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

Betsy Cullen, Lifetime Master Professional

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Betsy Cullen, Lifetime Master Professional

Although Betsy Cullen is well-known in Texas as a groundbreaking golf professional, her illustrious golf journey started in Oklahoma.  She played footballand softball before dedicating herself to golf as a child.  Her exceptional junior and amateur golf career started with her first tournament at the age of 11 and included back to back Oklahoma Junior titles in 1953 and 1954.  In 1954, she also claimed the first of three Oklahoma State Amateur Championships.  In fact, she played in three State Amateur Championships and never lost a match, winning the title in 1954, 1955 and 1961.  After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Cullen turned pro in 1962.  She joined the LPGA tour in 1965 where she would claim three professional victories.
 
Cullen was a student of Austin’s legendary Harvey Penick.  “Harvey was brilliant at bringing out your confidence in your abilities for playing the game. He did this by helping you take “dead aim” for the shot you were to make. I learned from Harvey to change your approach when teaching competitive players for their mistakes may not be because of their golf swing.” (Excerpt from interview with womensgolf.com)  After learning from one of the game’s all-time greats, Cullen created a legacy of her own as a Texas teaching professional. She was the first ever female golf professional at Sweetwater Country Club at the time when the club served as the LPGA’s national headquarters.  She is currently a Golf Instructor at Pine Forest Country Club, site of this week’s Women’s Stroke Play Championship (June 24-26).
 
Cullen has long since been acknowledged for her singular contributions to the game, earning Lifetime Master Professional status from the LPGA’s Teaching and Club Pro division and receiving the 2008 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award.  Cullen continues to grow the game through her participation in 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 Betsy in her efforts, click here.
 

Harvey Penick's leading pupils (1974 WTGA State Amateur Program)
Top row:  Betsy Rawls, Peggy Wilson - Middle Row:  Kathy Whitworth, Penick, Betsy Cullen - Bottom row:  Mickey Wright, Judy Kimball

 

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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