LPGA Hall of Fame
by Doug Greengard
Betsy King remembers January 1980. It was at the beginning of her third year on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour and she had made the biggest?and best?decision of her life: asking Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Savior. "It took that kind of pressure for me to be reached and for me to understand that I can't do everything," said King. "I saw that I needed the Lord in my life and that I wasn't all self-sufficient. The pressure of playing tournament golf had gotten me to that point."
After King made that decision, she felt the burden lifted of her shoulders and experienced a sense of peace. King's personal life was great, but the same could not be said for her golf game. "I had my worst year on tour," she said. "I had people say to me, 'you've lost your competitive edge, you're a Christian and you don't seem to take it as seriously as you should.' It probably took me a little while to find the balance."
Finding balance did not take long at all. King found a new teacher to help with her game and her level of play began to escalate. "God rewarded me that way just for being faithful in that first year," added King. She proceeded to notch 28 victories from 1984 to 1992 and upon winning her 30th, the ShopRite Classic in 1995, she was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame. King has won six major tournament titles and amassed many honors, including LPGA Tour Player of the Year three times. Making Christ the focus of her life has been the key to keeping her career in proper perspective. "I have to say that's a constant challenge," said King. "Because when you're a professional athlete many people interact with you based on how you perform. It's a constant struggled to keep that in perspective. I always like to say 'God loves me the same whether I shoot 68 or 80.' It's a constant lesson I have to remind myself of particularly when I do have a bad day on the course."
In 1998, the Limekiln, Pennsylvania resident also became the first player in LPGA history to pass the six million-dollar mark in career earnings. King has much to be thankful for and shows her appreciation by using every possible opportunity to glorify God and share His goodness with others. "It's a great platform," said King. "And I don't mind being on a platform in trying to use the success that I've had to reach others for Christ."
Doug Greengard is the host/producer of the Christian Sports Minute, a radio feature airing on nearly 350 stations in North America. To get Heroes of Faith, a book with stories about 24 well-known sports figures, send $10 to Greengard Family Ministries, P.O. Box 113013, Metairie, LA 70011. Visit the website at www.christiansportsminute.com