Judy Rankin

Class of 1987

Judy Rankin

Professional Player

Biography

Judy Rankin stood the golf world on its ear when she won the 1959 Missouri Amateur as a 14-year-old. The following year, she was low amateur in the U.S. Women’s Open and was still young enough to also be a semi-finalist in the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship in both 1960 and 1961.

In 1962, as a 17-year-old, Rankin joined the LPGA Tour and between 1968 and 1979, she won 26 titles. In 1976, Judy won seven events and set a single-seasons earnings mark of $150,743. She was the first woman to pass $100,000 in a season and was named Player of the Year and also winner of the Vare Trophy for a second time. In all, Rankin won the Vare three times. In 1967, Judy met and married former Texas Tech football player “Yippy” Rankin and became a Texan.

A long-time Texas resident and former LPGA Board of Directors member, Rankin’s last full season on the LPGA Tour was in 1983, after which she underwent back surgery and hence retired from competitive golf.

Rankin captained the victorious Solheim Cup teams in 1996 and 1998 and became the first player voted into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame in 2000 under the veteran’s category. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.

In 2002, she was voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.

She is currently a golf analyst on network television and is endeared by the golf world.

Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri

Born: February 18, 1945

2024 PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism

Inductee Highlights

  • 2007, received the Ben Hogan Award and the LPGA Komen Award
  • 2000 Inducted in World Golf Hall of Fame and First player voted into the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame under the Veteran’s Category.
  • Captained the victorious 1996 and 1998 U.S. Solheim Cup Teams.
  • 1977, won five tournaments, Player of the Year, and Vare Trophy
  • 1976, won six tournaments and set a single-season earnings record of $150,734, becoming the first LPGA player ever to cross $100,000 in a season; named Player of the Year and earned her second Vare Trophy.
  • 1973, won four tournaments and recorded a total of 25 top-10 finishes; earned her first of three Vare Trophies.
  • 1968-79, accumulated 26 victories.
  • Age 14, 1959 Missouri Amateur Champion
  • At age 15, she became the youngest player to finish as low amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open in 1960 (that record has since been broken).
  • Semifinalist U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship 1960-61 and won the Missouri Amateur again in 1961.

Related Links & Media

Judy Rankin Named Recipient of 2024 PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism

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