Val Skinner is still trying to figure out that perfect golf swing.
The North Platte native plays about eight events a year on the Legends Tour, the senior portion of the LPGA.
“I enjoyed my career,” she said. “The golf side has been a blast.”
Skinner won two high school state titles, two junior state championships and the 1980 state match-play crown. She went to Oklahoma State, where she was a two-time Big Eight champion and was named Golf Magazine’s 1982 college player of the year.
She’s a member of the Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma State Hall of Fame.
On the LPGA Tour, Skinner won events in 1985, ’86, ’87, ’93, ’94 and ’95 before leaving in 2003. She was ranked in the top 15 in the world seven of her 20 seasons, and she was a member of the 1996 Solheim Cup team.
She was a commentator for 12 years for CBS Sports and the Golf Channel.
Skinner, who splits time between her homes in Florida and New Jersey, also still does lots of traveling for the Val Skinner Foundation and LIFE, which stands for LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer.
In 1993, after fellow LPGA pro Heather Farr died of breast cancer, Skinner became an advocate and fundraiser for breast cancer research and prevention. She’s raised millions for the cause.
She’s expanded her outreach to educating young women and has a new initiative that will reach the high school ranks.
She’s been recognized as a woman of distinction by several organizations. One of her awards was the Charlie Bartlett Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, a tribute to the person in golf “known for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society.”
“I’m so happy golf has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than any sport will ever be,” Skinner said at the time. “This has been driven by angels. I’m just the conduit for delivery. I’ve lost a lot of friends to this disease through the years, so I’m glad we’ve made an impact.”
Played for: North Platte High, Oklahoma State Cowboys and 1996 Solheim Cup team
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Skinner mentioned three -- Cindy Tatum, a former track star at North Platte High and at Nebraska; Nan Circo, a member of the Nebraska golf hall of fame who is from Omaha; and Bob Devaney, the former Nebraska football coach whom she golfed with in a pro-am in 1983 during her first year on the LPGA Tour. "He signed my hat and I signed his," she said.
Best moment as an athlete: Her first LPGA win, in 1985, and being on the 1996 Solheim Cup team
Skinner was No. 53 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »