<HR><CENTER><B>Britz now instructs golfers</B></CENTER>
By John Rittenhouse
One of the most famous athletes Luverne has ever produced came back to her hometown for a short visit last week.
Jerilyn Britz, who made a name for herself as a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, returned home to visit her mother, Alice, and some of her many area friends.
Britz, who now lives in Orlando, Fla., says she usually comes home to Luverne on a monthly basis during the summer months each year, but the cold Minnesota climate limits her trips to the Midwest to once each winter.
As is customary with her summer visits, Britz got the chance to play the game that made her famous at the Luverne Country Club.
"I enjoy going out and playing the Luverne course. It still is one of my most favorite golf courses to play. I prefer its country setting rather than the courses that are surrounded by housing developments," she said.
A new job has limited the number of appearances Britz has made at LPGA events the past two years.
Britz has become a golf instructor at the VIP Academy, working with players at Academy sites in Orlando, Tampa and Port St. Lucie.
She said she works with players on a one-to-one basis for three hours each morning. After having lunch with the student, she then takes them out on the links in the afternoon and works on course strategy with her pupils.
"It's an all-year-long type of job, so I haven't been playing a lot of competitive golf myself. I was a school teacher for eight years and have a master's degree in education, so teaching is something that comes naturally to me. It wasn't my intention to stop playing more LPGA events. I just wasn't making enough putts to make any money at it," she said.
There was a three-year stretch when Britz made most of her putts, and that's when she emerged as one of the LPGA's top players.
She joined the tour in 1974 and gained prominence by winning the 1979 U.S. Women's Open and placing second in the LPGA Championship the same season. Those efforts led to Britz being named Golf Digest's Most Improved Player in 1979.
Britz won the tour's Mary Kay Classic in 1980 and placed second at the LPGA Championship again in 1981.
Although Britz said it would be hard for her to compete with the younger LPGA players of today, she still can match up well with players her own age.
During an event staged in Green Bay, Wis., that was put together by some former opponents, Britz placed 21st overall. She finished fourth in the category for players 55 years of age or older.
"At 57, it would be tough for me to compete against the 30-year-olds on tour. If it was arm wrestling or a foot race, then I might be able to," said Britz, who finished fifth in a physically-challenging event named the Women's Superstars Competition in 1980.
Although there is no seniors' competition for the LPGA at this point, she hopes the organization does put one together some day.
If not, she'll remain in golf instruction and continue making her trips back home to Luverne from Florida.