Western New York native and long-time Westwood Country Club member Roslyn “Cookie” Swift Berger excelled throughout a long amateur golfing career, and compiled a record featuring numerous championships, course records, and holes-in-one (eight).
Berger began to make a name for herself in high school, where, as a Senior in 1947, she captured the Women’s Metropolitan Junior Championship. Over the next decade, Berger established a record of dominance that included a repeat win in the Women’s Metropolitan Junior Championship in 1948, and Women’s Metropolitan Championships in 1952 and 1953. Her impressive college career included a Women’s National Intercollegiate Championship in 1949, and an NCAA team championship for her Rollins College team in 1950. Berger dominated the Women’s Long Island Cross Country Championship, winning titles in 1952, 1952, 1953, and 1954. Her 1953 performance in that tournament featured a record low score. Equally at home with amateurs or professionals, Cookie achieved the low amateur score in the Weathervane professional tournament on Long Island in 1952.
In her prime, Cookie was unsurpassed on the local links. The owner of numerous Buffalo District titles, Berger was nowhere more dominating than at Westwood. She won the prestigious Westwood Country Club’s Women’s Championship nine years running (1959-1967). Her 1960 victory featured a course-record score of 71. In a gracious display of sportsmanship in keeping with her humble nature, she declined to compete in the event thereafter so that others could win.
Now a resident of Florida, Cookie continues to play on a regular basis as a scratch golf, and continues to amaze. In April1998, she set a new women’s course record (66) at the Diplomat Golf and Country Club course in Hallandale, Florida.
In 2000, Cookie Berger received the ultimate tribute for a Western New York golfer, induction into the Western New York Professional Golfer’s Association Hall of Fame, joining Lancy Smith and Ward Wettlauffer as the only amateurs in that body.