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Martha Lang, 1979 WTGA State Amateur Champion

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Martha Lang, 1979 WTGA State Amateur Champion

If you watched the U.S. Open at Oakmont, you might have seen Martha Lang giving Sergio Garcia information about his options from a horrendous lie in the “church pew” bunkers.  Facilitating the participation of world-class golfers is one of the ways Lang, a world-class competitor for almost 40 years, continues to give back to the game of golf.
Lang began her sterling amateur career in her native Alabama where she was a four-time Junior Champion and won the Alabama State Amateur Championship in 1974.  She also won the Louisiana State Amateur Championship, earned three top-5 finishes in the AIAW National Collegiate Championship and won the prestigious Women’s Southern Amateur Title in 1974 and 1980.
In between Southern titles, Lang moved to Houston while working for Shell Oil.  She reached the semi-finals in her first WTGA State Amateur Championship in 1976.   Like many working Mid-Amateurs today, she struggled to fit competitive golf into her busy work schedule.  “It was difficult“, she remembers.  “I juggled my vacation days to allow time to play and compete”.  She found time to make a mark in Texas by claiming the WTGA State Amateur Title in 1979 at Amarillo Country Club, host of the 2016 Women’s Senior Stroke Play Championship.  Her career took her to Chicago in 1980, and she was not able to defend her Texas title – so she added another Southern Amateur Championship instead.  With an already impressive resume to her credit, she lacked a national championship to match her state titles in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.  She filled this gap by claiming the 1988 US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.  She was also named to the 1992 Curtis Cup Team and captained the team in 1996.
After completing her professional career, Lang has made a career of volunteering for the game of golf.  She has paired her Southern Amateur titles with service as a long-time Director for the Women’s Southern Amateur Golf Association.  She matched her US Mid-Amateur Title with service on the USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Committee.  She returned her Curtis Cup team membership with service on the USGA Women’s Committee including a term as Chair.  For the impact she has already had on the game of golf as a whole, she serves as a Referee for countless USGA Championships and as a member of the USGA’s Executive Committee.  It is very difficult to get Lang to discuss her achievements.  It is easy, however, to get her to talk about ways to improve amateur golf, expand participation among working Mid-Amateurs and see the game grow.  I am glad this “adopted” Texan is in our corner.

Lang at the 1988 US Women's Mid-Amateur Championship (Photo courtesy of USGA)

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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