Karen Ferree: Hall of gamer still playing at an elite level

JIM-KAREN-FERREEGolf has been a part of Karen Ferree’s life in the South for nearly a half a century.

Ferree, 63, started playing golf in her youth and rose through the amateur and pro ranks. She still competes on the regional and national level.

In 2013, she won her first two matches at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur in extra holes.

Ferree entered the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame last year as a champion amateur golfer and as a Class A PGA professional at Hilton Head Island’s Long Cove Club. She became one of the state's first female professionals, and served in that role for several years before marrying her husband, Jim, a former PGA Tour pro, in 1987.

Ferree and her husband, who was inducted into the hall in 2008, became the first husband-and-wife duo in the South Carolina Hall.

Jim Ferree was the first director of golf at Long Cove and also was a winner on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

His wife holds two titles as Women's South Carolina Golf Association Stroke Play champion and three titles in the WSCGA Match Play Championship, and is a five-time WSCGA Senior champion.

She was Carolinas Player of the Year from 2001-03.

She has also played in 20 United States Golf Association events. She reached the third round of the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur in California.

Karen Ferree said she enjoys playing recreational and competitive golf on a regular basis.

“It’s nice to compete and do your best with your friends on a regular basis,” she said. “I have made so many new friends at the club and in all of these competitions.’’

Ferree said she and her husband enjoy traveling and playing with other couples, particularly in places like Scotland.

She is also involved with the First Tee chapter on Hilton Head Island, where she has lived for more than 30 years.

“I enjoy being with the young people” she said. “It’s nice to help them improve their golf skills and build character so they can excel in life.’’

Ferree also volunteers with the LPGA Girls Golf Club of Hilton Head and Bluffton, teaching girls as young as 6 the game that has been part of her life for so long.

In March, she was involved in helping female college golfers participate in Darius Rucker’s collegiate golf event at Long Cove Club.

“I enjoy being around young college students as they develop their golf game,” she said.