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

Back to Blog

Judy Rankin-World Golf Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy USGA

Judy Rankin is a high achiever.  From her early days as a Missouri Amateur Champion in 1959 to her global recognition as one of the top analysts in the golf world, Rankin has always been found at the top of her field.  After winning her Missouri state title as a 14 year old, she would become a top national contender, claiming low amateur honors at the 1960 U.S. Women’s Open and reaching the semi-finals of the 1960 and 1961 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.  Rankin turned pro in 1962, but did not win right away, although she would more than make up for lost time. 

The Missouri native relocated to Midland, Texas after meeting and marrying a Texas Tech football hero, Walter “Yippy” Rankin in 1967.  After making Texas her home, she claimed her first professional victory in her new home state – the 1968 Corpus Christi Open.  She would add 25 more LPGA titles by the end of 1979.  In 1976 alone she won seven times and was the first woman to ever win $100,000 in a single season.  She would twice be named LPGA Player of the Year, claimed the Vare trophy three times , and served as the President of the LPGA in 1977 and 1978.  .  After many years struggling with back injuries, Rankin retired from full-time competitive golf in 1983.

After the end of her competitive playing days, Rankin embarked on a new career where (as you might expect) she would achieve global recognition for her outstanding achievements.  She started her TV commentary career in 1984, and although she recalled in a 2004 interview for Golf Digest, “I was quite sure I was going to be a miserable failure”, no one today can imagine that.  She is universally respected as much for her insightful, precise commentary as for the warmth and understanding with which she delivers it.

Rankin’s achievements as a player, commentator and ambassador for the game have been acknowledged in a myriad of honors and awards.  She is a member of the Texas Golf, Texas Sports and Texas Women’s Halls of Fame.  She is also member of the LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame, and captained the 1996 and 1998 Solheim Cup teams.  Click here for her World Golf Hall of Fame bio, and here for a complete list of her awards and honors.

Rankin has been a member of the Texas golf community for almost 50 years and will join her Texas peers Sandra Haynie, Carol Mann, Sandra Palmer 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.

Photo courtesy 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.
Post Comment
Please enter the 6-character code above:
1 of 1 Next Page
Posted by Gigi Edwards Bryant on October 15, 2016 @ 6:39 pm

1 of 1 Next Page
Breaking 100
Women's Home
Subscribe to the Blog
Stay Connected

Celebrate Lives by making a contribution to 100 Texas Women
All proceeds benefit the Breaking 100 Campaign

TGA Players Box