Stringer has new career

This article submitted by Molly Connors on 8/21/96.

Going to the golf course?

Want to improve your game?

Pat Stringer, a golf pro at Koronis Hills, can help out. She'll coach golfers on everything. From the specifics of the driver, putter, wedge and pitching to working on the whole game - Stringer can help.

This won't be any cakewalk, though. She’ll make you earn your improvements, your lower golf scores, your PGA trophies. Don't laugh. Stringer coached the White Bear Lake girls basketball and the fast pitch softball teams to state competition several times. Stringer was White Bear Lake's Teacher of the Year a few years back. She was also the Minnesota Teacher of the Year and made it to the top six in the nation.

There's still more. Stringer was instrumental in bringing girls athletics to the point they're at today. "When I began teaching, there were no sports for women," said Stringer, who taught for 31 years, from 1961 through 1992. She sees girls athletics as "opportunities for young women. If they (the girls) have talent, they should be out there in uniform," Stringer said.

Stringer made sure that girls were given the chance to play sports. She pushed for competitive girls sports and got equal use of school facilities for girls and boys athletic teams.

Stringer began coaching softball when it was a slow pitch game. "That's (slow-pitch) not competitive," she said. "That's a recreational game." The game changed to fast-pitch.

Stringer also coached girls basketball, which used to be played with three players on each team. Each player was either a guard or a forward. The guards could only play defense and the forwards could only shoot. No player could run.

"The hypothesis was that girls couldn't perform at high speeds. They'd injure their bodies or their psyche" Stringer said.

Through her years of teaching and coaching, Stringer saw girls athletics grow and change. Stringer was a key force in opening up opportunities for female athletes.

She enjoys her job at Koronis Hills because she relates to people so much while she's working. "My whole existence has been working with people. I can't imagine doing anything else," Stringer said. All of Stringer's coaching and teaching experience add to her expertise as a golf pro. She only started golfing after college. Golf was too expensive, and she spent "all the early years playing softball."

Stringer has fun working with people, but she wouldn't work if her hours weren't flexible. She works two or three days per week and a couple hours each of those days. After 14-hour days as a teacher and a coach, Stringer is taking time to relax. She's heard that it’s good to work part time during retirement, but she "wouldn't do it if I didn't control the hours," she said.

She coaches all people of all ages — from 12-year-old boys to "gentlemen" of 87. She teaches them what they want to know. She makes her pupils work for improvement. "I have them go away and practice so many times before I see them again," she said.

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