Marge Burns was well known around the state of North Carolina and particularly within the North Carolina Women’s Amateur circuit. She was a 38 year member of the LPGA and taught golf into her 80s. Before becoming one of the state’s best known teachers, she had a remarkable career as an amateur golfer winning the NC Women’s Amateur a record 10 times, the Carolinas Amateur six times – as well as numerous other championships.
A few years back Mrs. Burns shared that she was introduced to the game of golf at the age of 7 by her father and quickly became an accomplished golfer. As a 14 year old she won the 1940 Carolinas Junior Girls Championship and when she graduated from what is now UNC Greensboro she had become one of the state’s best golfers.
She often told the story of how in 1947, at the age of 22, she played in the U.S. Women’s Open and played her opening round with the famed Louise Suggs. She won the state amateur title ten times in the fifteen year period from 1953 through 1968.
After her competitive golf career ended, she devoted much of her time teaching. That change in her career took her to North Myrtle Beach where she worked at the Surf Club & Golf Acres Driving Range. She moved back to Greensboro where she taught at a number of clubs and facilities.
Her accomplishments were recognized through membership in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1984. She also won membership of the Guilford COuntry and UNC-Greensboro Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991 Mrs. Burns was honored with the UNCG Distinguished Alumni Award.
With all of the accollades and awards that Marge Burns won, she listed as her greatest award that of the LPGA National Teacher of the Year award that she won in 1976 as a then 50 year old.
She was often quoted as saying, “…you know, golf is who I am and what I do.”
Marge, you will be missed.
Bio on the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame website:
Marge Burns – (1984)
Top amateur golfer. Born in Orlando, raised in Greensboro. Began playing golf as teenager. A 1946 graduate of UNC-Greensboro. Dominated mid-South amateur golf for two decades. Won six Women’s Carolinas titles, 10 North Carolina state championships, and Eastern Amateur title. Won the Teague Award as top female athlete in the Carolinas five times. Became a teaching professional in the 1970s. Named 1976 LPGA Teacher of the Year. Member University of North Carolina at Greensboro Athletic Hall of Fame.
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