So rather than fight, she surrendered and returned home to Dallas to find, in her words, “the peaceful center that I knew was somewhere inside me-or ought to be.”
During that time, she became mentor to Martina Navratilova, managing the tennis great to her first Wimbledon singles victory in 1978. Known as a cerebral golfer, Haynie taught Navratilova the art of winning and in so doing she became more in control of herself. Haynie’s body recovered, and so did her mind. In 1980, watching Jack Nicklaus win the U.S. Open on television, Haynie wondered what it would feel like to do the same thing. In 1974, she had won the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open within a few weeks of each other, but she was only 29 at the time and didn’t fully appreciate what it meant.
Now at 37, she was having thoughts of staging a comeback. “The only question I had was, ‘Do I really want to do this all over again?’ ” she said in a 1982 interview with The New York Times. “All the traveling, all the pressure of tournaments, being involved in the growing of the women’s tour? Did I want to go through all that stress again? ‘Sandra,’ I said to myself, ‘Are you that crazy?’ And the answer was, ‘Absolutely.’ ”
By 1981, she was playing a full schedule on the LPGA Tour again, and her 40th victory came that year, at the Henredon Classic. In 1982, Haynie closed her career by winning back-to-back tournaments, the Rochester International and the Peter Jackson Classic, which was her fourth career major. She won by making a 10-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to avoid a playoff with Beth Daniel.