In 2008 we honor two inaugural inductees into the IWGA Hall of Fame. These two women have impacted golf for women in Illinois both as exceptional players and role models to the young women who were to follow in their footsteps. From 1953 to 1974 two individuals dominated Illinois Women’s Golf Association tournaments. In 1953, the State Amateur Championship was won by 15 year old Lois Drafke and for the next 20 years either Lois Drafke or Shirley Dommers won this tournament 14 times.
Read more about Shirley Dommers and Lois Drafke below.
Shirley Dommers’ contributions to golf include active service on the IWGA board for 24 years – including service as president and now Director Emeritus. She was on the Women’s Western Golf Association board for 6 years. shirley coached girl’s golf at Belvidere Highs School before Title IX.
Shirley was born in Kansas City. She was an athletic youngster and challenged herself in many sports. She was a champion at her Missouri high school in both tennis as well as ping pong. Her gather encouraged her to try golf and she finally conceded at the age of 14. She took two lessons a week for six weeks and hit lots of golf balls but was banned from playing on the course because her pro wanted her to “groove her swing” before she played. She and a friend would sneak onto the course “pre-groove” fro a quick 18 or 36 holes. She was hooked. Shirley credits this pro for getting her off to the right start. Five years later, in 1946 as a 19 year old junior in college, she won the Iowa Amateur. She went on to graduate from the Unversity of Iowa majoring in Physical Education.
In 1954 and living abroad while her husband was in the service, Shirley won the Women’s International Championship of Italy as well as the Women’s International Championship of Switzerland. She met the former King Leopold of Belgium at one of these tournaments, he challenged her to a putting contests with his hickory shafted putter. Shirley accepted and WON.
24 years on IWGA board including service as president and now director emeritus
6 years on WWGA board
Girls golf coach Belvidere High School
5-time winner of IWGA State Amateur Tournament – 1957, 1961, 1968, 1969, 1974.
4-time winner of IWGA Senior Tournament – 1976, 1981, 1982, 1983
Lois Drafke grew up on Acacia Country Club, the only child of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Drafke, who was the club superintendent there. She took to golf early, swinging an iron with youthful gusto and came to the attention of the club pro, who noticed her keen interest in the game and gave her some basic instruction. She played in her first state tournament as a junior entrant held at Aurora CC at the age of 14 and won her first junior title at age 15 the same year she won the first of her IWGA State Am titles. She followed this victory with State Am wins in 1955, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1970 and 1973. Her runner up finishes were equally impressive and her fellow competitors were always aware that Lois was lurking somewhere in the field and could not be counted out until the final matches were completed. She does recall that her win in 1964 at Quincy Country Club against Sandra Fullmer took 38 holes to complete. A little more time and it would have been called due to darkness. Lois also won many Northern Illinois Women’s Golf Association Championships at Cog Hill Country Club.
Accomplishments: 9-time winner of IWGA State Amateur Tournament – the first at age 15 in 1954. Other championships in 1955, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1970, and 1973.
Lois served as a board member of the IWGA. She was employed as a secretary in the western suburbs, spent her life in that general area and is now retired. She was a scratch bowler and has always enjoyed working in her flower garden.