Growing up with golf...
My dad loved the game, and at a very young age - he took me to the golf course with him and I was instantly in love with hitting a golf ball!
In 1964 my dad took me to a golf course to play where he heard about a man that might be able to coach me, his name was Art Prior. Art owned PAR-MOR Golf Course and Driving Range - one of the most unique golf facilities in East Lansing. Complete with two - 9 hole courses, one a regulation 9 and the other a 9-hole Par 3 course. There was a 28 stall driving range, a large practice putting green and a large practice chipping green. During the winter months Art would put up large nets in one of the maintenance buildings where kids could hit balls inside. He also let the players from Michigan State University Mens and Womens Golf Teams come an practice there during the winter and sometimes I was able to watch.
Whenever I was around Par-Mor and Art Prior - I was on top of the world.
I played in every junior tournament possible for girls in the state of Michigan and competed from the age of 10 up until college. I was winning and placing in many local and State tournaments, my name would be in the sports pages of local newspapers and my scrapbook has a few photos, newspapaer clippings, scores and titles. Art Prior helped me with every part of my game and would eventually shape help me shape my future in golf. I turned professional in 1973 and worked for Art Prior on the course where I grew up. I was thrilled to work for Art Prior, he would watch me teaching on the tee line, and when he didn't think I was watching - I'd catch him close by out of the corner of my eye and he would quietly disappear. He was quite the man. He was a shy man, stood approximately 5'6" tall, and to me he walked like a giant. He made sure I had all the opportunities to learn, practice and play that are almost unheard of today. In honor of Art Prior- and where I grew up in golf - my license plate reads "PAR-MOR."
TODAY -Recapping my career I have played in 50+ junior tournaments with 10 championship wins and titles, I competed at the college level, and turned professional in 1973. A brief time on a mini-tour in the 80's. However after the mini-tour I reclaimed my amateur status, I needed to play for fun for a while. After a few years of that and I really missed teaching people the game, and I returned to my passion of teaching.
I am a proud member of the LPGA Professionals.
I am committed to continuing my education, to learn the skills I need to provide any person the skills to play this amazing game!
Val Patrick, LPGA Professional - Lynnwood, Washington