Berg, Patty Jane



Chapter

Chi

Initiation Date

04/29/1939

Biography

In 1931, at the age of 13, Patty Berg began playing golf and by 1934 she began her amateur career and won the Minneapolis City Championship. Continuing to play golf, Berg attended the University of Minnesota where she was a member of the Chi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She gained national attention in 1935 when she reached the finals of the U.S. Women's Amateur, although she would lose the tournament that year. In 1938, after winning the Titleholders Championship and being a member of the winning Curtis Cup team, Berg was named the Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year, a honor she would earn again in 1943 and 1955.

After winning 29 amateur titles, Berg began to golf professionally in 1940. During World War II, she served as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve (1942-45). In 1948, Berg helped to establish the forerunner of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), the Women's Professional Golf Association (WPGA). When the LPGA was officially started in 1950, Berg was among the thirteen founding members and served as the association's first president. During her career, Berg won a total of 63 professional events, including 15 women's major golf championships. Her last victory was in 1962.

In 1956, Patty Berg received the KKG Alumnae Achievement Award, the Fraternity's highest honor for personal and professional achievement. In 1963, Berg received the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. In 1986, Berg received the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honor. The LPGA established the Patty Berg Award in 1978. Later in life, Berg and PGA Tour player Nolan Henke established the Nolan Henke/Patty Berg Junior Masters to promote young golfers.

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