USGA WOMEN'S STATE TEAM
Coble Reflects on Historic Women’s State Team Career
September 20, 2017 | FAR HILLS, N.J.
By David Shefter, USGA
Laura Coble, of Augusta, Ga., has enjoyed unprecedented success in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship, helping her home state register three of its record four titles. The 2011 championship came in Savannah, Ga., at The Landings Club, making Georgia one of two states to win on home soil (Minnesota, 2001). With the Women’s State Team Championship being retired after this year’s 12th competition, USGA senior staff writer David Shefter spoke with Coble, who is competing in her sixth Women’s State Team on Sept. 26-28 at The Club at Las Campanas with Ivy Shepherd and Margaret Starosto.
Q. What did the Women’s State Team Championship mean to you?
COBLE: “There’s a couple of facets of why I have loved it so much. I love the team concept. Representing your state … there’s no higher calling other than representing your country, which I would love to do at some point. And the history … this is a young USGA championship, but the history of the trophy is very special.”
Q. Why is the trophy unique?
COBLE: “It’s called the Judy Bell Trophy [after the first female USGA president], but it was donated [in 1997] by Evie Moreland, who was a member of the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Committee. She loved golf and she wanted to donate a trophy to the USGA. It was given in honor of the country’s bicentennial, and it has all a relief of all of the historical events of the United States around the top edge. There were only a certain number of those bowls made. It’s sterling silver and 24-karat gold on the inside, and it is super heavy. I’ve had the pleasure of drinking champagne out of it three times, and I hate to see it go away.”
Q. Did any of your three titles stand out?
COBLE: “I can’t say any one of them was more special than the other. But the first one [in 2005] was awesome. When I look back now, there was something really special that week. You just had a feeling … I’ve had it happen in other tournaments before. You just try not to get in your own way.
“They’ve all been real special. Two with Sissy Gann [as captain], who is a great friend. [USGA committeewoman] Pat Clarke and I talk regularly and we always talk about those memories. She lives in Sea Island (Georgia], and she came to Savannah in 2011.”
Q. What about being the one constant competitor for those first three winning Georgia teams?
COBLE: “That was fun to win with different folks. Some of the players – like Mariah [Stackhouse], Dori Carter, Rachel Dai and Amira Alexander, and Jean [Reynolds] and Kyu Ri [Ban] – have been kids to me. It was just a really neat and fun experience. They can never take that away. You’re a national champion and I just really relish being able to say that to those kids. You can always draw on that.”
Q. Why was Georgia always competitive, even in the years it didn’t win?
COBLE: “It needs to be handled like a national championship. That’s just respect for the event. And it was important. It got a lot of folks’ attention after we won it for the first time [in 2005]. We were able to get a point on the board for Georgia, and we poked fun at the men [who never won it]. We’re hoping we can go out with a fifth [title in 2017].”
Q. How about getting the chance to play in the final Women’s State Team?
COBLE: “It will be sentimental for sure. I’ve never been to New Mexico, so I am looking forward to playing in the desert.”