Juli Inkster is almost as proud of her daytime job as a Hall of Fame golfer as she is of her fulltime job as a mother of two girls, Hayley and Cori.
Inkster’s achievements as an amateur alone are almost deserving of placement in the World Golf Hall of Fame. She learned the game at Pasatiempo G.C. in Northern California, where she practiced before and after school every day. Like many of the juniors her age she applied for a job at the golf course to gain extra playing privileges and started out parking carts and picking up range balls before graduating to being the “shop girl.” That’s where she met her future husband, Brian, a pro who recognized Juli’s untapped potential.
Inkster captured three U.S. Women’s Amateur titles between 1980-1982. “When I look back at it now I don’t know how in the world I won three in a row because in match play you get somebody hot and you’re out of there,” said Inkster. “It’s probably my best accomplishment as a golfer, either professional or amateur.” Before turning pro, she also won the 1981 California Amateur, represented the United States on the Curtis Cup team in 1982 and was a collegiate All-American at San Jose State four years.
Inkster graduated to the LPGA Tour in 1983 and won her first title in only her fifth start. She became the first LPGA rookie to win two major championships in one season-the 1984 Nabisco Dinah Shore and the du Maurier Classic. Suddenly, she was the brightest young star in women’s golf.
Inkster was a consistent winner during the 1980s, winning four times in 1986 and collecting her second Dinah Shore title in 1989. In 1992, she lost out on a third Dinah Shore title to Dottie Pepper in sudden death and the U.S. Women’s Open, the one trophy she desperately wanted, to Patty Sheehan in an 18-hole playoff.