Waycross-Ware County Sports Hall of Fame

Mary Brantley Mattson
Inducted 2002
On a visit to Mary Rogers’ parents home, famed sportswriter Grantland Rice encouraged Mary to take up golf. She did and the rest is history. Mary began playing competitive golf in 1928 until 1935, she was one of the best female golfers in the South. She won the Women’s Southern Open in Louisville, Kentucky in 1935.
Before retiring from golf in 1935 to raise a family she won the Florida State Women’s championship four times. Another cherished milestone from that era was being invited to play in an exhibition with Bobby Jones in Highlands, North Carolina in 1931 or 1932.
Marriage brought her to Georgia and six children kept her away from competitive golf for 20 years. Resuming competition she was runner-up in the Georgia State Women’s tournament. She has also won the Georgia Senior Women’s title.
Mary served as president of the Georgia State Women’s Golf Association and was instrumental in founding the Georgia State Senior Women’s Golf Association. At age 66, she turned pro and became a Ladies Professional Golf Association teaching professional. Her late husband, Ed Mattson, built and operated the Folkston Golf Course. A consummate instructor, she has taught extensively at golf courses in Ennis, Montana, Folkston, Georgia and at Okefenokee in Waycross as well as Lakeview Golf Club in Blackshear, Georgia.
As a member of the Presbyterian Church in Blackshear, she was the first woman to be appointed an elder in the Savannah Presbyter. Her election to the Blackshear City Council in the late 1970s was also a female first.
Mary Rogers Brantley Mattson died in November 2000. She was 88 years old. Truly she was Georgia’s Grand Dame of Golf.