Story written by Michael A. Dean
We often need to take the time to look back and remember how it all began. What triggered the thought for me was the November issue of Golf Digest Magazine, the one with a young Arnold Palmer on the cover. While thumbing through the issue, I saw the face of a young lady smiling broadly at me and she immediately piqued my interest. It was little Maggie, Maggie Noel from Houston on pages 15-16 and 17. Noel is Golf Digest’s Best Young Teacher in Houston, but we knew her back then.
In 2005, while attending the Sixth Annual Bill Dickey Invitational (BDI) in Orlando, it was apparent that there were a group of young talented golfers who were focused and dedicated to the game. The players seemed to set themselves apart from the rest of the field. They treated every one of their competitors with grace and practiced esprit de corps down through the ranks, but their golfing skills set them apart. In the ladies winner’s circle that year were, Cheyenne Woods of Phoenix, Noel, Sarah Young of Florida and Mackenzie Mack of Nevada.
As has been previously chronicled in this space, Woods graduated from Wake Forest University after four years and is now competing on the LPGA Tour. Woods competed in the BDI five straight years (2004-2008) and has a record of two-firsts and three-second place finishes.
Noel graduated from University of North Texas and thought about pursuing a career as a tour pro but “performance anxiety” hampered her chances so she became a golf instructor. She wears stylish fashions, wild hairdo’s and has a niche in the industry. So much so, she is rated the best in Houston. Maggie competed in the BDI four years 2003-2006, finished third, second and first.
Mack attended Indiana State University and was the first Black golfer to compete on the women’s golf team. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in Marketing and later earned an MBA from Scott School of Business. She served as assistant golf coach one year while doing graduate work and co-founded Tee it Up, Inc, a non-profit organization to help grow the game. Mackenzie lives in Tampa and was rated one of the Best Young Teachers in the Southeast. She works at historic Rogers Park Golf Course. Mackenzie played in the 2005 BDI and finished third behind Woods and Noel.
As for Sara Young of Jacksonville, she went on the play golf at Florida State University and earned an undergraduate degree. Trying to find more detailed information about her was too difficult but if she is anything like the other three ladies, she is somewhere making a difference. She played in the 2005 BDI and finished fourth.
Other Teebits: Also cited in the magazine with a photo was Carlos Brown of Texas who operates a Golf Academy in Rowlett. He is certified to teach amputees and physically challenged golfers and also is a certified Mental Trainer. Brown was rated one of the best teachers in the southwest.