The Senior Women's Amateur
Championship was inaugurated in 1962 for
women golfers age 50 and older.
By the late 1950s, a number of senior
women's golf organizations had been
formed, principally to conduct tournaments,
but there was no existing tournament to
determine the national champion. The
USGA was requested to step in, and in
January 1962, the Executive Committee
approved such a competition.
In its own quiet way, senior women's golf
has flourished over the years.
Several major competitions have sprung up
throughout the country, and, with the
expansion of women's golf, the number of
quality senior players has increased
dramatically. Many women, aged 50 and
over, for the first time find they have the
requisite time for top-level competitive
golf. Additionally, some of the nation's
finest amateurs have advanced into this
age group and still seek to test their talent
and experience on a championship level.
Many women who enter these competitions
also have been instrumental in the
development of women's golf in this
country, encouraging younger players, and
conducting tournaments at all levels.
The first Senior Women's Amateur
Championship, in 1962, at the
Manufacturer's Golf and Country Club in
Oreland, Pa., was a stroke-play showdown
of two longtime rivals. Maureen Orcutt, a
four-time Curtis Cup player, finished with a
54-hole score of 240, seven strokes ahead
of Glenna Collett Vare. In the 1920s and
1930s, Vare reigned as this country's finest
woman player with a record six victories in
the U.S. Women's Amateur.
Great players of the past have thus far
dominated the Senior Women's Amateur.
Carolyn Cudone, another former Curtis
Cupper, won the championship five times
in succession between 1968 and 1972.
Dorothy Porter won four Senior Women's
Amateur championships and is one of only
four players to have also captured the U.S.
Women's Amateur. In 1993, Anne Sander,
the Women's Amateur champion in 1958,
1961 and 1963, won her fourth Senior
Marlene Stewart Streit, U.S. Women's
Amateur champion in 1956, won the Senior
Women's Amateur in 1985 and 1994 and
was runner-up a record five times. The 38-
year span between Streit's first and last
USGA titles is the longest among all USGA
Carol Semple Thompson won the 1973
Women's Amateur and added her fourth
Senior Women's Amateur title in 2002.
After 35 years of stroke-play champions,
the 1997 championship became the first
Senior Women's Amateur to be conducted
at match play. It was the last of the 10
national amateur championships to adopt a