SHARON MILLER: was yesterday elected to the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame; CONGRATULATIONS! We are all so very proud of you!
I first met Sharon ten years ago. She didn’t have any reason to know who I was, but I most certainly had read about and knew of her. On that Colorado afternoon, I just watched her hit golf balls. By this time, Sharon was retired from her playing career, but her swing was almost trance like in its beauty. I watched her hit balls, with a five iron, for an hour. The furthest any shot was away from its target, was 10 feet. The rhythm of each swing was so effortless, so graceful. It was the finest display of ball striking that I have ever seen.
Over the ensuing months, Sharon and I became friends. At the end of that summer, I pitched Sharon on this crazy notion that I had, about starting a golf school. We asked Sharon to become our National Head Professional. Am still not sure why, she said yes, but she did. Sharon believed in me when few others did, and ten years further on, Sharon has helped the Bird Golf Academy, become the finest golf school, in the world.
Sharon’s career is the stuff of legend. She grew up in Michigan and attended Western Michigan University. At Western Michigan, Sharon lettered in five sports, and is to this day, still the only athlete in the history of Michigan sports to have had that distinction. Sharon joined the LPGA Tour, in 1966, and immediately became a consistent money winner. Over the next fifteen years, Sharon won 3 tournaments on Tour and recorded, several top finishes in Major championships. Sadly, Sharon’s nemesis was a balky putter, but had it been more cooperative, Sharon would be in another Hall of Fame; the World Golf, Hall of Fame.
When her playing career came to an end, Sharon devoted herself to teaching and it is perhaps, in this arena that she shines, like no other. In 1986, she became the Teaching Editor for what was then a fledgling magazine, Golf for Women. Sharon’s articles are to this day, a ‘must read’ for someone who wants to better understand this game. Sharon’s drive, insight and passion, are some of the reasons that Golf for Women magazine is now the largest women’s sporting magazine in the world. Sharon was awarded the LPGA Teaching Division’s greatest honor in 1989, when she was named the National Teacher of the Year.
The adjective, great, is thrown around a lot these days, when people discuss teachers. In my opinion, a great teacher is someone who never stops learning. Someone, to whom, their student always comes first. Sharon understands more methods and styles of teaching than any teacher that I have ever met. She is without question the most widely read and learned golf teacher that I have ever known. Whenever there is a new “golf gadget”, Sharon is the first person to own it. Whenever there is a hot new “method”, Sharon is the first person to study it. She has an unquenched desire for knowledge, and a humility that is extraordinary. Sharon is; a great teacher.
Through her teaching, Sharon has influenced and inspired thousands of lives. Sharon has donated hundreds of hours by helping people with disabilities learn to play golf. Imagine the joy of a handicapped person realizing that they can play a game that they would never have imagined that they could. Another example of how this grand pursuit mirrors life. We have received hundreds of letters over the last 9 years; from students of Sharon’s whose universal comment is that they are so much the better, for knowing Sharon.
The legacy that we leave on this earth is not how big our house was or how many mutual funds we have acquired. It is how many lives that we touch. Sharon has been selfless in her pursuit of helping people. If you were to ask one of Sharon’s students why it is that they enjoy golf so much, they would tell you, that it is because of her. Sharon has helped people understand that anything in life is possible. When someone hits a shot that they had never thought possible, imagine the confidence that inspires in them, to believe that they can do anything.
Sharon’s playing career and accomplishments are worthy of inclusion in the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame. Sharon’s accomplishments as a human being will put her in Life’s, Hall of Fame.