- Associated Press - Sunday, May 21, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Donna Andrews‘ impact on the game of golf still can be felt long after she retired from the professional ranks in 2005.

The Lynchburg native is the lead instructor of a course near her current home in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and she volunteers as a teaching professional at the local community college and high school.

The dedication comes from a lesson she was taught by her parents at a young age and one she embodies to this day.

“She tries to give back to the young people and keep them excited about the game,” said her mother, Helen Andrews. “It’s about having fun and enjoying it. . It’s more than just golf.

“You help others and you do things for others. That’s part of our lives. I hope we instilled those things in her and both of our sons also.”

Donna Andrews‘ accomplishments on the golf course and her contributions to the game were highlighted Thursday evening when she headlined the second Virginia Golf Hall of Fame class.

Andrews is the first woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She will be joined in the class with Martinsville native and six-time Fox Puss Invitational champion Keith Decker, Wallace McDowell and J.C. Snead.

The induction ceremony was at The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

“Obviously I’m honored to have been included in it,” she said. “I feel like there are so many great people who have accomplished a lot in the state of Virginia. . To be honored and be included in this group is obviously very special.”

The 1985 E.C. Glass graduate joins fellow Lynchburg native Vinny Giles in the Hall of Fame. Giles was one of six inducted in the inaugural class last year.

“Two Lynchburg natives, it is pretty amazing,” said John Comninaki, director of golf at Boonsboro Country Club. “It’s hard to put it in context.”

“I just think it’s cool,” said Andrews, who hired Giles as her first and only agent while she was on the LPGA Tour.

Andrews, 50, is still active in golf more than a decade after she retired from playing on the LPGA Tour.

She is the lead teaching instructor at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and she spends one day a week volunteering as the teaching professional for the women’s golf team at Sandhills Community College.

She recently began helping out at The O’Neal School, a college preparatory private school in Southern Pines.

“I think it’s more than just her being a coach. She really is somebody that you feel like you can talk to and you can relate to,” said Danielle Washburn, who recently completed her freshman season on the women’s golf team at Sandhills Community College. “She puts it in plain terms. It’s never anything over the top; it’s not all mechanics. She gets straight to the point, puts it in terms you can relate to and you feel like she’s your mom.”

Andrews recently committed to play in the first Senior LPGA Championship July 10 to 12 at the French Lick Resort in Indiana.

The early entry list includes five members of the World Golf Hall of Fame and 12 LPGA major winners.

Andrews won six times on the LPGA Tour; her most successful season came in 1994.

She won the PING/Welch’s Championship, the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Nabisco Dinah Shore. The later victory, now known as the ANA Inspiration, was Andrews‘ first and only major championship.

“When she won her first major, I was living in North Carolina at the time, and of course, I told everybody that, ‘Hey, I played high school golf with her,’” said David Massie, who was teammates with Andrews for two seasons on the E.C. Glass golf team. “That was a big deal.”

Andrews was on the United States team that defeated the European team 13 and 7 in the 1994 Solheim Cup at Greenbrier. Droves of fans from Lynchburg made the trip to West Virginia to watch her play.

“Lynchburg . is very supportive and proud of her,” Helen Andrews said.

Donna Andrews was an accomplished junior and amateur player in Virginia. She won back-to-back VSGA Junior Girls Championships in 1983 and ‘84, won five consecutive VSGA Women’s Amateur Championships from 1985 to ‘89 and won three VSGA Women’s Stroke Play Championships in a four-year stretch (1984, ‘85 and ‘87).

“She just had such a passion to keep getting better and to compete at the highest level,” said Phil Owenby, who served as the head golf professional at Boonsboro Country Club from 1980 to 1986 and also was Andrews‘ coach from ‘80 to ‘86.

She won the 1988 North and South Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst and a year later was named a second-team All-American at the University of North Carolina.

In 1990, she began her professional golf career and enjoyed immense success.

However, she continues to give back to the game with the hopes of training the next great golfer, a trait she continues to embody long after she learned it in her Lynchburg home.

“I think that is certainly something my parents instilled in all of us, and I do it on a daily basis,” Andrews said. “I find more joy in helping these young golfers than when I was winning on the Tour.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide