Ferree Is At Home At Long Cove Club

Hilton, Head, S.C. -- Karen Ferree has played Long Cove Club as her home golf course for 22 years, but she hasn't played a round of golf there as important as the ones she'll play this week in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, starting Saturday (Oct. 11).


Ferree, 53, served Long Cove as its head golf professional for six years before leaving the position in 1987 when she married the director of golf, Jim Ferree , a winner on the PGA Tour back in the 1970s.

Jim has since reduced his working and teaching schedule, and Karen re-gained her amateur status in 1993 to be able to enjoy competitions just like the Women's Mid-Amateur.

She plays quite often and has done well enough to earn Carolinas Golf Association ( CGA ) Senior Women's Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, she has won the Carolinas Women's Senior Championship and the Women's South Carolina Senior Championship. On the national scene, she was a semifinalist at the 2001 USGA Senior Women's Championship, and is playing her third Women's Mid-Amateur.

Ferree qualified for the Women's Mid-Amateur with a 76 at the Landings Club in nearby Savannah , Ga. , but still has still found time to serve as co-chair of the championship's player relations committee, making sure that all the contestants have everything they need to enjoy their week at Long Cove.

“There's more pressure playing at home,” says Ferree, who has a low round of 71 at Long Cove. “I'm a bit nervous, but I'm playing well for me.”

In order to win this week, Karen will have to beat some women half her age in this 25-and-up championship that includes seven past champions. A couple of the favorites in the field are three-time champion Ellen Port of St. Louis, Mo., and Brenda Corrie Kuehn of Fletcher, N.C., who played in the 2001 U.S. Women's Open.

“I'm not as strong and maybe I'm not as long as I used to be, but I think I might be better,” Ferree told a local magazine writer. “I won't say I'm not as competitive, but there's a lot more to life than golf and hitting a good shot.”

But don't count Ferree out, no matter how understated she remains about her chances.

“ Karen will know where not to miss it and that will give her a big advantage,” says Bob Patton , head club professional. “I think she's got a chance to win it.”