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Violet Pooley Sweeny – The Golfer

Violet Pooley Sweeny

Source: Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

Born: December 18, 1886
Place of Birth:  Victoria, BC
Died: March 19, 1965
Club Membership(s): Victoria Golf Club 1900–1915; Jericho Golf Club 1915-1934

Violet Pooley Sweeny was one of Canada’s outstanding golfers from 1905-1933. Born in Victoria in the later part of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Sweeny played in her first provincial championship in 1905 and won the title at the age of 18. A month later she took the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) Women’s Championship title. Over the course of the next 25 years, Mrs. Sweeny would capture eight more provincial titles, and another six PNGA Championships.

She was introduced to the game of golf at the age of eight when she caddied for her father at the Victoria Golf Club in 1894. By age 15, she was invited to play with her father in the Mixed Foursomes Championship at their home course. By 1906 she was playing to a “scratch” handicap, a Canadian rarity in those days.

In 1911, Mrs. Sweeny reached the fourth round of the British Ladies’ Championship. She was a member of the Canadian Ladies Championship team that competed in Montreal in 1913. When she moved to Vancouver in 1915, she became a member of the Jericho Golf Club which was the sporting center of Vancouver at the time.

In addition to her record career as a player, Mrs. Sweeny dedicated a great deal of herself back to the game. She joined the Canadian Ladies Golf Union (CLGU) in 1933 which later became known as the Canadian Ladies Golf Association. She formed the BC executive, serving as President from 1933–1942.

In 1936 she funded the Sweeny Cup for women’s golf for those with a 10 or under handicap. The trophy is displayed at the B.C. Golf House Museum.

Violet Pooley Sweeny, who passed away in 1965 at the age of 79, was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1998.

Source: BC Sports Hall of Fame

Source: BC Sports Hall of Fame

Source: BC Golf Museum

Source: Anna Panton

Source: Anna Panton

Violet Pooley Sweeny’s Record:

BC Provincial Champion:
1905, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1914, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1929
Canadian National Events:
Competed in only two Canadian Ladies’ due to distance
  • 1913 – defeated in 3rd round
  • 1935 – defeated in semifinals
International Events:
  • Pacific Northwest Golf Champion:1905, 1909, 1914, 1920, 1923, 1927, 1928
  • Oregon State Champion: 1909
  • U.S Women’s Championship 1913 – defeated in 2nd round
  • British Ladies’1911 – defeated in 4th round by eventual champion
Other Items of Note:
  • Member of BC Sports Hall of Fame -1974
  • Member of Canada Golf Hall of Fame -1998
  • Member of Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame -1989
  • President of CLGU – BC Branch 1933-1946