GLENDALE, Ariz. – In accepting the Ben Hogan Award at last year’s Masters, Barbara Douglas turned her battle with cancer into a defining moment.
Quoting American author and clergyman Charles Swindoll, Douglas told the assembled crowd with the Golf Writers Association of America that “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. I would not let ‘The Big C’ control my life.”
Douglas, the first minority chairman of the U.S. Golf Association’s Women’s Committee, died Jan. 27 at her home in suburban Phoenix, according to the USGA. She was 69.
Despite the debilitating effects of treatment from stage-4 ovarian cancer, which was diagnosed in March 2009, Douglas kept up a brisk USGA schedule. She often scheduled chemotherapy treatments around her duties with the Women’s Committee. In recognition of her devotion to the game, the GWAA honored Douglas with the prestigious Hogan Award, which honors an individual who continues to be active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness.
During her two-year term as Women’s Committee chairman, Douglas worked at two U.S. Women’s Opens, two U.S. Women’s Amateurs, a Curtis Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship.
Douglas, a former IBM executive, was a past president of the National Minority Golf Foundation and a member of the National Black Golf Hall of Fame.