But to her sister
professionals she is one of the most admirable of the top players. They know
her golf greatness emerges from a deep-felt necessity to prove herself an
adequate human being, from an almost perfect golf swing, and a putting touch as
delicate as a hummingbird caressing a blossom.
Suggs' spiked footsteps is Mickey Wright, the 21-year-old Californian who is
only now in her second year as a professional. Combining a long arc (Mickey's 5
feet 8� inches) and a near-perfect golf swing, she pounds a golf ball farther
than any of her competitors. Her driving contest achievement in Detroit in June
was an accurate indication of her power. Other women presumably have hit a golf
ball farther than Mickey's carefully measured 272. But Mickey's yards each
contained 36 inches. She was hitting onto watered fairways, and not
Aside from her
deficiency of professional tournament experience, Mickey still must surmount
two barriers before she can achieve greatness.
frequently suffer the "yips" around the greens, and Mickey has not yet
become an exception. She is distinguished as one of the poorest putters on the
tour. Her chips, pitches, and sand wedge work are in similar need of
improvement. Doubtless Mickey can rectify these errors in the finesse
department, by good instruction and a staggering amount of practice.
BRAINS BEHIND THE
A second problem
will not be so simple to overcome. Despite her faintly amusing efforts to deny
her intellectual capacity and cultural interests by spending her leisure time
behaving "like a golf pro"—learning hillbilly songs with guitar
accompaniment, responding ecstatically to Elvis Presley records and twiddling
her thumbs over gin rummy—Mickey Wright remains intelligent, creative and
sensitive. These handicaps have been overcome by golf champions, but never
Rookie Mickey Wright in her first year was Mary Lena Faulk, a newcomer in 1955.
This 1953 National Amateur Champion finished second in seven different
tournaments and won one. She finished the campaign as fifth money winner.
Though she has slipped a bit this year, this does not discourage either her
enthusiasts or Mary Lena. They know she is a sound player with a placid
tournament temperament and a friendly attitude toward the game and the people
who play it. If the gracious lady from south Georgia can become a tournament
winner, she will be a popular one.
Middlecoff of the LPGA is Western Open Champion Beverly Hanson. Bev is a highly
intelligent, querulous young woman with a scalpel-like sense of humor. She is
also a flagellating perfectionist who seems determined to beat golf to its
feet, and herself with it.
powerful and angular-swinging North Dakota-born Californian has played
brilliantly at times since she became a professional in 1951. Winning is
important to her, but missing a shot is catastrophic. She has been heard to
blame everyone except herself—the greenskeeper, her caddy, her opponent, the
sponsor—for her shot-making transgressions. Yet she must also admit to herself
that she shares the responsibility for errors, for she is a devotee of the
Her efforts have
rewarded her with the championship of the LPGA, the Eastern Open, and the
Western Open, three of the most important titles.