|Alexa Osborne and Letty Watt|
I could only smile, proud that I'd played as well as I could. She beamed with delight as we shook hands, and I congratulated her on the win. Her Oklahoma team eventually won Women's Fore State 2011 that day. Our Kansas team returned the trophy from last year's win and walked away standing tall, with pride, spirit, grace, and youthfulness, knowing we'd all done our best.
Twenty-four hours later I was sauntering through the field north of our house with Lucy, when a cool gentle breeze stirred a vivid memory.
The Women's Oklahoma Golf Association State Championship was held at Oakwood Country Club (a Perry Maxwell design) in Enid, Oklahoma in June 1967, and I was a competitor for the championship that week. In an early round of match play I played against an "old gray haired lady" who nearly beat me, a youthful strong determined 19 year old golfer. We tied our match at the end of 18 holes which meant we had to continue on until someone won the match. On the 19th hole of "sudden death" I finally chipped in to beat her, doing what she'd done to me all day--chipping and putting like a pro. She smiled and walked toward me with pride and grace that day. In her firm handshake of congratulations she let me know age was not a hindrance for a determined mind.
I could never image at age 19 that I would be standing in her shoes on the 17th hole at Hardscrabble Country Club at age 63 shaking the hand of a 19 year determined college student.
So to those who've gone before; the golf course designers, the dreamers, the club pros, the parents, the coaches, and especially the women amateurs and professional golfers who've given us their best, who've laid the groundwork for our programs and tournaments today, I bow my head in silence and say thank you. My hope is that through our continued dedication to the game of golf that some young girl golfer may write the sequel to this story in another forty to fifty years.
Kansas Women's Golf Association
Women's Oklahoma Golf assocication
Missouri Women's Golf Association
Arkansas Women's Golf Association