Marion Hollins, one of the only female golf course developers in history, and Susie Maxwell Berning, a 3-time U.S. Women’s Open champion, will both be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2021. Hollins was selected through the Contributor category for her impact as a visionary golf course architect and pioneer of the game, while Berning was selected in the Female Competitor category.
Winner of the 1921 U.S. Women’s Amateur and captain of the first U.S. Curtis Cup team in 1932, Hollins’ influence on the game stretched beyond the fairways of competitive play. One of history’s few female golf course developers, she took a lead role in developing the Monterey Peninsula into a golf mecca, which is now home to some of the biggest tournaments in play.
“When you start reading about Marion Hollins, you realize what a trailblazer she was,” said Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2003 Inductee. “In her era, she didn’t have many resources with the status of women in sports and golf. To be that kind of trailblazer with that kind of enthusiasm and energy and get into course development and design is very inspirational. She was an advocate for women and changed the landscape of the game.”
Credited with being the first woman to conceive and build a planned unit development with a golf course as a central feature, she played a major role in the founding and formation of two of golf’s most iconic courses, Cypress Point and Pasatiempo. Hollins was a collaborator with Hall of Famer Alister MacKenzie on multiple projects; he credited her for the design of the 16th at Cypress Point. She also developed a friendship with Bobby Jones and influenced the development of Augusta National when she traveled there on MacKenzie’s behalf.
“Marion Hollins is most deserving of this honor,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation. “She was a principal force of the game, the visionary of some of today’s greatest courses, and I am grateful that her contributions will be celebrated as part of the 2021 Class and thereafter in the World Golf Hall of Fame.”
“Quite an honor,” said Berning. “Just to be in the same room as Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Judy Rankin and Patty Berg – I tell you I remember when I first was on the Tour, just how nice Patty Berg was to me and I was scared to death, as it was the first time I ever played with Mickey. To be honored alongside them is something I thought would never happen. I never even thought about it. I’m now part of their family, which makes me very proud.”
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, Berning earned the Rookie of the Year title. Throughout her career, she won 11 times including an impressive four Majors – the 1965 Women’s Western Open and the U.S. Women’s Open three times in 1968, 1972 and 1973 – all while balancing family life as a mother. She is one of only four women to win the U.S. Women’s Open three or more times.
“Susie perfectly embodies what it means to be a Hall of Famer,” said LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan. “She was a trailblazer from when she first picked up a club throughout her amateur career, and then made a big splash once she reached the LPGA Tour. I think about the short list of individuals – male or female – who have won three U.S. Open titles, let alone four Major Championships, and understand just how incredible that is. She also shortened her career when she made a decision to walk away to focus on family – something every female professional can empathize with and respect.”
Joining Hollins and Berning in the Induction Class of 2021 are former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods. The four Inductees will bring the World Golf Hall of Fame Member total to 164.
The Class of 2021 is elected by the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee, which discussed the merits of 10 finalists. The Selection Committee is a 20-member panel co-chaired by Hall of Fame Members Beth Daniel, Nick Price, Annika Sorenstam and Curtis Strange, and includes media representatives and leaders of the major golf organizations.
The finalists were nominated by the Hall of Fame’s Nominating Committee, which vetted every candidate that met the qualifications of the Hall of Fame’s three Induction categories.
The 2021 Induction Ceremony date and location will be announced at a later time. For more information on the Induction process, visit www.worldgolfhalloffame.org.
Class of 2021 Selection Committee
Hall of Fame Co-Chairs
World Golf Foundation Board Organizations
Mike Davis, USGA
Will Jones, The Masters
Jay Monahan, PGA TOUR
Keith Pelley, European Tour
Martin Slumbers, The R&A
Seth Waugh, PGA of America
Mike Whan, LPGA
Selected by World Golf Foundation Board
Michael Bamberger, Golf.com
Iain Carter, BBC
Jaime Diaz, Golf Channel
Doug Ferguson, Associated Press
John Hopkins, Global Golf Post UK
Beth Ann Nichols, Golfweek
Ron Sirak, Global Golf Post
Selected by World Golf Foundation Board
Peter Bevacqua, NBC Sports Group
Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest/Discovery
About World Golf Hall of Fame
The World Golf Hall of Fame celebrates golf and honors the legacies of those who have made it great. The Hall of Fame opened in Pinehurst, N.C. in 1974 where a total of 71 members were inducted before moving to its current location in St. Augustine, Florida in 1998. The World Golf Hall of Fame currently recognizes 160 Members. The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution and is allied with 26 national and international golf organizations, including the European Tour, LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA. To learn more about the World Golf Hall of Fame or to lend support, visit www.worldgolfhalloffame.org.