Born: Feb. 13, 1918, in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Died: Sept. 10, 2006
Note: Berg's professional career began well before the founding of the LPGA Tour, but the tour counts many of those prior wins as official LPGA Tour victories. This is true of many of the early pioneers of the LPGA Tour, include Babe Didrikson Zaharias and others.
U.S. Women's Open: 1946
Western Open: 1941, 1943, 1948, 1951, 1955, 1957, 1958
Titleholders: 1937, 1938, 1939, 1948, 1953, 1955, 1957
U.S. Women's Amateur: 1938
Awards and Honors:
Member, Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame
Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, 1938, 1943, 1955
LPGA Tour money leader 1954, 1955, 1957
LPGA Tour scoring leader 1953, 1955, 1956
Member, U.S. Curtis Cup team, 1936, 1938
Patty Berg: "There is nothing in this game of golf that can't be improved upon if you practice."
Patty Berg: "Always keep learning. It keeps you young."
Patty Berg: "Shake a hand, make a friend."
Berg won the very first U.S. Women's Open played, in 1946.
Her 15 major championship titles is a record for women.
Patty Berg Biography:
Berg was a tomboy as a child, playing football in her Minneapolis, Minn., neighborhood where her friends included future Hall of Fame football coach Bud Wilkinson. She took up golf at the age of 13 and by 1934, age 16, she won the city championship.
Berg turned pro in 1940, but when America entered World War II she joined the Navy and served in the Marines until 1945.
Berg played professionally on the Women's Professional Golf Association (WPGA) tour, the precursor to the LPGA. She helped found the LPGA in 1948 and served as its first president.
Over the years, Berg competed while also barnstorming the U.S. by car conducting clinics on behalf of Wilson Sporting Goods. By her estimation, Berg led more than 10,000 clinics in her lifetime. And she was known for having all the shots herself. Berg wasn't a long hitter, but she had a terrific short game and was known as one of the best shotmakers.
Berg was a major force on the course during the first decade of the LPGA Tour, winning majors, money titles and scoring titles. Her last win on tour was in 1962, but she continued playing the occasional tournament even after cancer surgery in 1971. Her final appearance on tour didn't come until 1980, when she was 62. Hip replacement surgery that year finally led her to hang up her spikes.
But Berg never stopped playing golf with friends, and continued to enjoy the game into her seventies. She also continued setting up and teaching at golf clinics all over the world.
The LPGA annually awards the Patty Berg Award, established in 1978, to "the lady golfer who has made the greatest contribution to women's golf during the year."
Berg was one of the original members of the Women's Golf Hall of Fame in 1951, and was also in the first class inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.