This ran as a feature last year for Thornhill G&CC. Given that Judith is again playing well at the US Women’s Senior Am, I thought it is worth revisiting. I think Judith represents one of those rare elements in golf these days—the lifelong amateur:
Judith Kyrinis has long juggled a busy life with her love of golf. As a nurse with three teenagers in the house, Kyrinis is used to a harried schedule. But last year, after years spent as a career amateur, Kyrinis, who calls Thornhill her home course, rose to the top of the senior female amateurs in Ontario, ahead of legendary amateurs like Mary Ann Hayward.
“It is pretty neat,” says Kyrinis, who finished as runner-up in last year’s Senior Women’s U.S. Am, and tied for ninth at the Ontario Women’s Amateur, competing against girls often 30 years younger than the Thornhill member, who is 51. “I’ve never really had a chance like this before.”
But rather than relax after a successful season, Kyrinis hit the indoor circuit, working at a local golf dome with Dave Woods, her instructor who has coached former PGA Tour players like Jon Mills. She’s working on improving her ball striking and compression of the ball, proving that even the best are always trying to get better.
She’s also spent time in Florida, playing under the watchful eye of golf legend Marlene Stewart Streit, who has helped Kyrinis occasionally throughout her career.
Her conversations with Streit have helped put her success in perspective, jokes Kyrinis.
“I was playing with her in Florida and she said, ‘Judith, do you know how many runner-up finishes I’ve had?’” Kyrinis says. “I told her I didn’t. She said, ‘That’s right, because no one else does either!’”
This year Kyrinis is going to try to elevate her game further, playing the Canadian Women’s Am at Riverside in Saskatchewan, alongside the senior women’s amateur and women’s amateur in Ontario. She’s pondered chasing the British Women’s Am as well, but admits it is a challenge juggling her holidays to allow her to play competitive tournament golf. At her workplace, few recognize her accomplishments, though she says the doctors often ask her about her game.
Golf for Kyrinis is a family sport, though she admits her three children, aged 13 to 18, don’t play the game competitively. Her husband, Manny, joins her on the course where she gives him one extra shot per hole.
But beyond her golf, Kyrinis is trying to give back to Thornhill. This year she’ll sit on the club’s board.
With her busy life on and off the course, the remarkable thing is Kyrinis is getting better. Her golf continues to improve and, to her way of thinking, there’s no reason she can’t be competitive with golfers decades her junior.
“I think I can compete with the Brookes and Augustas of the world,” she says, referring to two of Canada’s former top amateurs who are now hitting the pro circuit. “My game is getting better—I’m playing my best golf. Golf is a game where time can really benefit you, and I think I’m getting better at every part of it.”