Still enjoying a successful golfing career that has been marked with numerous accomplishments including more than 70 victories worldwide, Dame Laura Davies will reach the pinnacle on Monday, July 13 when she is inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
In anticipation of the ceremony, which will also include the induction of David Graham, Mark O’Meara and A.W. Tillinghast, Davies made her maiden trip the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum to absorb golf’s rich history and reflect on the magnitude of her impending induction.
“This is so much more than I expected!” Davies exclaimed as she walked through the halls of the Museum filled with priceless artifacts, paraphernalia and classic imagery of the likes of Gary Player, Ben Hogan, Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez.
The soft-spoken Davies opens up to the WGHOF staff as she concedes that “Hall of Fame recognition” never crossed her mind when she took up the game at the young age of eight.
“My brother Tony introduced me to golf,” said Davies. “If it wasn’t for him, I would have never played. We were a very competitive family and I always wanted to beat my brother. I remember when I was 16 years old, I dusted him.”
This past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions for Davies as she has been recognized for her contributions to the game of golf. As well as being elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, she also received one of the highest honors given by Queen Elizabeth II as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) and is one of the first female members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews (The R&A) in its 260-year history.
After visiting the Nancy Lopez and Gary Player exhibits, she explored the 146 lockers in the Member’s Locker Room. She was also shown where her locker will reside – adjacent to Ken Venturi and David Graham – and relished at the opportunity to fill it with personal contents.
Davies has already donated her very first set of MacGregor Tourney Irons, purchased for her by her mother and step-father when she started playing competitively.
“These were used for most of my amateur wins,” grinned Davies.
Other clubs included the set used to win the 1987 U. S. Women’s Open Championship, including her favorite 3-wood, and some of her clubs used at many of her Solheim appearances.
Perhaps the most unique set was a mix of pink Maruman clubs, irons and woods were used to win the Women’s British Open at Ferndale – a set Davies said were in play long before either Paula, known as the “Pink Panther” and Bubba Watson, who uses a pink driver entered the game.