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
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
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.