Julie Cole Classic

About Julie Cole

Julie Cole: Hometown Golf Pro

Julie ColeWho would have guessed that Findlay native, Julie Cole, when first introduced to golf in junior high school by her parents, Ivan and Maxine Cole, at the Sycamore Springs Golf Course would have made such a mark on women's golf at the professional level? It was evident, even during her early teens, that Julie was more than just a "good athlete." She had an outstanding athletic career both at Findlay High School and later at Ohio University (OU) where she earned a scholarship for both basketball and golf. Graduating from OU in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation, Julie immediately began playing on the amateur golf circuit in national events, and in 1979, she turned professional.

She successfully competed on the Futures Golf Tour, the Asian Tour and the European Tour winning many events worldwide. In 1985, Julie qualified for the LPGA Tour. Her playing highlights included a 4th place finish in the Ladies British Open, 4th place in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, five Top 10 finishes in 1987 and 47th on the final LPGA money list. In 1989, her hometown honored her by inducting her into the Hancock County Sports Hall of Fame. Julie continued to compete in the National Teaching and Club Professionals Division finishing in the Top 10 for eight years and in 1996 qualified for the US Women's Open. This was a pivotal point for Julie as she added another dimension to her career and became a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals Division in addition to the tour. Teaching suited her well as her peers honored her in both 1995 and 1999 as LPGA Southeast Section "Teacher of the Year." Julie taught at Peggy Kirk Bell's (another Findlay native) Golfari's at Pine Needles and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Peggy and her husband, "Bullet" Bell, have been a source of encouragement, friendship and inspiration to Julie throughout her career.

Julie currently serves as the director of instruction and managing partner at the Dana Rader Golf School at Ballantyne Resort, a Golf Magazine Top 25 Golf School in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to her outstanding playing credentials, she has continued to excel in teaching. She has been recognized in the prestigious list of Golf for Women Magazine's Top 50 Teachers and Golf Magazine's Top 475 Teachers. In 2010, she was elected into the Ohio University Sports Hall of Fame for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Julie has shown her leadership in the golf industry by serving as an LPGA National Evaluator and instructor for LPGA Practical Teaching Workshops. In addition to being honorary chair of the Julie Cole Charity Golf Classic, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the First Tee of Charlotte.

Throughout Julie's remarkable career, she has never forgotten her hometown of Findlay. In 1988, while on a visit to Findlay, she decided to identify a local charity and soon met Karen Mallett Eubanks, the director of hospice at the time. From that meeting, she contacted Ivan Gorr, an executive at Cooper Tire, who immediately got on board to support Julie organizing a charity golf tournament to benefit the local hospice program. Subsequently, Cooper was the title sponsor for this annual tournament for 17 years. Additionally, she met Dr. Charlie Spragg who became the tournament's organizing chairman.

One of the single major influences of Julie's career was her Findlay High School physical education teacher, Susan Needler. It was through their friendship and love for the game of golf that Susan and Julie organized Findlay's first women's high school golf team in 1973. Some years later, Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer and tragically died, but Susan's family has continued their love for the game of golf. In the end, while Julie has been around the world and back, she has never forgotten her roots and has steadfastly maintained her vision to "give back." The annual Julie Cole Charity Golf Tournament is still another day about many people who love the game of golf continuing to give back to our community.

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