• Dana Bates pictures
Residence: Thousand Palms, Calif.
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.
Date of birth: March 25, 1964
College: University of Hawaii, University of Arizona
Home course: La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif.
Interests: Horseback riding, snow skiing, kayaking
About Dana Bates:
Bates is a teaching professional who has previously appeared on Golf For Women magazine's list of the Top 50 female instructors. In 2004, Bates-Weinmeirer won the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Western Section Championship. She has twice qualified for the LPGA Championship.
Talk about a generation gap in Big Break Ka'anapali. Consider that Dana Bates' daughter is almost as old as some of players she will compete against. Not that age bothers the 43-year-old teaching professional in the least.
"I'm like a fine wine. I'm getting better with age," Bates said.
And like an oaky Zinfandel's lingering taste, there is a complexity about one of the oldest competitors in the series who wants to show the youngsters she still has game. There is also a competitive bite.
"I'm the Cougar Momma and I'm going to show those kittens how to play," said Bates. "I plan on being the oldest one there, and I also plan on being the hottest one there!"
Let the games begin. Bates has thrown down the gauntlet but still looks to have fun in the competition. Experience and perspective will do that for a player.
A teaching pro at La Quinta Country Club near Palm Springs, Calif., for the last four years, Bates originally aspired to play on the LPGA. After playing golf for two years at both the University of Hawaii and the University of Arizona, Bates attempted to qualify for the LPGA three straight years, narrowly missing each time. She fell shy of getting her card by three strokes, then two strokes, and finally by one stroke.
"After falling short, I decided to focus on my family. That was more important," Bates said.
Thus began Bates' career as a teaching pro. During her years as a golf professional, though, she continued working hard on her game and playing in competitive events. In 1999, she qualified for the LPGA's State Farm Rail Championship and qualified for the LPGA Championship through the Western Sectional in 2002 and 2004.
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