Evolution of women’s golfers: from scorekeepers to champs | News, Sports, Jobs

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Roxanne Kuhlman of Fort Dodge was the first women’s open division champion in 1991. She has 10 titles overall spanning three different divisions, and still plays in the event to this day.

The rules, roles and responsibilities for women in the Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota Webster County golf tournament have come a long way in the event’s 44 years of existence.

The first event, in 1980 at Lakeside Golf Course, did not have a women’s division. In fact, the Messenger newspaper article from that weekend thanked “The Lakeside Ladies Golf League members who worked over the weekend, handling the scoring of the tournament.” Val Guthrie, Dorothy Hughes, Rose Holm, Ronnie Nelson, Bonnie Miller, Chris Burton, Betty Brown and Bonnie Knutson were mentioned by name.

The same credits were included the following summer, in late July of 1981, with Lakeside Ladies League members Anita Patterson, Winnie Bristol, Mary Muphy, Connie Wild, Marcia Warren, Kate Nelson, Mary Wiedenfeld, Donna Dishman, Guthrie and Nelson given the collective nod for helping out.

Ten years later, in 1991, the first women’s city tournament took place. The rest, as they say, is history.

This year, the women’s open division will crown its 34th overall champion. The women’s senior bracket winner will be the 20th, dating back to 2005, and there are now women’s super senior and legends titleists coming this weekend as well.

This year’s tournament begins on Saturday and concludes on Sunday. Groups are asked to sign up either by phone or in person at their respective designated courses. Players must pre-pay.

For the first time, a “Legends” Division is being offered on both the men’s and women’s side for players age 70 and older. This will flank the traditional open, senior (age 50-59) and super senior (age 60-69) championship brackets for individual 36-hole stroke play at the Fort Dodge Country Club and Lakeside Golf Courses.

The women’s competition will also feature a new two-person best shot on Saturday at Lakeside. This is an alternative to the individual bracket, which is still being offered. Players would choose which event — the 36-hole individual tournament or the 18-hole best shot tourney — to enter beforehand.

Full Swing Financial Planning of Fort Dodge is sponsoring this year’s closest to the pin contest, which takes place on Saturday. There will be $100 winners at each of the par-3s at the respective courses.

Tee times are in nine-minute increments on the men’s side, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at the FDCC. The women start at 8 a.m. at Lakeside on Saturday.

Cost is $85 per player for the 36-hole, two-day tournament, or $40 per player for the women’s two-person best shot.

The championship nine for both the men’s open and senior divisions will be at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at Lakeside.

All citizens who either live or work in Webster County are invited to participate.

For more information or to sign up for the tournament, please call the FDCC (515-955-8551) or Lakeside (515-576-6741).

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