Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Spotlight: Dot Paluck

Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Spotlight: Dot Paluck

Dot Paluck has set an unmatched precedent for volunteers in the sport across the country. A decades-long volunteer for the USGA, NJSGA, and WMGA, Paluck was so well regarded that she became chair of the USGA Women’s Committee in 2013-2014. Highly respected for her service to the game, her volunteer career has spanned parts of six decades in myriad capacities.

“She’s the most remarkable woman in that she has so many interests, so many friends and has been so involved in so many aspects of the game. Course rating, handicapping, rules; she has a breadth of experience,” said fellow USGA and WMGA committee member Brigid Lamb.

Beginning with her service on the WMGA Board in 1979, she held roles during the 1980 U.S. Open at Baltusrol and the 1990 Curtis Cup at Somerset Hills Country Club. Paluck spent nearly two decades on the USGA Women’s Committee (which she also chaired and vice-chaired) on behalf of the USGA Regional Associations and Regional Affairs committees.

“Dot has devoted herself to the game of golf and women’s place in golf for over a quarter of a  century,” said fellow New Jersey course rater Carol Graybeal. “She has made huge contributions to the WMGA [and] the Women’s Committee of the USGA, of which she was chairperson and devoted her volunteer commitment to golf.”

On the local scene, Paluck is a past president of the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association, an expert course rater, and former chair of the New Jersey State Golf Association Women’s Committee. She is also a former golf commissioner for the Somerset County Park Commission and was a key contributor to the development of Neshanic Valley Golf Course, which hosted the 2012 U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship. She spent a significant amount of time working on Course Ratings, an essential part of golf in New Jersey.

“She was always pragmatic about it (course rating),” Graybeal explained. “She was incredibly productive and she could always convince other people to help as well. She was brilliant at delegating, getting people to do their jobs, and just getting things done.”

The list of Paluck’s accolades are many and wide-ranging. She was bestowed the WMGA’s highest honor – the Judy Bell Award – in 2005 for her exemplary contributions to the game. In 2010, alongside her husband, Tom, the Palucks were honored with the NJPGA/NJSGA Distinguished Service Award.

“She did so much good for the game and through her love of administering competition,” Lamb added. “I’m not sure she ever really loved refereeing or enforcing the rules of golf, but she always volunteered to do anything for the betterment of the game.”

In 2021, Paluck was honored with the USGA’s Ike Grainger Award in recognition of 25+ years of service to the organization. She served as chair and vice-chair of the USGA Women’s Committee and USA captain for the 2016 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.

“There’s nobody that’s done more for the women’s game that I can think of,” Lamb said. “She did everything to promote women’s golf, and it wasn’t easy in those days.”

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