Inspiration comes early from Marilyn Palmer O’Connor
In the late 1960s, my family moved next door to Club Green Meadows Golf Course in Vancouver, Wash. and my parents and siblings all caught the golfing bug. In the summer of 1970 I had the unique opportunity and pleasure to caddie for Marilyn Palmer in a rare LPGA-sponsored event played at Green Meadows and nearby Royal Oaks Country Club, the premier course in Southwest Washington at the time.
I recall Ms. Palmer as a fit, slender athlete, with a serious but courteous demeanor. She possessed a smooth, silky, consistent swing that generated power and accuracy. She played flawlessly on the first day, carding a three-under par 69 to claim Medalist honors. For me, her round was exhilarating; I had never witnessed anyone, male or female, break 70. She would go on to finish a respectable sixth place overall, and while that result may have been disappointing for her, it was not for this impressionable young player.
I’m happy to relay that like many other Northwest families, ours has continued to play golf. Since the late 1970s, we’ve held an annual family winter tournament titled the “Icicle Open.” While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to play golf in inclement weather, we’ve found the challenge rewarding and, after 45 years, full of great memories.
In retrospect, I’d like to thank Ms. Palmer for the brief time we shared 50 years ago; it was very rewarding to watch her shot selection and clockwork swing (as I described it to others). Thanks Marilyn, for being an early golf mentor – whether you knew it or not!
– Scott Cave, DuPont, Wash.
(Editor’s note: Marilyn Palmer O’Connor was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame in 2005, the Golf Hall of Fame of BC in 2001, and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1999. The daughter of a club professional in Kamloops, B.C., Marilyn won the BC Women’s Amateur an astonishing nine times, as well as numerous regional and national titles, including the 1973 PNGA Women’s Amateur. In 1981, she was named Canada’s “Outstanding Female Amateur Golfer.”)