Patty Berg

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Winning Nomination

Patty Berg's untiring efforts did so much to promote her home state of Minnesota, her profession of golf, and gender equality. She established the Ladies' Professional Golf Association. Her contributions made a lasting impact and changed things positively forever.
~George Marshall, Hot Springs Village, AR



Runner-up Nominations

Tomboy, golfer extraordinaire, and consummate lady, Patty is an enduring symbol of all that a person can become and influence through dedication and commitment to a sport and to her gender. While my daughter did not happen to take up golf, I still thank Patty Berg and all those whom she represents for leading to improved opportunities for females in sports and in leadership roles in general.
~Mike Williams, Princeton, MN


Contents

History

(1918-2006)

Paving the way for female athletes

Born in Minneapolis in 1918, Patricia Jane Berg started out fast and never slowed down. An all-around athlete, she took up golf after her parents persuaded her to give up the quarterback position for her neighborhood football team, the 50th Street Tigers. At age sixteen, she won the Minneapolis City Championship. She won twenty-eight more golf titles before turning pro in 1940.

In 1948, Berg became a founding member and the first president of the Ladies' Professional Golf Association. She then entered her professional prime, winning fifty-seven tournaments on the LPGA tour and, in 1959, became the first woman to hit a hole-in-one in a U.S. Golf Association competition.

Berg battled back from setbacks throughout her life--a 1941 car accident that sidelined her for eighteen months, a bout with cancer, and hip and back surgeries. Through it all, she continued to rack up victories, conduct clinics, and live up to her nickname, "Dynamite". "If I could do it all over again, I'd do it the same way," she once said of her career.

The University of Minnesota established the Berg Scholarship Fund in 1976, which helps cover tuition, textbook fees, and room and board for female student-athletes. The LPGA established the Patty Berg Award in 1978 to recognize people who embody Berg's "diplomacy, sportsmanship, goodwill and contributions to the game of golf."

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