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5 takeaways from Kathy Whitworth’s ‘Little Book of Golf Wisdom,’

Kathy Whitworth

Kathy Whitworth waves to crowd after sinking a birdie put on the 9th hole during the first round of the 1981 U.S Womens Open in La Grange, Illinois.

Toward the end of the 142-page book, Whitworth talks about what it took to be No. 1. Not from a playing standpoint, but the responsibilities beyond that. She talked about what it meant to be a role model, following in the footsteps of her own role models: Mickey Wright, Patty Berg, Betsy Rawls and Louise Suggs.

Whitworth was president of the LPGA on four different occasions and when she wasn’t president, she served on the board. She did whatever it took to ensure the tour’s success.

There was also the unwritten rule, she said, of playing in every event. Every sponsor wanted the No. 1 player in the field.

“You just did it,” she said. “Mickey did it. Patty did it, Everyone did it. So when it was my turn, I did it. At times it was a burden, but it was the responsibility of being No. 1.”

Some people, Whitworth noted, are scared of all that comes with being the best.

“When you win, whether you want it or not, certain things are expected of you,” she wrote. “You’re a leader, and you have to accept the responsibility that goes along with it. Some people shy away from it. Believe it or not, for that reason, some people don’t want to win.”


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