News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 10, 2009

On and Off the Course: Golf is for Mother’s, too

By Jennifer Myers

I’d like to wish all of my readers who are mothers, whether they play golf or not, a Happy Mother’s Day — and if you do play golf — I hope you have a fine day today and that you find the time to get out on the course.

It’s not always easy for a woman with a family to find time for golf. One example of a woman who raised a family of four while continuing to play golf is Mary Ann Morrison, nee Villegas.

Mary Ann Morrison raised four children while winning 17 state amateur championships; nine in Texas, four in Louisiana and four in Wyoming. She also won the Houston city championship 22 times.

She began playing golf at the age of 12, taking lessons from Fred Haas Sr. in New Orleans. She took lessons for six months before she ever set foot on a golf course. When she was 16 she played in the New Orleans Open and was paired with Babe Didrickson, Louis Suggs and Patty Berg.

Once she had a family it took determination and resolve to keep up her high level of play. She would assign herself certain days when she played golf, and stuck to them. She also practiced every day. If she couldn’t make it to the golf course or driving range she putted on the carpet for at least 30 minutes.

One of the reasons she loved golf so much is because you can play it by yourself. She is quoted in Harvey Penick’s book “The Game for a Lifetime” as she said, “A lot of people need to have some time alone, and there is no better way to relax than to go out and walk a golf course by yourself.”

I play golf often, but not as often as I would like. Luckily for me, my best and most loyal playing companions are my son Phillip, and my husband Andy. Phillip will be back from college just in time for our Mother’s Day round.

I also request for Mother’s Day that my younger son James play with us. He hasn’t been struck with a love for the game yet, so it’s more of a battle to get him to play with us.

Recently, though, James has been to the driving range a few times and has even played nine holes twice. He has discovered that since he has grown and gotten stronger, he can hit the ball a long way. He is looking forward to our Mother’s Day round, and even thinks he can be competitive with me. If he keeps up that attitude, I’m going to play him for a weeks’ worth of laundry or doing the dishes.

Andy and Phillip know better than to bet me for anything. I tend to get rather competitive, and worse still, lucky. The number of times I have mis-hit a shot, yet it ended up a foot from the pin or even in the hole is staggering. If they didn’t love me so much they would hate me.

• • •

• The deadline to sign up for the IWGA Unity Cup is 5 p.m. Wednesday. The event is May 27 at Ironwood Golf Course in Fishers. The entry fee is $80. Female Indiana residents currently affiliated with an IWGA member club who possess a current IGA-PGA GHIN Handicap Index are eligible to play.

• The deadline for the IWGA Match Play Tournament at Broadmoor Country Club from June 1-3 is May 18. Entry fee is $80. This tournament is open to women amateurs only.

To register for these events online go to http://iga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/iga9/

schedule/index.htm or call the Indiana Golf office at (800) 779-7271 for more information.