Martha Jones Lang has achieved so much in the game of golf…both on the golf course as a very fine player and through her tireless work for the United States Golf Association and in amateur golf in general.
She is a highly decorated amateur golfer who joined the USGA Women’s Committee in 1999 and served as chairman in 2011-12. She now serves on the USGA’s Executive Committee.
It was announced in mid-December that she would be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, at a ceremony slated for May 21.
Click here to read the official press release.
Her parents, Bessie and Soney Jones, got her started in the game in Decatur. She won the Girls State Junior a record four times and played in the U.S. Girls Junior three times, losing to eventual winner Hollis Stacy in the semifinals one year.
Lang played golf for the first women’s golf teams at the University of Alabama from 1971 to 1975. In the AIAW, the precursor to the NCAA Tournament, she placed in the top four for three straight years, but never won it.
After college, she started work as an accountant for Shell Oil and moved to Houston. She transferred to Chicago, continuing to play a few national amateur tournaments. As well as winning the ’88 U.S. Mid-Amateur, she came close in the U.S. Amateur finishing runner-up to Sara LeBrun Ingram in 1991. This led to her selection for the 1992 Curtis Cup team, which she also captained in 1996.
After a move to Louisiana, she won an extraordinary 10 consecutive State Amateur titles! Which, combined with a victory each in Alabama and Texas, means she has won state titles in three states. She also won the Louisiana State Mid-Amateur seven times and the Louisiana State Senior three times.
In 2006, she and her husband, Ken, moved back to the state to Birmingham. They play golf at Shoal Creek.
She still competes in the U.S. Senior Amateur, losing in the semifinals as recently as 2004. And in recent years she has won the AGA’s Women’s Senior Amateur multiple times.
And, along the way, she played in seven U.S. Opens, making two cuts, and she was just 16 when she played in her first one.
She was inducted into the Birmingham Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2009 and she received the Joe H. King Award, the Alabama Golf Association’s top award which is given periodically to amateur golfers in Alabama for their contributions to golf, in 2013.
Early in 2015 she was invited to join the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. She accepted the R&A’s offer to be an “ordinary member,” which is a paying member.
Undoubtedly she has played, officiated and administered women’s golf at the very highest level.