KILDEER, Ill. – She once tamed Kemper Lakes.
She held off a future Hall of Famer to make history winning here, but Vicki Goetze-Ackerman isn’t getting approached by a lot of players this week wanting insight in how to play this brutish test with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship about to begin.
“Because it was so long ago,” Goetze-Ackerman said with a chuckle. “Some of them hadn’t been born that long when I won. They have no idea. I feel very confident of that.”
The young pros who don’t know, should know, because the current LPGA president was one of the game’s great amateurs. Goetze-Ackerman, 45, isn’t an active player anymore, but she remains actively involved in the success of the tour in her sixth year as tour president.
Back in 1992, Goetze-Ackerman defeated Annika Sorenstam, 1 up, in the finals of the 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Kemper Lakes. This was a couple months after winning the NCAA individual title for the University of Georgia. Goetze-Ackerman is one of just two players to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the NCAA individual title in the same year.
“When you’re living it, you don’t realize what an achievement it is,” Goetze-Ackerman said. “When you hear it mentioned later in life, it’s neat. It’s fun to hear.”
Goetze-Ackerman also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1989. She went on to a 16-year LPGA career. A short hitter, she didn’t have the same success as a pro as she did in college.
“The courses got longer and longer,” she said.
She didn’t win, but she racked up 21 top-10 finishes, and she became a respected tour leader, twice entrusted with the tour president’s job. She is a golf instructor today, married with a son.
She’s eager to watch this week’s championship unfold in her return to Kemper Lakes.
“It will bring back some memories,” she said.