Posted: June 20, 2008
Suzy Whaley at The Travelers.
In July of 2003, Suzy Whaley gained international recognition by becoming the first woman in 58 years to qualify for and participate in a PGA Tour event. The only other woman to achieve the rare golf feat is the legendary Babe Zaharias, who played in the 1945 Los Angeles Open.
Whaley became just the third woman ever to compete on the PGA Tour. To reach that special niche in golf history, Whaley captured the Connecticut PGA Section Championship – also a first by any PGA of America woman professional. (The Connecticut PGA Section Championship included an automatic berth by its champion into the following year’s Greater Hartford Open.)
Suzy's highly-publicized entry into the GHO captured the attention of the golfing world and she followed through with a successful and engaging performance in the event.
In 1989 Suzy graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and immediately earned her LPGA Tour card. She played for two years on Tour before starting a family and dedicating herself to teaching the game of golf. Her teaching knowledge was cultivated working side by side with world-renowned instructor Jim Flick. Her husband, and golf coach, Bill Whaley has also been instrumental in her ability to recognize student's abilities to improve. Golf is a family affair for the Whaleys. Bill serves as PGA Director of Golf at TPC River Highlands.
Among her numerous achievements, Suzy was named Teacher of the Year for the PGA Connecticut section in both 2004 and 2007. She was named a Top 50 golf instructor in Golf for Women Magazine from 2003 to 2007. She has been a regular contributor to The Golf Channel, Golf Digest Magazine, Golf Magazine and Golf for Women Magazine. She has made numerous appearances on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and ESPN. In 2003 she was awarded the Bill Strausbaugh Award for the PGA's Connecticut Section. Established in 1979, the Bill Strausbaugh Award is presented to PGA Professionals who by their day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community. Suzy's commitment to her community and local charitable causes was certainly evident this week, and the game has certainly benefited from her contribution.!--more-->