)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on January 27, 2016 @ 9:00 am

The year before winning the first of her two consecutive WTGA State Amateur Championships, Wanda Sowell Hendrix considered not returning to the competition after failing to win in her previous six attempts.  She had advanced to the Women’s Intercollegiate semi-finals in 1959, won the Texas Publinx Championship in 1960 and 1961, and won the Louisiana State Championship in 1963, but the Texas title had eluded her.  She fell to future champion Jeannie Butler Kalencki in 1960, and lost in the final match in 1961 to Mary Ann Morrison.  It may have been good sportsmanship that cost her the 1961 title.  After a commanding win in the semi-final match, Hendrix learned that her finals opponent, Morrison, had been injured in her match.  Hendrix insisted that match be postponed in order to give Morrison time to recover.  She recovered and defeated Hendrix two weeks later.  She again reached the finals in 1965 only to lose to State Junior Champion Kathy Ahern.  

Following a disappointing loss in 1971, Hendrix reported that she had “vowed that she would never come back to the Women’s Texas Golf Association annual Championship Tourney…she felt that she couldn’t win the prestigious event.”  Unfortunately for the rest of the field, Hendrix changed her mind and marched to the championship.  Along the way she had to defeat Mary Lou Dill, 1967 US Women’s Amateur Champion, and Brenda Goldsmith Hocott who would go on to play on two Curtis Cup teams.  Once she had finally gotten “over the hump”, Hendrix kept winning.  She successfully defended her title in 1973, and earned medalist honors in 1974.



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: 6463)
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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Nannette Wheelis (Viewed: 6409)
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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Amanda McCurdy (Viewed: 6301)
Posted by Stacy Dennis on February 10, 2016 @ 2:30 pm

Amanda McCurdy (L) with teammate Paige Mackenzie - 2005 Spirit International, Trinity, TX

Amanda McCurdy is a native of Arkansas and one of the most decorated golfers to hail from her home state.  She played at the University of Arkansas from 2002-2006 along-side LPGA great Stacy Lewis.  McCurdy was the runner-up in the 2004 US Women's Amateur Championship, defeating Paula Creamer in the semi-finals to reach the final match.  She represented the United States in the 2005 Spirit International Championship hosted in Trinity, Texas.  She also represented the US in the 2006 Curtis Cup matches.

After playing professionally for several years, Amanda settled in Arlington, Texas where she is an Instructor for the City of Arlington. She currently teaches at Tierra Verde and Chester W. Ditto Golf Courses where she works with another great Texas teacher, Amy Fox.  McCurdy is a certified coach for US Kids Golf and is a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Pro Division.   Amanda continues to give back to the game she loves and is one of 11 teaching pros pledging to give 100 Lessons to Women and Girls in support of the Breaking 100 campaign.  Her efforts will raise funds and awareness for women’s golf programming and add new opportunities for women to connect to the game.  Click here to learn more about Amanda and follow her progress in the campaign.

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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