In July of 2003, Suzy Whaley was the first woman to qualify and participate in a PGA Tour event in 58 years, following the legendary Babe Zaharias, the only other woman to have ever achieved the rare golf feat.
Whaley was only the third woman to ever to compete on the PGA Tour. To reach that special niche in golf history, Whaley captured the Connecticut PGA Section Championship – also a first by any PGA of America woman professional. In 1994, The PGA of America established the opportunity for women to compete again the men.
The Connecticut PGA Championship included an automatic berth by its champion into the following year’s Greater Hartford Open.
After Suzy signed her scorecard, her victory captured the attention of the millions who play golf and the millions who aspire to join the game. The public's attention was initially focused on Suzy gaining the Tour event exemption. The interest continued with her courageous decision to prepare and then compete in the Greater Hartford Open, which followed with her successful and engaging performance.
As a result of Suzy's accomplishment on the golf course, she received extensive media coverage across the United States as well as Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Since her victory Suzy has granted more than 2,000 interviews worldwide. She has been featured on CBS Sports, Good Morning America, CNN, ESPN, CBS The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, Fox National Sports Radio, All Things Considered, Golf Channel, The Dan Patrick Show (formerly on ESPN Radio); ,the former George Michael’s Sports Machine; in pieces in USA TODAY, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and in numerous papers across the country. This coverage resulted in millions of impressions worldwide promoting the game of golf.
As a teacher of the game, Suzy's mentor is 1988 PGA Teacher of the Year Jim Flick. She worked for Jim for seven years and still continues to learn from him. She has been a guest on Golf Channel numerous times. She’s also filmed golf series tips for PGA.com, ESPN, Golf Channel, Golfweek TV, HLN, USAToday, Youtube, and a series of tips for local television in Connecticut. Her golf written contributions have appeared in Golf Digest, Golf, Golf for Women, and Golfer Girl magazine.
Her teaching accolades include a top 50 teacher by Golf Digest, a top 5 national female teacher designation by Golf Digest magazine, nominated for GOLF Magazine's top 100-teacher list, and a three-time top 50 US Kids teacher. She is also a two-time LPGA Northeast Teacher of the Year and is a two- time PGA Teacher of the Year honoree in the Connecticut PGA Section. Suzy is actively involved in her profession. She is currently the National PGA Growth of the Game Co-Chair, National PGA of America Board Member, CT PGA Setion Board Member, and The First Tee of CT Board Member. Suzy speaks at many PGA section education seminars, and travels to numerous industry conferences to present on growing the game and instruction.
Suzy was born in Cherry Hill, N.J. but spent much of her young life with her family in Syracuse, N.Y. Her late mother, an avid golfer, started Suzy playing golf at the age of nine. Suzy was the New York State Junior Golf Champion but her real love was ski racing. She was on the Olympic Developmental Team by the age of 12 and went away to a ski-racing academy to pursue her dreams of competing in the Olympics. She was hurt in a downhill in 1983 and chose to then focus on her golf. Her college days were spent at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received a full four-year athletic scholarship. In 1989, Suzy graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in economics.
Suzy earned her LPGA Tour status immediately after completing college. She played on the LPGA Tour for two years before starting a family. She currently teaches the game at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT. Her business includes private instruction, Suzy Whaley Junior Golf Academy, as well as a Golf In Schools business called PE2Tee. PE2Tee is pending non-profit status and it's mission is to bring golf to schools involving PE teachers to help grow the game. PE2Tee also provides information to the schools for families to pursue the game at local PGA/LPGA facilities and The First Tee. You can find PE2Tee at http://www.PE2Tee.com.
In 1991, Suzy married Bill Whaley, a PGA Professional and Suzy's coach. Bill is the National Director of Golf for PGA Tour Properties and the General Manager and PGA Director of Golf at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.
The Whaleys live in Farmington, Conn., and have two daughters, Jennifer, 18, Kelly, 15; and a black lab, Bella. Jennifer plays Division 1 Golf for Quinnipiac College and Kelly attends the IJGA Hank Haney Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head, SC. Kelly is the 2011 CT Amateur Golf Champion and the 2011 CT PGA Junior Champion.
Suzy Whaley - PGA Qualification Video