Southern Oregon has produced many outstanding golfers, but it would be hard to find a better one than Helen Thompson Milne. Born in the San Francisco Bay area in 1920, she moved to Medford at age 2. She was 27 when she won her first title and proceeded to win seven straight championships, adding three more in the mid -1960s.
Nicknamed Queen Helen of the Rogue Valley, she was always gracious and willing to play less skillful golfers. She was particularly good with youngsters and was known to take friends aside and give them tips when they were discouraged. Her husband, Ed, a self-described “hacker,” described her as a natural.
Milne’s golf game was solid, but her putting set her apart. Competitors described her as a tough opponent who hardly missed a putt at any distance. They felt they could see the wheels turn in her head as she lined up for a shot.
Over three decades, Milne won the Rogue Valley championship 24 times, the Southern Oregon 10 times, and the Oregon Women’s Championship twice. She is a charter member of the Medford Sports Hall of Fame.
Sources: Medford Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Guide. www.scribd.com/doc/113252571 20 Oct. 2012. Web. 4 Sept. 2014; Trowers, Tim. “Champions on a roll.” www.mailtribune.com. 29 Aug 2004. Web. 3 Sept. 2004; Trowers, Tim. “Milne was marvel on golf course.” www.mailtribune.com. N.p., 1 Mar. 1998. Web. 3 Sept. 2004.