Maxine Bishop

Golf | Inducted: 2009

Born: South Perth, WA
3 May, 1928 - 3 December, 2012

A trailblazer and trendsetter in women's golf, Maxine Bishop holds a special place in West Australian sporting history as the first golfer (male or female) to win an Australian amateur championship.

The Bishop family lived opposite the second fairway of the Royal Perth Golf Club and Maxine was captivated by the sport from an early age and as a nine-year-old, with a few schoolmates, would sneak on to the course to play a couple of holes, much to the displeasure of the greenkeeper and some members.

Bishop never had a formal lesson from a professional, but she had an insatiable appetite to learn and at 14 joined Royal Perth as a junior where she received invaluable tuition from many of the club members. Earlier, at the age of ten she braved heavy rain to watch South African champion Bobby Locke competing at Royal Perth.

Once, when asked at an early age to reveal the secret of her success, Bishop modestly replied that "there's no secret about it; it's just enthusiasm and practice."

She won the State women's championship as an 18-year-old and three years later was runner-up in the Australian championship before winning the national title in 1951. She was runner-up again the following year.

Bishop recorded another significant first when she became the first Australian woman to win a title outside Australia, achieving a notable triumph in the New Zealand Open in 1951. She also won that event in 1953 at her second attempt in that country.

She contested the Victorian championship three times for three victories, in 1951, 1952 and 1954. She won nine club championships and between 1946 and 1967 won the WA women's amateur championship 11 times.

Bishop represented Australia in international tournaments in Great Britain in 1950 and South Africa in 1957. She and Queenslander Judith Percy were the first Australian women to be awarded a scratch handicap.