Caroline Spiegelberg: First champion of Women’s Amateur

Caroline Spiegelberg (second from left) after winning the 1994 Washington Women’s Amateur Championship.

Her goal was to have her name engraved on the trophy as the first winner of the newly created Washington Women’s Amateur in 1994. By the time Caroline Spiegelberg got it done, all anyone had to do now was spell her name right.

A University of Washington golfer, she notched a two-shot victory over two others in the 75-player field at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club in Federal Way.

“That championship was integral to me and my success,” she said, many years later. “I wanted my name to be the first one on that trophy. I remember the summer leading up to it how I put my goal-setting in a notebook, and wrote down where to be to win. It was the only championship I won.”

(The 2022 Washington Women’s Amateur Championship will be held June 20-22 at Moses Lake Golf Club.)

Spiegelberg (now Matelski) lives in Steilacoom, Wash. She grew up playing Lakewood’s Oakbrook Golf and Country Club – a club which sent Executive Director John Bodenhamer and Director of Rules and Competition John Saegner, and later Troy Andrew, to administration in Washington Golf – so she was in familiar company when capturing the state’s first Women’s Amateur. The course was accommodating to her game, too.

“Twin Lakes set up perfectly for me,” she said. “I didn’t hit the ball very far, but I hit it straight.”

Yet rather than use that victory as a springboard for more golf success, Matelski pushed away from golf to get married, raise a daughter and a son, and pursue a career in selling real estate.

She played in only a handful of events thereafter, including the 2003 Women’s Amateur in Longview, before stepping away from the game for a long time. But then a funny thing happened – her children showed an interest in golf and wanted to play, which got mom back on the golf course.

Caroline walked away from the game in her mid-20s, later returning as a way of spending time with her daughter, Abby, who began to show an interest in the game. In 2021, Caroline (left) competed in the Washington Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, with Abby as her caddie.

“Knowing all the work I put into my own game, those habits have shaped who I am in my work ethic to this day,” she said. “I wanted the same for my kids.”