18 Questions With … Carolyn Creekmore

Nov. 3, 2009

Texan Carolyn Creekmore began her foray into competitive amateur at the age of 24 and remains to this day one of the fiercest competitors in women’s golf. In 2004 at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif., Creekmore finally claimed that elusive national championship by winning the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur. This past September, Creekmore, 57, was the runner-up to Sherry Herman in the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va. Ken Klavon, the USGA’s Editor of Digital Media, sat down with Creekmore recently to pick her mind about golf, her loves outside of the game and one surprising intangible.

How did you get your start in golf?

We just all played. Everybody in the family played. It’s just what we did. I’d play about two holes and then go swimming and then they’d all go and finish. I didn’t play in high school but I started playing for real when I was 24 in Corpus Christi [Texas] where there wasn’t much to do.

I don’t know if we ever took a vacation that wasn’t golf related. So I didn’t know any different, and they were always fun places.

Where does your competitive nature come from?

My grandfather, Steve Creekmore Sr., was the first undefeated quarterback at the University of Arkansas when they were the  

 Creekmore18QuestionsInside1
Carolyn Creekmore's lone national title came in the 2004 USGA Senior Women's Amateur.(USGA Museum)
 Arkansas Cardinals, and he won every golf tournament he ever entered. But I don’t think he ever started playing until he was 30-something. He was a semi-pro baseball player. My dad said he was unbelievable.

Why is winning a USGA championship so special?

Because you have done what you set out to do. That you have actually done it. All the hard work, all the hours and you actually pulled it off. It’s a miracle. Until you do it, you do not know how much of a miracle it is – I think. All the stars have to be aligned.

What is your most prized possession?

That would be my two dogs. I have two Springer Spaniels. Gunner and Annabelle. She is a southern belle.

What was the last book you read?

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.

Do you have a motto you live by?

I don’t think anybody has ever said it as a motto, but, ‘Take a stand for the truth.’

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by God and the nature of what he produces. I am inspired by the truth, let’s put it that way.

Do you have any heroes?

My dad’s my hero. His name his Steve Creekmore Jr. and he’s 83.

Why is he your hero?

He’s a kind, generous man. Of all the great things he ever taught me – he taught me a lot – he allowed me to have fun. I think that’s one of the greatest gifts, seeing other people who have not been allowed that freedom – it was an incredible gift he gave me.

Do you have a favorite golf club?

My favorite golf club is either my driver or putter, depending how it’s going.

Do you have a favorite course?

Before they changed it,  Atlantic City Country Club. I haven’t played it since they changed it. And Augusta [National].

What courses haven’t you played that top your list?

Pine Valley. National [Golf Links of America] and Shinnecock [Hills]. I would really like to play those two. I would probably choose those two ahead of Pine Valley. I love Long Island.

Do you have a favorite hobby besides golf?

I’d almost have to say sailing.

What is one thing people don’t know about you that they may be surprised to hear?

I think I’ve been an open book [laughing]. That I wore braces on my legs when I was a baby because they were crooked. I’m sure  

Creekmore18QuestionsInside2
If she hadn't taken up golf, Carolyn Creekmore says she would have raced sailboats or showed horses. (USGA Museum)
 no one knows that. There wasn’t anything wrong with me. I just think they were bowlegged or wrong. They tilted the wrong way.

If you never discovered golf, what else would you be doing?

I’d either be racing sailboats or showing horses or competing with horses somehow. And I’d hope I would be flying airplanes.

What is your favorite sports team and sport besides golf?

My favorite sport besides golf is baseball, but I my favorite team was and always has been the Green Bay Packers, and this was before Donny [Anderson]. (Note: Creekmore’s long-time boyfriend is Anderson, who played under Vince Lombardi for the Packers). I used to go to camp in Wisconsin and my dad used to come and pick me up.

One time we flew over Green Bay and my dad said, ‘Look, they’re practicing.’ I was about 13. So we circled the stadium and watched them practice. And it was Donny’s rookie year.  From that moment, I thought they were my team because I had seen them. That’s when Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor and Bart Starr were on the team.

You have been selected to compete on American Idol or Dancing With The Stars?

Dancing With The Stars because I can’t sing a lick. I’m a pretty good dancer and it would be fun to do. My dad and Frank Stranahan were friends from golf. When I would be in Florida playing in tournaments and he’d call Frank and see if I could stay with him. Well Frank and I would go take dance lessons. He loved to dance. And he needed someone to dance, so I’d go to the lessons.

The first time Donny and I went somewhere with a band, I found that Donny was a phenomenal dancer.

Do you have a favorite Rule of Golf?

I love the Rules. I love talking about the Rules. When people gather around, I’ll say, ‘Have you heard about this Rule or do you know about this Rule?’ I do love the Rules. They crack me up.

 

 

 

 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image