Women Golfers

History of Golf

Golf Etiquette

Women Golfers

Golfing FAQs


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Women have truly achieved equality with men where Golf is concerned only in the latter half of the 20th century. However, this does not mean that women started playing Golf only recently. Indeed the history of women golfers dates back all the way to the 1500s.

History Of Women Golfers

The first real known female golfer was Mary Queen of Scots who played in the mid-1500s. She was beheaded on the suspicion of having murdered her husband and with her female golf became clouded in anonymity.

While women definitely played Golf, the strong bias towards men means that there is no account of female Golfers for almost 200 years. It was in 1792 that women of Musselburg wrote a letter mentioning the rules of the game for women and club duties as well. In 1810 a proposal was made to present gifts to the female winner of Golf games at the club.

In 1867 St. Andrews formed the first ladies’ Golf club and Britain’s Westward Ho and North Devon followed the next year. At the time women courses only consisted of a few short putting holes and a couple of longer ones requiring a drive of 80 yards or so. One of the primary reasons for this was that women’s clothes of the time were extremely restrictive and not conducive to full swings.

It was only at the turn of the century that women golfers starting making a mark of their own and even competing in championships.

Women’s Golf Championships & Famous Women Golfers

  • 1893: The Ladies’ golf Union is formed. Thirty one women compete in the British Ladies’ Championship won by Lady Margaret Scott.
  • 1895: The first ever American Women’s Amateur Championship is played. USGA organizes the event with only 13 players. Only one round is played and Mrs. Brown wins. 
  • Rhonda Adair is a popular female golfer at the turn of the century. 
  • 1900-1920: British women’s golf is dominated by Cecil Leitch and Joyce Weathered. Weathered was believe to be equaled by hardly a dozen male golfers of her time.
  • Weathered comments on the fact that trousers are the most practical clothing for Golf other than short skirts as worn by Americans. 
  • Glenna Collett Vare and Alexa Stirling and famous American female golfers. Stirling played much of her childhood golf with the unparalleled Bobby Jones.
  • 1924: Hillerich and Bradsby, an equipment company, signs up Helen MacDonald.
  • 1934: Helen Hicks becomes the first-ever female golfer to promote a manufacturer’s goods. She is signed on by Wilson Sporting Goods. 
  • 1930s: American women can play in only four tournaments – the Hardscrabble Open, Arkansas, The Texas Open, The Western Open, Chicago and the Titleholders, Augusta. 
  • 1941: Patty Berg becomes the first woman to win money at a golf tournament. She wins $100,000 at the Woman’s Western Golf Association.
  • 1944: The Women’s Professional Golf Association is funded and founded by Hope Seignious. The tour flounders after 6 years for lack of revenue.
  • 1946: The U.S. Woman’s Open begins. 
  • 1947: Babe Zaharias becomes a professional golfer and is the impetus behind the inauguration of the Ladies Professional Golf Association in 1950.
  • 1950: The LPGA plays 14 events in its first season.
  • 1952: The LPGA plays 21 events.
  • 1955: Mickey Wright joins the tour. She garners much needed publicity for the tour.
  • 1958: Kathy Whitworth joins the LPGA tour and eventually rings up a whopping 88 tournament titles.

Once the LPGA was formed and on its way, there has been no looking back. With winning purses of over 40 million dollars being offered and growing steadily the LPGA is a hugely prosperous organization. Women’s Golf has truly come of age and talk is now on that women should be allowed to play the PGA tour!

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