Before there was Annika, Lorena or Yani the road to the LPGA tour was paved by one of the greatest to ever take up the game. Mickey Wright who won 82 times on tour including 13 major championships will be honored by the USGA when they open the Mickey Wright Room in their museum in Far Hills, NJ. The room is scheduled to open on June 16th and will be filled with over two hundred golf artifacts donated by Wright herself.
Wright will join the ranks of other golf legends such as Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Bob Jones who already have similar dedications at the museum, though Wright will be the first female golfer to be given the honor.
When Wright turned pro in 1954 the ladies golf landscape was a far cry from what it resembles today. Wright became a trailblazer in a sport that at the time played for very little money and received very little recognition. Wright achieved 79 of her career titles within an incredible eleven-year span from 1957-1968 and is the only female golfer to hold all four major titles at one time. Within those thirteen major championships are four U.S. Open’s victories, which ties only Betsy Rawlses for the most Open titles. Not only the most popular player in her time, she was also the most dominant. She won ten tournaments in both 1961 and 1962 before going onto set the LPGA record, which still stands by winning thirteen titles in 1963.
“Mickey Wright was one of the premier players in the history of the game and her golf swing was ranked by many as the greatest of all,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “Mickey won four U.S. Women’s Open titles by the age of 30, which strengthened her close ties to the USGA. We’re delighted she has chosen to house the artifacts of her wonderful career in our museum.”
The room will be filled with various trophies, pictures and over twenty-five scrapbooks that were compiled by a friend, Peggy Wilson. Also a part of the collection is her Bulls-Eye putter that was a staple in almost all of her career wins. Wright was interviewed by the Associated Press last fall about her thoughts on the dedication.
“I’m so excited for this room, the first for a woman,” Wright said. “It’s a great honor. The best thing will be the contrast that people will be able to see between today’s golf, which is a completely different game from what was played in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. I hope they can appreciate their roots.”
The 77 year old is often regarded as the greatest female to ever play the game and her Hall of Fame career was recently honored in 2010 when she received the Bob Jones Award. The award is given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. It is the highest award that the USGA hands out and one of the few treasures from her career that Wright states she is holding onto.
*On Tuesday May 15th the USGA will be hosting a news conference that will offer a preview of the Mickey Wright Room at the USGA Museum. Several former and current LPGA players are expected to attend.