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Louise Suggs

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Louise Suggs

Louise Suggs, one of the first stars of women's professional golf.

Photo courtesy of the World Golf Hall of Fame; used with permission
Louise Suggs is one of the giants from the early years of the LPGA - one of the tour's co-founders, and one of the best players in women's golf from the 1940s and 1950s.

Born: Sept. 7, 1923, in Atlanta, Georgia. Her given name is Mae Louise Suggs.
Nickname: Miss Sluggs. It was Bob Hope who bestowed this nickname on Suggs, after watching her long driving ability.

Tour Victories:

61

Major Championships:

Professional: 11
• U.S. Women's Open: 1949, 1952
• Western Open: 1946, 1947, 1949, 1953
• LPGA Championship: 1957
• Titleholders: 1946, 1954, 1956, 1959

Amateur: 2
• U.S. Women's Amateur: 1947
• British Ladies Amateur: 1948

Awards and Honors:

• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Member, LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame
• LPGA Tour money leader, 1953, 1960
• LPGA Tour Vare Trophy (scoring) winner, 1953
• Member, U.S. team, 1948 Curtis Cup
• Member, Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame

Quote, Unquote:

• Louise Suggs: "Golf is very much like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun, but if you do, it breaks your heart. Don't break your heart, but flirt with the possibility."

• Louise Suggs: "The single greatest lesson to be learned from golf is mental discipline."

Ben Hogan on Louise Suggs: "Her swing combines all the desirable elements of efficiency, timing and coordination. It appears to be completely effortless."

Trivia:

• The LPGA Tour's Rookie of the Year receives the Louise Suggs Trophy.

• Suggs was the first player to win an LPGA Tour event three straight years, taking the Dallas Civitan Open in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

• Suggs was the first to complete the LPGA Tour's career Grand Slam by winning all four majors in existence during her career.

• Suggs won the 1949 U.S. Women's Open by 14 strokes. Only Tiger Woods (15 strokes at 2000 U.S. Open) has won by more in any men's or women's major.

Louise Suggs Biography:

Louise Suggs was a prime mover in the creation and success of the LPGA Tour, and one of its most successful competitors.

Her father was a baseball player who retired to run a golf course. Suggs picked up the game at age 10 and before long was on her way to a highly successful amateur career. She won numerous local, state and regional tournaments in the early to mid-1940s. She really gained notice by winning two of the majors in women's golf at the time, the Titleholders and Western Open, in 1946.

Suggs repeated as Western Open champ in 1947 and added the U.S. Women's Amateur. She added the British Ladies Amateur in 1948 and played on the American Curtis Cup team. Near the middle of the year, she turned professional.

Suggs was a founding member of the LPGA Tour, and she quickly started winning her share of tour events. She also quickly fell into a bitter rivalry with Babe Didrikson Zaharias, whom Suggs felt unfairly overshadowed herself and other top players. At the 1949 U.S. Women's Open, Suggs beat runner-up Zaharias by a record 14 strokes. At a tournament Zaharias won in 1953, Suggs refused to sign Babe's scorecard after Zaharias received a favorable ruling during the final round.

Suggs' last LPGA Tour win was in 1962. She won eight times in 1953, and five each in 1952, 1955 and 1961. She also won a pair of money titles and one Vare Trophy.

Suggs was known for her powerful drives and the way she attacked the ball, which prompted comedian Bob Hope - himself a very accomplished golfer - to give her the nickname "Miss Sluggs." But she also was a highly accomplished short-game player known for her chipping and putting skills.

After helping found the LPGA, Suggs went on to serve three terms as LPGA president. She was among the charter class of inductees into the LPGA Hall of Fame.

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