Beth Bauer Grace, former junior star, back at Pinehurst as a golf parent

Beth Bauer Grace had trouble getting her 8-year-old daughter Courtney off the Thistle Dhu putting course at Pinehurst.

Courtney, we have to each lunch.

Courtney, don’t you want to swim?

“She’d stay out there for two to three hours,” said Grace of the familiar scene.

Courtney was at Pinehurst to compete in a U.S. Kids regional event. While there she met Alex Pano, star of the Netflix film “The Short Game,” and asked for her autograph. Pano was in town prepping for this week’s North & South Women’s Amateur. Inside the clubhouse, Courtney got to look at the list of past champions of the North & South and read a familiar name. It’s a who’s who list that includes Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Hollis Stacy, Morgan Pressel, Danielle Kang … and mom.

Grace, 40, who competed as Beth Bauer, won it in 1998 and 1999. The Fourth of July weekend marked her first trip back to Pinehurst in 21 years. Daugther Courtney broke 40 in both days of competition, a personal best.

“I think the coolest thing right now is being her caddie,” said Beth, who like most parents often wonders if she’s doing the right thing.

This coming from a woman who seemingly did everything right as a junior player as she was the nation’s best heading into Duke and the best heading out, launching into a pro career as one of America’s sweethearts. Alas, the 2002 LPGA Rookie of the Year didn’t have the professional career most expected, but she couldn’t be happier now as a wife and mom in Birmingham, Alabama.

Grace Park, Beth Bauer Grace and Angela Jerman Ormsby (courtesy AJGA)

Beth Bauer met Andy Grace on her 28th birthday in March 2008 while driving a beverage cart at Heritage Harbor Golf and Country Club near her home in Odessa, Florida. The former Blue Devil had gone back to college to earn a degree in elementary education from the University of Phoenix’s online program but never took a full-time job teaching after becoming pregnant with Courtney.

A local pro at Cypress Run Golf Club urged Beth to get back into the golf business and she worked her way up to director of golf. The little girl who dragged a club along the ground while she watched her dad work and play as a club pro had grown up to do the same.

Grace family – Beth, Courtney and Andy – at Pinehurst (courtesy Beth Bauer Grace)

Two and a half years ago the family moved to Birmingham, Alabama, for Andy’s job and they now live at Greystone Golf and Country Club on the Legacy side. Courtney and her mom often hop on the family golf cart to go work on short game. Beth works part-time as a merchandiser at the Old Overton Club.

“I have pictures of (Courtney) in a car seat in a basket in the back of a golf cart,” said Beth. “She’s always been around it, kind of like I was

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By: Beth Ann Nichols
Title: Beth Bauer Grace, former junior star, back at Pinehurst as a golf parent
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Published Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2020 12:00:14 +0000

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