written by Olivia Pennybaker

Patricia Berg was a pioneer for women’s professional golf in the 20th century. Berg was born on February 13, 1918 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was always interested in sports. She played football from a young age, and took up golf at age 13 with her parent’s encouragement. Her success did not take long. By 1934, Berg won the Minneapolis City Championship and the following year she won a state amateur title. Berg won many Titleholders Championships beginning in 1937. This tournament was a women's event held at the Augusta Country Club in Augusta, Georgia right next to Augusta National Golf Club where the Master’s takes place currently. They even gave out honorary green jackets to women like the famous men’s event does. Over the years Berg won 7 green jackets and holds the record for most green jackets for the tournament. Jack Nicklaus has the most green jackets for the Master’s with 6. In 1938 she won the Women’s Western Amateur and won her second Titleholders Championship. After winning 29 amateur events, Berg turned to professional golf in 1940. Her golf career paused in 1942 when she volunteered for the United States Marine Corps until 1945 during World War II. She was quickly back at it after the war, winning the first United States Women's Open in 1946 and in 1948 she helped start the WPGA, the predecessor to the LPGA. She won 3 tournaments that season. Wilson Sporting Goods even began producing a line of Patty Berg golf clubs, making her the first woman to have her own line of golf clubs. In 1950 she was a co-founder of the LPGA and served as the first president until 1952. Her professional career boasted 60 victories including 15 major championships which is a record that stands to this day. She also was the first woman to have a hole in one at a USGA event at the 1959 US Women’s Open. Not only was she a talented golfer, she hosted thousands of clinics across the country, known for showing off goofy golf shots to her audience, always making sure to have fun. Berg was inducted to the LPGA, LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals, and World Golf Hall of Fames and was known for her encouragement to get and keep women on the golf course. Berg passed away in 2006 but led a progressive run for women’s golf. There is now a women’s amateur tournament at Augusta National Golf Club and there is no doubt Berg is there every year in spirit celebrating the history and future of women’s golf.