Hilda (McAuslan) Beck played competitive golf from 1928 to 1957, winning her first state amateur title in 1929, and her last in 1957. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Miss Beck moved to Tacoma as a little girl. Her introduction to golf occurred when her father took her to an indoor driving range in the old Calhoun Hotel in Seattle, run by golf professional Curly Hueston. Said Hilda later, "I was virtually brought up on a golf course. My parents always played a great deal and we first belonged to Rainier (before) changing to Broadmoor when we moved (to Seattle)."
Hilda was taught by only two professionals, Hueston and Frank Rodia. "That's one of the secrets of becoming a good golfer," she said. "Learn the correct way first from the right teacher. Then dedicate yourself to practice, practice and more practice."
A Victor Right Out of the Gate
While Hilda McAuslan was student at Seattle's Queen Anne High School, her father entered her in the 1928 City Sweepstakes, first at Seattle Golf Club and then at Earlington and Glendale country clubs. The next year, she entered her first Washington State Women's Golf Association Amateur, and won that tournament, too. From that point on, Hilda developed a knack for gathering championship cups.
"I love competition," she said in 1937. "I have it in my blood. Once you have a taste for it, you can't do without. I'm never nervous when I am playing in an event. (But) I work up a good nervous edge that's beneficial."
Hilda won two Seattle City Women's Amateurs (then called Sweepstakes). While her husband was stationed in Norfolk, Va. and San Diego, she won those city championships as well. Hilda McAuslan Beck never won the PNGA Women's Amateur title, but she won five state titles en route to defeating past PNGA champions such as Mrs. H.O. Young, Mrs. Vera Hutchings Ford and Mrs. Guy Riegel.
A Booster of Junior Golf
In a 1958 interview, Hilda shrugged off her past accomplishments and talked about the PNGA Junior Girls' Championship, an event she helped create after focusing on junior golf following her competitive career. As a member of the USGA Girls' Junior Committee, she helped encourage and develop young female golfers. Beck asserted, "Golf does not belong to one age group. The sooner children begin playing, the more enjoyment they'll have in a sport that can be participated in for the rest of their lives."