When Donna Andrews was 26, she had a decision to make. She had just sunk a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the 1994 Dinah Shore to clinch her first LPGA major championship. She signed her scorecard and gave a television interview, but the gallery at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., wasn’t going to let her slip back to the locker room to celebrate. There was a tradition to uphold: A dip in Poppie’s Pond.
Since 1988, when Amy Alcott convinced her caddie to spontaneously jump into the lake near Mission Hills’ 18th green, the Dinah Shore champion had taken the plunge. Andrews couldn’t turn down her chance.
“I was dry when I signed my card and did TV, but then the crowd was yelling for me to go in,” Andrews told the Washington Post. “Anything to please the crowd.”
Andrews’ major victory was of no surprise to anyone who had followed her amateur career, in particular, her success in Virginia State Golf Association events. Andrews, a native of Lynchburg, won her first VSGA Junior Girls’ Championship in 1983, starting a seven-year run of dominance on the Commonwealth’s golf scene. She won another junior girls’ title in 1984 and grabbed her first VSGA Women’s Amateur Championship title in 1985.
She won four more Women’s Amateurs before turning professional in the summer of 1989. Andrews, who played at the University of North Carolina, also won three VSGA Women’s Stroke Play Championships, leaving her with 10 career titles. She’s the only woman in VSGA history to have won 10 championships.
She won six times on the LPGA Tour, including the major title at the Dinah Shore, which is now known as the ANA Inspiration. Andrews also made two appearances on the U.S. Solheim Cup team. After spending some time as an on-course reporter for ESPN’s LPGA broadcast team, Andrews settled into a career as a teaching professional in Pine Needles, N.C. A 2005 inductee of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Andrews is the first woman to be inducted into the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame.