Sept. 21, 2013
As part of the yearly tradition at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the participants took time to honor some of the greats in women's golf history.
On Friday night, the Legends Banquet at Cherokee Country Club featured two pioneers in the sport: Hollis Stacy and Martha Lang.
"It was another special banquet," Tennessee head coach Judi Pavon said. "Hearing from Martha Lang and Hollis Stacy about their golf careers was a real treat. Both women had amazing golf careers and shared some good stories and advice."
Stacy and Lang were presented with their Legends awards and shared some insightful experiences learned throughout their careers. Special guests such as Joan Cronan and Ann Baker Furrow were in attendance.
Legends of Women's Golf Bios
Hollis Stacy Professional Recipient
When she was a young woman, Hollis Stacy won three USGA championships. As an adult, she won three more.
Stacy became a golfer after attending the 1966 Masters, played not far from the family home in Savannah, Ga. "I ran around like a little autograph rat," she said in an interview. "I got Ben Hogan's autograph and others. I still have the tickets today."
Her game blossomed in her teens, and beginning in 1969, Stacy won three consecutive U.S. Junior Girls Championships. Not only is she the only person to win that crown three straight times, but no other golfer has won it three times total. She had just turned 15 at the time of her first Junior Girls win, making her, at that time, the youngest to win the event.
Stacy joined the LPGA Tour in 1974 after representing the United States in the 1972 Curtis Cup. Her first victory didn't come until 1977, but it was worth the wait: the U.S. Women's Open. Stacy repeated as U.S. Women's Open champion in 1978, then won a third Open crown in 1984. She is one of only four golfers to win the U.S. Women's Open at least three times. She added a fourth major at the 1983 du Maurier Classic.
Six of Stacy's 18 career victories came in playoffs, including two wins over Amy Alcott and one over JoAnne Carner. Stacy continued playing regularly on the LPGA Tour until 2000, and later won on the Women's Senior Golf Tour (now the Legends Tour).
The graduate of Rollins College was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012. - Bio courtesy of Brent Kelley
Martha Lang Amateur Recipient
Growing up in Decatur, Ala., Martha Lang's parents got her hooked on the game at an early age. She went on to win the Alabama State Junior four years in a row. She played in the U.S. Girls Junior Championship three times, losing to eventual champion Hollis Stacy. Lang went on to be a member of the first varsity women's golf team at the University of Alabama.
After Alabama, she started work as an accountant for Shell Oil and moved to Houston then transferred to Chicago and Louisiana before finally settling back in Birmingham in 2006. During her career moves, she still continued to play in amateur tournaments. She won 10 consecutive Louisiana State Amateur titles (meaning she won state titles in three states - Alabama, Texas, and Louisiana).
Her crowning moment competitively was her win in the 1988 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. She came close in the U.S. Amateur finishing runner-up to Sarah Ingram in 1991. This led to her selection for the 1992 Curtis Cup team, which she also captained in 1996.
A committee member since 1999, she is integrally involved in the USGA. The 14-member Women's Committee helps run all the USGA women's championships and picks the teams for both the Curtis Cup and the World Amateur.
Lang was recently honored with the Alabama Golf Association's Joe H. King Award, and inducted into the Birmingham Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2009. - Bio courtesy of Ian Thompson