by a major
backspin // by Mike Cullity
Malison, who played under her maiden name Ziske, left he tour shortly after her 1960 Western win. Today she helps coach high schoolers.
As she does each day, Joyce Malison began a recent Wednesday with a round of golf at her home course.
Playing the men’s senior tees, she
shot 79, just a stroke above her age. “I
had 36 on the front nine, but I goofed
up two holes on the back,” she said,
lamenting a missed opportunity.
Looking back on her brief
LPGA career, however,
Malison voices no regrets.
Playing under her maiden
name, Joyce Ziske, she won
four titles between 1956 and
1960, including the 1960
Western Open, a major at
the time. But after marrying
Tom Malison in 1961, she left
the tour to start a family in Waterford, Wis.
More than a half-century later,
Malison fondly recalls raising three
sons and operating a bowling alley for
30 years with her husband. And
although times have changed, she can
relate to the decision Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa made in their
primes to quit playing competitively
for family reasons.
“The people who say they’re nuts [to
retire] look at dollar signs,” Malison
notes. “They don’t look at the satisfac-
tion you get from living a different life.”
If not for a driving range that
opened next to her parents’ Milwaukee
farm in the late 1940s, Malison’s life
might never have included golf.
Fetching balls that carried into the
Ziskes’ cow pasture, Joyce met range
owner Dick Swift, the pro who taught
her to play. Under his tutelage, she
won two Wisconsin state amateur
titles and the 1954 North & South
July 1, 1960