Nov. 10, 2022

Mary Mills - Part 1 (The Early Years and the 1963 Women's U.S. Open)

Mary Mills - Part 1 (The Early Years and the 1963 Women's U.S. Open)

Three-time major championship winner Mary Mills begins her story by sharing her memories of growing up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where she took up the game the game at age 11. With regular lessons from 1935 PGA Champion Johnny Revolta, Mary enjoyed early amateur success winning the Women's State Am eight times in a row starting at age 14. She met Messrs. Hogan and Jones at age 14 and found inspiration from those encounters. Mary played for four years on the men's golf team at Millsaps College before turning professional in 1962. It wasn't long before she won her first event and major, the 1963 Women's U.S. Open. Mary Mills shares her early years and first big win as a pro, "FORE the Good of the Game."

Mills, Mary Profile Photo

Mills, Mary

Golf Professional

Starting golf at the age of 11, Mary Mills has had many remarkable golf accomplishments. Learning from some of golf’s most legendary teachers, like Johnny Revolta, Tommy Armour, Paul Runyan, Bob Toski, and Ángel de la Torre, to name a few, prepared her to be great.

Mary attended Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and was the No. 1 golfer on the men’s team for four years, being there was no women’s team. During that time, she won eight consecutive Mississippi State Amateur Championships. This set the tone for her golf career and hailed her as one of Mississippi’s finest golfers.

In 1962, Mary turned pro and joined the LPGA Tour and was named Rookie-of-the-Year. During her 18 years on tour, Mary won nine events, including three major championships. Her first win was in 1963. At only 23 years old and her second year on tour, Mary won the U.S. Open by finishing at 3-under. With this great feat under her belt, she went on to win the LPGA Championship in 1964 and again in 1973. After such great success, Mary was inducted into the Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Following retirement in 1982, Mary used her master’s degree in landscape architecture to help co-design several golf courses and even took up professional photography.

Mary now spends her time as the East Coast Director of Instruction with Bird Golf Academy, sharing her extraordinary talent with her students. After 29 years of being an instructor, her golf students are continually amazed at the golf skills she possesses and how she shares her love and passion for golf with others.