In Memory of Louise Suggs
The 1952 US Women's Open Champion at Bala Golf Club
LPGA Founder, 11-time Major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Louise Suggs passed away on Friday, August 7th, 2015 at the age of 91. Ms. Suggs was a legend of the women's game, having amassed 58 professional victories with 11 major championships, including the 1952 U.S. Women's Open hosted at Bala Golf Club in Philadelphia. She was also a pioneer of the game as one of 13 founding members to help start the LPGA Tour in 1950.
Louise Suggs was one of 6 inaugural inductees into the LPGA Hall of Fame and later was enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame. She also served as LPGA Tour President from 1955-1957.
Earlier this year, Ms. Suggs was named one of the first seven women the Royal & Ancient Golf Club admitted as members, ending that organization’s 260 years of exclusive male membership.
Suggs was a prodigious driver of the golf ball and had a flawless golf swing that earned the adoration of Ben Hogan. In his foreword to Suggs’ book, Par Golf for Women, Hogan wrote: “If I were to single out one woman in the world today as a model for any other woman aspiring to ideal golf form it would be Miss Suggs.”
Suggs won every season of her professional career and in 1957, at the LPGA Championship, became the first player on the tour to capture the career Grand Slam, winning all of the tour’s major events. Her 11 majors ranks third all-time on the LPGA Tour.
The 6th of Ms. Suggs' major championships came in 1952 at Bala Golf Club in Philadelphia. Her second U.S. Women's Open title came in record fashion, shooting a four round total of 284, 8-over par (the course played as a par 69 for the event). The 284 total and her second round 69 were both U.S. Women's Open records at the time. Ms. Suggs earned $1,750 for her 7-stroke victory. Playing in 100 degree temperatures, no player, including many future hall of famers, managed to break par at Bala Golf Club despite playing only 5,460 yards.
Click here to view in depth Philadelphia Inquirer coverage of the 1952 U.S. Women's Open at Bala Golf Club as compiled by local golf historian Joseph Bausch.