July 18, 2013

All that she can be

Golf is latest challenge met by King


Earning respect

By the turn of the millennium, King was becoming competitive in statewide events, going up against a field of players who were “youngsters.” But she was finding a lot of acceptance and friends at the events.

By the time she was old enough for senior events — both in GSGA competition and at her home course — her game was really rounding into shape.

She was getting better, but she was meeting some resistance as well. There are some men who aren’t accepting of a woman on the golf course, especially when she is better than they are and can hit it farther than they can. But for a woman like King who had already faced what military service had thrown at her, it wasn’t a big challenge.

“I had a few people when I first came out here that didn’t know how to react to a female who could play with them and in some cases could beat them,” she said. “But over the years, they have accepted me.”

Spring Lakes professional Lonnie Reese has been happy to have her at the course.

“She is great,” he said. “We love having her out here. She loves to compete and play the game, and we all do, too.”

But Reese acknowledged that even he had concerns when she asked to play in Senior Association events at the club.

“I was a little worried about that because the Senior Association was men only, and here comes Sue,” Reese said. “They could have very easily said no, but they accepted her because she earned their respect. And she opened up some doors. We probably have seven or eight women who play with the senior association here.”

After having conquered a man’s world by serving more than 25 years in the military, King still has to put up with ribbing from most of the other golfers she plays with — mostly men. But she is used to facing uphill battles and conquering them.

“All of the time,” she said when asked if she had to exchange verbal jabs with her playing partners. “This is mild compared to what I faced in the military.”

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