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Rub of the Green

October 22, 2006

Rub of the Green: City golf legend Carrie Werneke’s career spanned many decades

TERRE HAUTE — Carrie Werneke sat in a golf cart last summer at Rea Park watching intently as a match progressed for the Terre Haute Women’s City Championship that pitted her granddaughter, Gennifer Marrs, against Cara Stuckey, the eventual winner.

One would think it would have been an easy matter for Carrie to think back to a bygone era when she herself was hoisting trophies emblematic of the nine city titles she claimed during a period from 1956 to 1990.

In addition, Werneke also won 24 women’s club championships at the Country Club of Terre Haute between 1953 and 2000.

Carrie got her start in golf in 1948 after meeting Hubert “Budd” Werneke, who was the starter-manager of the Stadium Golf Course. Budd proved to be an excellent teacher, and Carrie was certainly an adept learner as she quickly grasped the fundamentals of the game but not before a couple of early setbacks.

A bone condition in her right leg necessitated surgery in 1949, the same year she graduated from Wiley High School. Carrie and Budd were married in 1951 and a second surgery was also required in 1951.

Although a solid player in his own right, once shooting a 70 in the city Interclub match at the Phoenix Country Club course, Budd was content to help Carrie become one of Terre Haute’s premier players. Through the years, Carrie Werneke has not been content to limit her golfing prowess to Terre Haute’s fairways and greens. In 1967, she was runner-up to Alice Dye in the Indiana Women’s Golf Association Championship.

It was back in 1988 when Carrie shot an 83 in the women’s Western Golf Association National Senior Championship during the first round, which placed her in fourth position at the Lakewood Country club in Point Clear, Ala. She then added an 88 before the remainder of the tourney was cancelled when a huge storm rendered the course unplayable, and she ultimately finished sixth.

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