Eldridge | Inducted 2020 | Category: Professional Golfer
Beth Bader, originally from Eldridge, began playing golf at the age of 12 and never looked back.
Bader, who was quite successful in Iowa, won the 1991 Iowa Junior Open, 1991 Des Moines Open and 1992 Waterloo Junior Open. She continued to build her resume with a win at the 1995 Quad City Women’s Amateur and a runner-up finish at the Iowa Women’s Amateur.
As a member and captain of the Iowa State University (ISU) women’s golf team, Bader was a medalist at the 1993 Northern Illinois Huskie Invitational and was the team’s most valuable player in 1993-94. Bader also was a runner-up at the Big Eight Championship and is the only player from ISU to earn All-Big Eight honors for two years. In 1996, Bader was named ISU’s Female Athlete of the Year. Bader earned her bachelor’s degree from ISU in 1997 in Sport Management.
Bader never missed a tournament in her stellar ISU career (42-straight meets), ranking among the top-100 players nationally throughout the majority of her time in Ames. Her 24 career top-10 finishes is still an ISU record.
“This is quite an honor,” Bader said after hearing of her induction. “I remember starting out in Eldridge. My sister and I would hit balls into a field, pick them up and do it again. That brings back a lot of memories for me. Playing in Iowa toughened me up. I became one of the best players in tough conditions. I was never a great ball striker, but I could play in those tough conditions. I had a great imagination that helped my short game. I owe a lot to growing up and playing in Iowa.”
Following college, Bader continued her outstanding career on the Futures Tour for four years before earning her card onto the LPGA Tour (2000-2012), as one of the few native Iowans to compete in the pinnacle of women’s golf. She played on the LPGA Tour for more than a decade, totaling over $1 million in career earnings and competing in 26 major championships. Her best finish in a LPGA event was a tie for fourth at the 2007 LPGA Corning Classic.
“Beth was an incredible athlete for ISU but, an even better teammate and individual to coach,” Bader’s college coach Julie Manning said. “She had an infectious personality and was a true leader. She loved to compete and was an athlete that loved competing for the win when the competition was tight and the pressure was on. She was a ‘gamer’ and loved to win tournaments and championships. She always represented ISU with class and was a true sportswoman, sustaining relationships to date, from her days on the ISU fairways.”
- 1991 Iowa Junior Open Champion
- 1991 Des Moines Open Champion
- 1992 Waterloo Junior Open Champion
- 1993 Big 8 Tournament runner-up
- 1993-94 Iowa State University (ISU) women’s golf team Most Valuable Player
- 1995 Quad City’s Women’s Amateur Champion
- Earned All-Big 8 honors twice
- 1996 ISU’s Female Athlete of the Year
- First four-time NCAA Regional qualifier in ISU history
- Made the LPGA Tour in 2000
- Played on tour for more than a decade, winning over $1 million in career earnings.
- Played in 26 major championships
- Best finish – T4th 2007 LPGA Corning Classic