Minority Golf Magazine opens this new feature on Hispanic women in professional golf beginning arguably one of the greatest of all time. 

Feature Articles Latina Women

Nancy Lopez is undoubtedly not the least-known Hispanic female golfer of all time, a gross understatement, and those who lie between her, and new and talented entrees of Latina Professionals on the LPGA Tour. Come back often to read about the impact of Hispanic women on professional tours.

Nancy Lopez-photo-MGM

But first, let’s take a journey down the path of greatness  exampled by Nancy Lopez.

Birthdates are irrelevant; suffice it to say Nancy is a world-class retired Latina American professional golfer. She became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1977 and won 48 LPGA Tour events, including three major championships.

During her first entire season on the LPGA Tour in 1978, Lopez won nine tournaments, including five consecutives. She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in July, won the Varden Trophy for lowest scoring average, LPGA Rookie of the Year, LPGA Player of the Year, and was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She won another eight times in 1979 and multiple times each year from 1980 to 1984, although she played only half-seasons in 1983 and 1984 due to the birth of her first child.

Playing full-time again in 1985, Lopez posted five wins, five seconds, and five thirds, won the money title, the scoring title, the Player of the Year Award, and was named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for the second time. She entered only four events in 1986, when her second daughter was born, but came back with multiple wins in 1987–89 – three times each in 1988 and 1989 – and again won Player of the Year honors in 1988. Lopez’s schedule was curtailed again in the early 1990s when her third daughter was born. In 1992, she won twice. Lopez continued to play short schedules – from 11 to 18 tournaments – through 2002, then in 2003 cut back to just a half dozen or fewer events a year.

Lopez was considered one of the greats of women’s golf, and she was the game’s best player from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. She won

Nancy Lopez-photo – MGM

three LPGA Championships on the same course in 1978, 1985, and 1989. Lopez never won the U.S. Women’s Open but finished second four times, the last in 1997 when she became the first in the event’s history to score under 70 for all four rounds yet lost to Alison Nicholas. She won the Colgate-Dinah Shore in 1981, two years before it became a major, and was a runner-up three times at the du Maurier Classic in Canada.

Lopez was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. She was a United States Solheim Cup team member in 1990 and was captain of the team in 2005. Lopez retired from regular tournament play in 2002 and attempted a return in 2007 and 2008. Due to family and business commitments, Nancy decided that the high demand for professionals was too great a task to continue.

Lopez is the only woman to win LPGA Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, and the Varden Trophy in the same season (1978).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.