INDIAN WELLS, CA – The Reserve Club honored recent World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Susie Maxwell Berning on Wednesday, March 30th during a speaking engagement featuring several of the four-time major champion’s friends (and former competitors) from the LPGA Tour, including Judy Rankin, Patty Sheehan, Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Sandra Haynie, and Sandra Palmer.
"I'm almost more nervous about this than I was in Florida (site of HOF induction ceremony). It's so nice of the members to do this. You know, I'm just so fortunate to be at a club that I love everybody and they love me," said Berning.
Berning, a treasured golf instructor-in-residence at The Reserve Club since its inception in 1998, was selected for the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021 on the strength of three U.S. Women’s Open Championships among her 11 LPGA victories. Her induction — delayed nearly two years due to COVID-19 — took place on March 9 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the site of the TPC Sawgrass. Berning’s fellow inductees were Marion Hollins, Tim Finchem and Tiger Woods.
"Susie has been here more than 17 years, and she is adored. But I have to say as a woman playing golf, she was a pioneer. And she's a hero. She is a very, very special person. And I think she's loved here, not just for the lessons and clinics that she gives. She is just a wonderful human being," said Madeleine Kleiner, Reserve member and LPGA board member.
The Reserve is honoring recent hall of fame inductee Susie Maxwell Berning with a special celebration tonight. I'm honored to be invited & will provide coverage on @KESQ. Berning's induction was delayed 2 years due to COVID-19. @LPGA @GolfHallofFame https://t.co/g9shkZvoPB— Blake Arthur (@BlakeArthur24) March 30, 2022
"Anybody who ever played would agree that there's something magical about the US Open and it becomes more than magical when you win three," said Judy Rankin, friend and fellow World Golf Hall of Famer.
"As I have been now for some months, really happy for her. I think she was one of those people who had a pretty astounding career and kind of fell through the cracks and didn't get enough recognition. But she's gotten the recognition now and I'm very glad for her," said Rankin.
"So proud of Susie and all that she's accomplished. Really, when you look back at her accomplishment in the late 60s, early 70s. Before Title Nine before daycare for women on the LPGA before a paycheck for their winnings - it's really quite an accomplishment and we're very proud of her, said Teresa Ward, reserve member.
Sports Director Blake Arthur asked - "what's one word to describe Susie?"
"Tough," said Ward.
Berning began playing golf at the age of 15 and won three-straight Oklahoma State High School Golf Championships. She was the first female to be offered a golf scholarship from Oklahoma City University and played on the men’s team. After becoming an LPGA professional in 1964, she earned the Rookie of the Year title. Throughout her career, she won four Majors: the 1965 Women’s Western Open and the U.S. Women’s Open three times in 1968, 1972 and 1973. She is one of only four women to win the U.S. Women’s Open three or more times, and the first to accomplish this while juggling a family. She is the recipient of the 2018 LPGA Pioneers award for her contributions to the game and was recognized during the LPGA’s 50th Anniversary in 2000 as one of the LPGA’s top-50 players and teachers.
Berning has two daughters, Robin Doctor and Cindy Molchany. She was one of just a few LPGA players who traveled with children in the 1970s, driving a motorhome across the country to tour stops.
"I'm so fortunate to end up here. It's just a blessing," said Berning.