On Friday, Suzy Whaley will become the first female president of the PGA of America in the organization’s 102-year history. Here are 5 things to know about the barrier-breaking pro.
Before Annika and Michelle and Brittany, there was Suzy
Whaley became the first woman since Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Zaharias played in four PGA Tour events from 1938-1945), to qualify for a PGA Tour event when she won the Connecticut PGA section championship in 2002, which earned her a spot in the Greater Hartford Open.
According to USA Today, though Annika Sorenstam made her PGA Tour debut before Whaley, it was Whaley who motivated Sorenstam to accept her sponsor’s invitation to play at Colonial.
She’s paid her dues
Whaley has held a national office at the PGA of America for the past four years: first, as secretary, then as Vice President. She was the first woman ever elected to serve as an officer of the PGA of America.
She’s a teacher first
Whaley is the Director of Instruction at Suzy Whaley Golf in Farmington, Conn., and in 2018, she became the 370th PGA professional (and only the ninth woman ever) to be certified as a PGA Master Professional, which is the highest educational level offered by the organization.
She’s played at the highest level
Whaley competed on the LPGA Tour in 1990 and 1993, and also played in the Women’s PGA Championship in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
She has a need for speed
“Ever since I was 3, I loved to go fast,” Whaley told the PGA of America in an interview earlier this year. She even tried to make the University of Colorado ski racing team before heading to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to play on the golf team. She graduated in 1989 with a degree in Economics.