Suggs, Louise (1923—)
Suggs, Louise (1923—)
American golfer. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 7, 1923.
Was the first member of the LPGA Hall of Fame (1951) and first woman elected to the Georgia Hall of Fame (1966); was also a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame; won the USGA Women's Amateur (1947); won the British Women's Amateur, three North and South Amateurs and three Western Amateurs, as well as being a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team (1948); won 50 LPGA events, including the Titleholders championship (1946, 1954, 1956, 1959), the USGA Women's Open (1949, 1952), the LPGA championship (1957); won the Vare trophy (1957).
Although Louise Suggs was not an all-around athlete like the legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias , she was formidable on the golf course. As an amateur, she won the Southern, Western, Georgia, and North and South titles, and was U.S. amateur in 1947 following Zaharias. In 1948, Suggs was British Amateur champion and a member of the Curtis Cup team. A founding member of the LPGA, Suggs wanted opportunities for women to play professionally with the ability to earn money to support themselves.
In 1949, her first year as a pro, she won three events—the U.S. Women's Open (beating runner-up Zaharias by 14 strokes), the Western Open, and the All-American Open. Her tour debut was "so momentous," wrote Jolee Edmondson , "and her subsequent performance so impressive that she was the first woman elected to the LPGA Hall of Fame—and only three years after she turned pro." In 1952, she took the U.S. Women's Open a second time with a record 284 (69–70–75) total that stood for years.
For the next decade, contests between Suggs and Patty Berg electrified the galleries. In 1954, 1956, and 1959, Suggs had Titleholders victories (she had also won the Titleholders in 1946; though it was a pro event, she had entered as an amateur). In 1957, by now nicknamed Sweet Swinger and Miss Sluggs, she won the Vare trophy with an average score of 74.64, the lowest in the LPGA for that year. She was LPGA champion again that year. At the Royal Poinciana Invitational at Palm Beach in 1961, in a field of men and women pros, including Sam Snead and Dow Finsterwald, who played off the same tee in a Par-3, Suggs took first. In 1979, Louise Suggs was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Edmondson, Jolee. The Woman Golfer's Catalogue. NY: Stein & Day, 1980.
Markel, Robert, Nancy Brooks, and Susan Markel. For the Record. Women in Sports. NY: World Almanac, 1985.
Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia