From an early age, Debra Spain maintained a gift for one of the most challenging and complex games in sport—golf. This talent and passion drove the 1973 graduate of Garland High School to a stellar golfing career where she became known throughout the country as one of the game’s best instructors and players.
Debra’s path to golfing success was not conventional—Garland High did not field a girls golf team during her days as an Owl. Three years after her graduation, Debra joined the staff at Sherrill Park Golf Course in Richardson. There, she teamed with well-known PGA member Buster Creagh and truly discovered her talent within the sport. Over the next eight years, Debra’s unmistakable skillset became obvious.
Throughout her 35 years in the golf industry, Debra taught for world-class instructors Dave Pelz, Hank Haney, was a Master Instructor for the legendary Jim McLean. She frequently worked with PGA and LPGA players. Debra traveled the country, featuring instruction on her short game and hosting power clinics. Renowned for her ability to sharpen a swing, Debra was routinely included on the “Exclusive List of Top Teachers” by Golf Magazine and the “Top 50 Instructor” list by Golf For Women.
In 1986, with the encouragement of her husband Ken Spain—a 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist in basketball—Debra left the business side of the golfing industry to swing her clubs as a professional. She competed in the Women’s U.S. Open and in the U.S. Amateur Tournament before claiming first place in the Women’s Texas State Amateur Championship. That victory placed her name alongside former winners that include the legendary Babe Didrickson, Betty Jameson and Betsy Rawls.
In addition to the women’s U.S. Opens and the U.S. mini tour, Debra competed on the European Tour at the 1992 European Ladies’ Open and the Australian Tour. That tour included the 1992 Ladies Classic in Joondalup, Australia, and 1992 Hishiki Ladies Open in Queensland, Australia.