[A.P Athlete of the Year 1938,1943,1955, PGA /World Golf Hall of Fame 1974, International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame 1984]
I won the 1934 Minneapolis City Ladies Championship, which was the most memorable event in my golf career because I probably wouldn't have had a golf career if not for what happened. I played in my first City Ladies championship the year before, when I was fifteen, and shot 122. That qualified me for the last flight, and in my first match some lady beat me on just about every hole. After that defeat I walked back to the clubhouse and said to myself, "I'm going to spend the next 365 days trying to improve." For the next year, all I did was eat, sleep, and play golf. I thought if I could move up a flight or shoot better than 122, that would be an improvement. Well, 365 days later I was medalist and won the Minneapolis City Ladies' Championship. It's very possible that if I didn't improve on my 122, or didn't move up a flight or so, I might not be in golf today. But I didn't think I'd win that tournament. When I did, I started to dream. I thought, maybe I'll be able to play the Minnesota State Women’s championship; maybe I'll be able to play in some of the tournaments in Florida, maybe even play in the Trans-Mississippi and the Women's Western Amateur and the United States Women's Amateur. I really started to dream that golf was my future, and that's exactly how it turned out. That's a long time to spend on one endeavor, isn't it — 365 days? But I'll tell you, it was worth every freckle on my face.
This Alan Maver graphic cartoon autographed by Patty Berg appeared in newspapers in July 1943. I have two other Berg-signed newspaper cartoons that appeared in 1936 and 1951.
Watch a video clip of Patty Berg winning the 1938 Women's National Golf Title at Wilmette, Illinois.
She is buried at Fort Myers Memorial Gardens, Fort Myers, Florida.
31 tour victories, 6 major victories [Kraft Nabisco Championship 1986, LPGA Championship 1986, du Maurier Classic 1980, 1985, 1986, U.S. Women's Open 1981 [LPGA Player of the Year 1986, 1991, Vare Trophy 1986, 1991, World Golf Hall of Fame 1991]
I had a great time going from good to great. I didn't have any fun going from great to good. But my timing on the LPGA Tour was absolutely perfect.
I obtained this autograph from Pat Bradley while volunteering at a Dinah Shore tournament in the early 1990s.
LPGA 1970- , 40 tour victories, 2 major victories (US Women’s Open 1971, 1976) [USGA Girl’s Junior 1956, US Amateur 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1968; LPGA Rookie of the Year 1970, Vare Trophy 1974-75,1981-83, US Solheim Cup 1994, LPGA Hall of Fame 1982, PGA /World Golf Hall of Fame 1985, International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame 1987]
I was somewhere under size 10 when I got that name. I was playing with Sandra Palmer. I would knock it so far by her, and Sandra is only 5-1. So she nicknamed me “Big Mama,” and it came out as a headline. It never bothered me, but my husband, Don, hated it. He took one caddie who called me Big Mama over the hood of a car.
I obtained this autograph from JoAnne Carner while volunteering at a Dinah Shore tournament in the early 1990s.
LPGA 1956-73, 7 victories, 1 major victory (US Women's Open 1956)
Kathy Cornelius autographed this 1956 Tom Paprocki cartoon in January 2010. In a short note, she wrote me that Pap was her favorite sports cartoonist.
LPGA 1961- , 38 tour victories 1962-75, 1981-82, 4 major victories (US Women’s Open 1974, LPGA Championship 1965, 1974, du Maurier Classic 1982) [LPGA Hall of Fame 1977, International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame 1999]
This Tom Paprocki syndicated cartoon autographed by Sandra Haynie appeared in newspapers in August 1962.
LPGA 1950-72, 26 tour victories 1952, 1954, 1956-59, 1963-65, 1969, 1972, 1 major victory (LPGA Championship 1956) [Associated Press Athlete of the Year 1949, World Golf Hall of Fame 2002]
Being a professional golfer was no different from going to New York or Hollywood to become an actress. A group of people lived together to see if they could get their break in life. We began with 12, and then each year more joined us," said Hagge. "I never thought of myself as a pioneer. We were just a bunch of stubborn women who loved golf and figured we could make it happen.
Marlene Bauer Hagge, on being one of the LPGA Tour charter members
This Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by Marlene Bauer Hagge appeared in syndicated newspapers in June 1956.
LPGA 1983- , 20 tour victories 1983, 1985-86, 1988-89, 1991-92, 1997-2003, 7 major victories (Nabisco Dinah Shore 1984, 1989, du Maurier Classic 1984, McDonald’s LPGA Championship 1999-2000, US Women’s Open 1999, 2002) [All American 1979-82, US Amateur 1980-82; LPGA Rookie of the Year 1984, US Solheim Cup 1992, 1998, 2000, LPGA Hall of Fame 2000, World Golf Hall of Fame 2000]
I've been fortunate. My high school team was all guys, besides me. They were supportive. And if I hadn't had a coach who encouraged me, I wouldn't be here today.
I obtained this autograph from Julie Inkster while volunteering at a Dinah Shore tournament in the early 1990s.
LPGA 1977- , 27 tour victories 1984-93, 1995, 2000-01, 7 major titles (Nabisco Dinah Shore 1987, 1990, 1997, US Women’s Open 1989-90, Mazda LPGA Championship 1992, LPGA Corning Classic 2000) [Rolex Player of the Year 1984, Golf Writer’s Association Female Player of the Year 1989, US Solheim Cup 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, LPGA Hall of Fame 1995]
Kids are taught that if they want anything bad enough they can have it. I don't believe that. Other factors are involved. You have to have some measure of talent. I don't think God wants us to think that way either. He wants us to give 100 percent, but that's it! We don't have to get all caught up in being "number one." If we're highly talented and become number one, fine. But if we give our best and we're number 100, that's fine, too.
I obtained this autograph from Betsy King while volunteering at a Dinah Shore tournament in the early 1990s.
Titleholders Championship 1949 [US Curtis Cup Team 1950, Bob Jones Award 1990, World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame 2002]
I turned pro late in 1950. Prize money was so tight in the early years of the LPGA Tour. I remember a total purse would typically be $3,000. We earned money however we could, through endorsements, exhibitions, whatever. I'll always remember the World Championship played at Tam O'Shanter. The founder and sponsor, George S. May, had sympathy for players who could use some extra cash. One day I came to the first tee and Mr. May said, "Well, Peggy, what do you think you'll shoot today?" I said, "I feel I have a 78 in me today." He said, "If you can beat that, I'll give you $100." I beat the score, went to his office and he peeled off a $100 bill. He did that sort of thing for many players, many times. He was a very good man. Driving all around the country playing the tour wore me down. You could put 40,000 miles a year on your car, easy. So I learned to fly and bought my own plane for $8,000. This was the way to go, but I had some close calls. In 1959, I was flying from Ohio back to Southern Pines and flew into a snowstorm. I couldn't see anywhere but straight down and was relying on railroad tracks for navigation. We had two little girls at home, and I was terrified I'd never see them, or my husband, Bullet, again. I prayed, "God, if you get me down safely, I promise I'll sell this plane." Finally I saw an open field below my left wing and did a fast U-turn and got the plane down. I sold the plane—we built the swimming pool at Pine Needles with the proceeds—and I never was a pilot again. Every time I walk by the pool, I think of that plane.
Peggy Kirk Bell
Peggy Kirk Bell autographed this 1956 Tom Paprocki cartoon in December 2009.
LPGA 1977- , 45 tour victories 1978-93, 1997, major victories (LPGA Championship 1978, 1985, 1989 [AIAW National Championship 1976, All American 1976; LPGA Rookie of the Year 1978, LPGA Player of the Year 1978-79,1985,1988, Vare Trophy 1978-79, 1985, US Solheim Cup 1990, LPGA Hall of Fame 1987, PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame 1989]
I obtained this autograph from Nancy Lopez while volunteering at a Dinah Shore tournament in the early 1990s.in the early 1990s.
U. S. Women's Amateur Champion 1958, 1961, 1963, British Ladies Amateur Champion 1980, U. S. Senior Women's Amateur Champion 1987, 1989-90, 1993
Anne Quast Sander autographed this 1958 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2010.
LPGA 1962- , 26 tour victories 1968, 1970-79, 1st woman to break $100,000 barrier [US Solheim Cup 1996, 1998, All American Collegiate Golf Hall of Fame 1993, LPGA Hall of Fame 2000, World Golf Hall of Fame 2000]
This Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by Judy Rankin appeared in syndicated newspapers in July 1963.
U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Championship 1954, LPGA 1958-
Barbara Romack autographed this 1962 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, British Women’s Open Amateur, French Women’s Open Amateur, nine LPGA titles [Michigan Golf Hall of Fame 1987]
On the course, what is feared is like a magnet. Water, bunkers, trees, ravines, high grass - whatever you fear turns magnetic.
This Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by Wiffi Smith appeared in syndicated newspapers in June 1959. I also have a Wiffi-signed 1956 Bill Pevear cartoon.
Women’s Collegiate Champion 1962, British Amateur Champion 1964 [Wisconsin State Golf Association Hall of Fame 1983, National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame 1989]
Carol was the absolute best woman golfer that I know that didn’t turn professional.
In 2009, I sent Carol a 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon requesting her autograph. She was hesitant about signing it and returned it along with a copy of a 1960 Al Painovic cartoon (above) and this handwritten, but unsigned note. I replied in another letter trying to allay her concerns and giving her the copy of the Pap cartoon. She signed the 1964 Pap cartoon and 3x5 card.
LPGA Founder/Charter Member, 42 tour victories 1949, 1951-62, 8 major victories (US Women's Open 1949, 1951, Western Open 1949, 1953, Titleholders Championship 1954, 1956, 1959, LPGA Championship 1957) [US Women's Amateur 1947, British Ladies' Amateur 1948, Curtis Cup 1948, Vare Trophy 1957, LPGA Hall of Fame 1967]
To be honest with you, when it started, we never knew it was going to wind up like this. We just wanted to play golf. A group of women before us tried to start an association [the Women's Professional Golf Association], and it didn't work out. We got it going somehow. Where we played, if there was as much grass on the whole course as you see on one fairway today, you were lucky. To differentiate between the fairway and the rough, we'd take a farm machine with a hook on the back to outline the fairways. This was in the early 1950s. We also rolled the ball over a lot.
This Alan Maver cartoon autographed by Louise Suggs appeared in syndicated newspapers in January 1954. I have one other Suggs-signed 1948 newspaper cartoon.
LPGA 1958- , 82 tour victories 1962-78, 1981-85, 6 major victories (Titleholders Championship 1965-66, LPGA Championship 1967, 1971, 1975, Western Open 1967) [Vare Trophy 1965-67, 1969-72, LPGA Player of the Year 1966-69, 1971-73, AP Athlete of the Year 1965, 1967, US Solheim Cup 1990, 1992, LPGA Hall of Fame 1975, PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame 1982, International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame 1984]
All I ever wanted was to be the greatest woman golfer in the world.
This Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by Kathy Whitworth appeared in newspapers in December 1963.
LPGA 1955- , 69 tour victories, 13 major victories (US Women’s Open 1958-59, 1961, 1964, LPGA Championship 1958, 1960-61, 1963, Titleholders Championship 1961-62, Western Open 1962-63, 1966) [US Junior Championships 1952; AP Woman Athlete of the Year 1963-64, LPGA Hall of Fame 1964, World Golf Hall of Fame 1976, International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame 1981]
The perfectionist bit in golf doesn’t have as much to do with doing it perfectly as the total rejection and horror of doing it badly. And I don’t know which comes first, or which is more important. Winning never really crossed my mind that much.
This Tom Paprocki cartoon autographed by Mickey Wright appeared in newspapers in June 1962. I have two other Mickey Wright-signed cartoons from 1961 and 1962 newspapers.