Marlene Stewart Streit is quite simply the most successful amateur golfer in Canadian history. Her career spans more than five decades with at least one major amateur victory in each. She won at home – 11 Canadian Ladies Open Amateurs, nine Canadian Ladies Close Amateurs and four Canadian Ladies Senior Women’s Amateur tournaments – and abroad, where she is the only woman ever to win the Canadian, British, American, and Australian amateur titles. In 2004, she rightfully became the first Canadian member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Stewart-Streit was born March 9, 1934, in Cereal, Alberta. At 15, she began riding her bicycle to The Lookout Point Golf Club, in Fonthill, Ontario, located in the southwestern region of the province, and caddy, using the money she earned to pay the $25 club membership fee. The club pro, Gordon McInnis Sr., began giving her lessons and a year after taking up the game, she finished runner-up in the Ontario Junior Girls’ Championship. Soon she would become a national figure. For winning the 1953 British Women’s Amateur, she received a heroine’s welcome. In Toronto, 15,000 people cheered as she drove by in an open convertible.