She is one of the biggest names in the sport of golf and a quick glance at her resume shows why she is so well respected wherever she goes on either side of the border.
Sandra Palmer was the winner of 21 LPGA tournaments during the 60s and 70s, including the prestigious U.S. Women’s Open in 1975.
She was recently in Central Alberta to share her vast experience in the game with dozens of junior golfers and a few adults as well out at Gull Lake Golf course in support of their junior golf foundation.
“To see all these young people out here to play and their parents and grandparents out here supporting them is great,” she said.
She has seen plenty of changes in the game over the years including the equipment being used by amateurs and professionals alike.
“The hybrids and a lot of shafts, particularly helping the women,” she said.
“You go out on the LPGA tour especially, I mean these gals are hitting the ball so far.”
The 1975 season, where she was the U.S. Open champion and which saw her win a couple of other tournaments, is a year which is very special in her mind.
“I ended up being player of the year and leading money winner. I hate to tell you how much that was, it was less than $75,000 dollars which sounds like a lot of money but Annika Sorenstam made more in two years than I made in 30 years.”
She says competition now is stiff on the LPGA with it truly being a worldwide tour and the players are all armed with a game to win.
“I went to the U.S. Open and honestly I did not see one bad golf swing. They just are so good and I think it’s a good lesson for everyone to just focus on their fundamentals.”
Pace of play these days is a hot topic of conversation and Palmer says like anything else, it could be much better and she suggests a simple solution.
“Just being ready to play when it’s your turn would be a good thing,” she said.
Palmer points to Brandt Snedeker and former LPGA star Lorena Ochoa as great role models as both are very quick players but she had her own experience about playing at a quicker pace.
“I was playing with (former PGA standout) Miller Barber once and he said, ‘Just hit the darn thing, it’s got to come down somewhere’.”
Wise words to live by from someone who has lived the game and still enjoys playing.