Essential Golf: A passion for the Game
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Most Inspiring Golfers and Their Stories

Most Inspiring Golfers and Their Stories

Babe Didrickson Zaharias

Babe Didrickson Zaharias was one of the most prominent female golfers of the 20th century. Sadly, misfortune struck in 1953 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Nonetheless, the news didn’t affect her fighting spirit, and she played successfully on the LPGA Tour in 1954. Less than a month after undergoing surgery, Zaharias defiantly competed in the U.S. Women’s Open Championship wearing a colostomy bag, and to everyone’s surprise, she took home her 10th major championship.

Paul Azinger

In 1993, Paul Azinger was one of the most promising stars globally, with 11 career victories, an impressive Ryder Cup record, and that year’s PGA Championship record. Sadly, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, substituting his days on the course with chemotherapy and radiation sessions. Nevertheless, he continued his golf passion until he won the 2000 Sony Open in Hawaii.

Ian Poulter

LIV Golfer Ian Poulter inherited his passion from his dad, but they weren’t well off, and he couldn’t participate in competitions because he failed to afford a full green fee. Poulter never gave up and became golf shop manager and pro at the Chesfield Downs Golf Club. After turning pro in 1995, the golfer boasts 17 professional victories, among them two World Golf Championship wins.

Ken Venturi

Ken Venturi is a true testament that patience and determination do pay. From 1956 to 1960, he endured three close-call Masters losses and was deemed an underdog. In 1961, he nearly lost his life in a debilitating car accident and then went broke, losing his biggest sponsors. After battling alcoholism and divorce, Venturi decided to take a chance in the 1964 U.S. Open and stunned big names like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to lift the trophy.

Charlie Sifford

Before 1960, African Americans weren’t allowed fair participation in golf, and one such casualty was Charlie Sifford. He only participated in smaller tournaments and exhibitions until 1961 he joined. Despite the prejudice that he suffered, he went on to win many tournaments, including the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1975 PGA Senior Championship. In 2004, Sifford became a World Golf Hall of Fame inductee.

The Bottomline

The above stars with their inspiring stories demonstrate how resilience and willpower can change even the worst calamities into a beautiful story. No matter what life throws at you, always wake up each day with a renewed determination, and lady luck might smile at you sooner than you think. 

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