In November, 92 year old Marion Booth received the award of a lifetime: A Distinguished Service Award from the Maryland State Golf Association. I can think of no one more deserving.
Marion has played championship golf since her teenaged days. She’s played with and against the best. She still competes in District Golf matches and still shoots in the 90’s, though she now declines travel to clubs that would require Beltway driving – which, of course, she is still doing for herself. I don’t blame her!
But Marion holds an even deeper place in my heart. When I was a championship junior golfer at our home course, Manor Country Club in Rockville, MD, she was the women’s club champion – many years running. She was always full of encouragement for me. One day we played 9 holes and she noticed I hadn’t counted an extra shot I left in the sand trap. That isn’t the way golf is played and she told me so. (see story in Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Devozine magazine )
That started me thinking about the pressure I felt to win. It had shoved aside my desire to compete and be the best golfer I could be. From then on, all strokes went on the scorecard, whether or not anyone else saw them.
That moment, perhaps more than any other, set a trajectory for me in golf, sports and life. I went on to be a collegiate golfer and to choose a career in sports and fitness where I can mentor young women just as Marion mentored me.
Congratulations, Marion. And many, many thanks.