IN FOUR YEARS, Suzy Whaley will not only become the first female president in the then-102-year history of the PGA of America. She’ll become its most dynamic president, judging by her Women in the Golf Industry appearance tonight in Orlando, Florida.
Whaley, eschewing the typical blue blazer worn by PGA officers in favor of a blue Tory Burch cardigan with gold buttons, bubbled over with enthusiasm and advice for other women trying to make their way in men’s worlds. Settling into a chair next to interviewer Emmy Moore Minister, she gratefully accepted a glass of white wine and likened the setting to the television program “The View” as she told the story of her ascent in the golf business.
“When I was at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, I was convinced I was going to become a lawyer,” she said.
Playing on Tour was not for me, and I had no aspirations for that endevour. I played well in college, but I took my LSATs and applied to law school. Then I qualified for an LPGA tournament as an amateur. And for some reason I thought that because I qualified, I was good enough that I could actually go on tour.
“So I went home and told my parents, and you can imagine the conversation at dinner when I said I was not going to go to law school, I was going to go to tour school. And my father said, ‘You’re going to do what?’ But my mom…she looked at me and said, ‘You can always be a lawyer. You go for it.’
“I went to tour school and secured a conditional card and I played in more than 20 events, thinking that would be great and I’d be this incredible superstar. And I made $2,322. Coming off the tour I knew my parents would no longer fund this endeavor, and I took a waitressing job. Going to the most expensive steak house I could find. So that I could make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time. I told them that I was a fabulous waitress. I had never waitressed a day in my life.
“During that time, I had the good fortune to meet my husband. And then I got my tour card back.
“I tell you that story because I was in shock when I lost that tour card. For me, it was a huge blow that was incredibly necessary for me to get in gear. And figure out that things weren’t going to come easy… And I met someone I’ve been married to for 23 years. Then I went back out on tour, which I loved. And I was able to better prepar to make more than $2,322.”
Check out the rest of Susan Fornoff’s story here!
Source : GottaGoGolf SusanFornoff
Pictures: EWGA_HQ SusanFornoff
Thanks for reading – Women at the Helm – #3 PGA President Suzy Whaley.