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Jane Geddes

Jane Geddes stands tall and distinct in the world of golf as one of only a handful of women to have carved a dynamic career that straddles both competitive play and leadership in the sport’s administration. A two-time major championship winner and a ferocious competitor, Geddes’s place in golf history is both solid and multifaceted.

Born in Huntington, New York, Geddes began her tryst with golf at the young age of 13. Her athletic prowess, however, wasn’t limited to golf alone. She received ten varsity letters in high school across five different sports, signaling her future as a formidable sportswoman. After a stint at the University of Louisville, Geddes transferred to Florida State University, where she was introduced to pro-level golf. In 1983, she graduated with a degree in leisure services but taken away much more than academics, she had found her calling in golf.

Geddes’s professional career took off with an excellent trajectory. She joined the LPGA Tour in 1983 and by the third year, she was already establishing her presence and prowess. The year 1986 marked a landmark achievement for Geddes — she won her first LPGA championship against Sally Little in an 18-hole playoff. The same year she continued her winning streak by securing her second major at the U.S. Women’s Open. During her playing career, she clinched 11 LPGA Tour wins that etch her name as one of the fierce competitors of her time.

Beyond her competitive career, Geddes has been intrinsic to the business side of golf. After retiring from professional play in the late 1990s, she dabbled into sports administration and rapidly rose through the ranks in the executive world. From serving as the LPGA Tour’s Vice President of Competition to Chief of Operations at the WWE, Geddes has shown that her skill set goes beyond the greens. In 2016, she was appointed as the Executive Director of the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), truly completing her transformation from one of the game’s fiercest competitors to one of its leading administrators.

Geddes’s impact on the golf course extended into her personal life as well. An advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, her decision to come out as gay without unnecessary fanfare is admired. Her life and work have been characterized by the same no-nonsense commitment her fans saw on the greens, and she has used her platform and influence to contribute meaningfully to issues she’s passionate about.

Geddes’s career illustrates the dynamic shift of women in golf, showing that they are more than just players. They are brand ambassadors, strategists, and administrators that push boundaries and make significant impacts on and off the field. Her career combines both the sporting and business aspects of golf, making her unique. Not only was she a fierce competitor who tested the limits and made a remarkable journey, but she also sailed effortlessly into the world of golf administration, shaping the future of the game.

There are many golfers with impressive records and talent. Still, few can combine world-class playing with successful administrative positions like Geddes. Throughout her career, she exemplified the combination of perseverance, skill, and strategy — both in the green field and in the board room. Today, she continues to inspire a new generation of golfers as she represents not only success in sport but also inclusivity and diversity within it.

As a testament to her magnificent contribution to the sport, Geddes was inducted into the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 and is considered one of the finest golfer of her generation, with influence reaching beyond her time on the professional circuit. Her remarkable journey reflects how she has consistently remained a force to be reckoned with, a true golf master in every sense of the word!

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