In the Community
One woman’s legacy helps pave the path for future women golfers in SWFL
One of Fort Myers’s leading ladies, Patty Berg, will be honored in April at the inaugural Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial at Cypress Lake Country Club. The Symetra Tour, often called “the Road to the LPGA,” added the Memorial to its schedule in September, and Mike Nichols, chief business officer of the Symetra Tour, says it will be more than a tournament. He says it will be a weeklong experience, featuring 144 women players.
Patty Berg was one of the founders of the LPGA in 1948 and served as its first president. She still holds the all-time record for most major title wins by a female golfer (15), and contributed even more so to the world of women’s golf by teaching over 16,000 clinics in her lifetime.
Cypress Lake Country Club was her home course, and it contains the single-largest exhibit of her trophies and memorabilia, placed on permanent loan to the club by Berg herself. In addition to Cypress Lake Country Club hosting the memorial, Chico’s, a specialty retailer of women’s clothing, is excited to sponsor the event. Chico’s vice president, brand manager Liz Hodges says, “Patty embodies the spirit of the women Chico’s wants to represent.” Fortuitously, Chico’s created and launched a women’s golf line this past fall.
The prospects for the future of the tournament are “sky high,” according to Nichols, and many second his opinion. This year, the focus is on having fun and setting a base for growing the memorial for the future and raising money as well.
All of the proceeds from the Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial will go to the American Cancer Society, specifically for funding research of ovarian cancer. The hope is that eventually no one will ever have to lose a woman they love to ovarian cancer. Somehow, it seems that Patty would approve. Fort Myers native Kathryn Cole has returned to her hometown after graduating from Florida State University.
LPGA icon Patty Berg still holds the record for major title wins by a female golfer.