Editor’s Note: this Q&A below on Meg Mallon is a continuation of the feature story in February’s Michigan Golf Journal, to provide extra content that didn’t fit in the magazine. To read the full story from the beginning, click here.
Question: What went through your head when getting the Hall of Fame call?
Meg Mallon: “The Commissioner called me and I was really surprised. I was overwhelmed and emotional. I knew I had the qualifications to get in but anytime something’s up for a vote you just never know what’s going to happen amongst your peers. So, to find that out is something I’ll never forget.
“I love my fellow inductees. It’s just a great class.”
Question: Does any one of your 15 lifetime holes-in-one (8 coming on the LPGA Tour) stand out?
Meg Mallon answered that her very first hole-in-one came at age 16, playing in an event with her brother as bad weather was rolling in nearby. She was “deathly afraid of lightning” but her brother told her the storm seemed a little way off.
“My brother made me stay so I took my shoes off, I ran to the tee, hit my shot and ran back to the cart. Then everyone starts screaming the ball went in the hole. So that’s a hard one to forget.”
Mallon added that with all her successes in golf, the one thing she hasn’t attained, but would have liked to, was a double eagle.
Question: What stands out to you about the way Michiganders embrace golf?
Meg Mallon: “Oh, very passionate about the game of golf, and the great golf courses too. There’s so many great ones in metro Detroit but all around the state. Golf has obviously been a passion for Michiganders for over a hundred years, to embrace the game with all the great golf courses.”
She added that one of her ‘bucket list’ courses would be Tom Doak’s The Loop at Forest Dunes; and the private Dunes Club in New Buffalo.
Question: Your thoughts on Michigan hosting two LPGA Tour events and 3 Symetra Tour?
Meg Mallon: “It’s so great. It just shows you how passionate people are and open to the women’s game as well, which is really fun to watch. People can learn so much from the women players so it’s great Michigan is providing an opportunity for the women’s game.”
Mallon’s Farmington Hills Mercy High School coach Vicki Kowalski also had additional memories and stories to tell:
“Just starting out Meg was one of the best players in the state. She could out-drive anybody. At that time most girls could not reach 200 yards on their drives, and she was consistent at 210 yards without a problem, so she always had the advantage of being closer to the green on her approach.”
Kowalski recounted a team playoff at Oak Pointe in Brighton where the second hole was a short par four, 209 yards.
“I turned to the other coaches and said we’re going to win the tournament. And they looked at me like I was nuts. And I said, no, we’ll win the tournament because Meg is going to drive the green and two putt for birdie and the other girls can’t reach the green. And sure enough she did exactly that. She was that consistent with straight, long drives, and that’s what I noticed the most about her.”
In seeing how far Meg Mallon has come since the teen years, Kowalski said:
“There’s always been lots of comments about how much Meg makes time for people and how kind she is. Through the years we’d go watch her at the Toledo Jamie Farr and she’d always make the time to call our Mercy girls over at the end of the round and talk to them and encourage them to keep playing, and told them how great golf is – she was just always great with them.”
Kowalski added that several times in the past five years Mallon has attended the Traverse City tournament in August to start the high school season.
“I mean what a thrill, and to tell you the truth I think it’s more of a thrill to the parents.”
“But she’ll drive around in the cart with me and shake hands with all the parents, she’ll go talk to all the girls and is still very encouraging about keep playing the game. Many times, if she sees a girl in trouble she tells me to ‘stop the cart, stop the cart’ and goes over there and tells the girl what all her options are (like a ground under repair rules interpretation). And if Meg Mallon is telling the girl it’s ground under repair then it’s ground under repair,” Kowalski said with a chuckle.
“And she does that for any player, not just the Mercy girls. That shows the kind of person she is. And if you hear from anyone in the LPGA, that’s what they would say about her – how kind Meg is to everybody and makes time for them – always giving words of encouragement and helping out.”