It’s unfair to characterize Susie Maxwell Berning as a part-time golfer. She officially played the LPGA Tour from 1964 to 1996 and racked up 11 wins along with being Rookie of the Year and, in 1967, the LPGA’s Most Improved Player. In the first three seasons of that career she played every event. And after hanging up the competitive clubs for good, she stayed in the game, becoming one of the most respected instructors in the Palm Springs, Calif., area. But like Bob Jones, who went to Harvard and Emory University and then opened what would become one of the world’s premier law practices, all while winning 13 major championships, and Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 professional majors and two U.S. Amateurs without missing his kids’ graduations, school plays, football games and gym meets, Berning lived an exceptional life outside the ropes to match an extraordinary career inside them. And she understood which parts of that life came first.
At the height of her playing career, from 1968 through 1977, when she was 26 to 35 years old and won s...
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