Former professional bowler now golf pro at Harlingen Country Club

PALM VALLEY — As the golf professional at Harlingen Country Club, Liz Richardson is always busy tending to the day-to-day operations of keeping a golf course running.

This week, however, Richardson expects to really have her hands full as the club prepares to host the annual Life Begins at 40 golf tournament. But after 16 years at HCC, it’s nothing she can’t handle.

Richardson, who was born in Henderson, Texas, but moved to Harlingen as a child, began working at Harlingen Country Club shortly after becoming a member.

“I was always here playing golf, so one day I asked if I could work here and they found me a place,” she said. “I started as a clerk and worked my way up the ladder until I eventually found my way to the golf pro shop.”

Richardson, who is a 1972 graduate of Harlingen High School, received her golf pro certification just last year. Ironically, though, golf was not always her sport of choice.

“For 10 years I was a member of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association,” Richardson said. “I was ranked No. 1 in Texas for a while at one point in my career and had a 220 average.”

“At that time you only made enough money to get you to the next tournament, but it was fun.”

Richardson said that it was her sister-in-law who really got her interested in playing golf.

“And once I got a taste for it, I was hooked,” she concluded.

This year, Richardson must contend with a slightly different LBA 40 schedule.

In the past, the tournament began with a qualifying round and was then followed by the actual match-play event, which ran from Tuesday through Friday.

“This year, however, the qualifying tournament was scratched and match-play actually begins on Wednesday and runs through Saturday, when the finals will be played,” Richardson said. “The new schedule will keep me on my toes, but I’ll be ready.”

After 16 years, she’s always ready.