Women in Sports: Golf
Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
- Mary Queen of Scots was the first woman to play golf. It was during her reign that the famous golf course at St. Andrews was built, in 1552. Mary coined the term “caddy” by calling her assistants cadets.
- Patty Berg won the first U.S. Women's Open in 1946.
- The Ladies Professional Golf Association's player of the year from 1966 to 1973 (with the exception of 1970) was Kathy Whitworth of Texas. During her career, which lasted from 1962 to 1985, she won 88 championships, still more than any other professional woman golfer. She was inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame in 1975.
- Nancy Lopez was the first female golfer to win Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in the same year. She won both awards in 1978.
- In 1990 Juli Inkster of Los Altos, California, became the first woman to win the only professional golf tournament in the world in which women and men compete head-to-head. She won the Invitational Pro-Am at Pebble Beach in a one-stroke victory.
- There are now approximately 40 LPGA tournaments played each year, including four “major” tournaments. They are the Nabisco Championship, the U.S. Women's Open, the LPGA Championship and the Women's British Open.
- In 1996 Australian Karrie Webb became the first female golfer to earn over $1 million in earnings in a single season, and she did it as a rookie. To show how far women's golf has come, nine women earned over $1 million on the LPGA tour in 2006 with Lorena Ochoa winning more than $2,300,000.
- Michelle Wie of Hawaii became the youngest person to play in a Professional Golf Association tour event. She was just 14 when she played in the 2004 Sony Open.
- In 2006, 14-year-old Kimberly Kim, another talented Hawaiian golfer, became the youngest person to win the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.
- In 2008, Lorena Ochoa, winner of the 2007 Rolex Player of the Year Award and Vare Trophy, won the HSBC Championships in Singapore.
- In 2012, Lydia Ko won the New South Wales Open at age 14, becoming the youngest player to win a professional golf tour event. The glove she wore in the final would be displayed in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
- In 2012, the Augusta National Golf Club invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women to wear green jackets when the club opened for a new season in October. The home of the Masters, the 80-year old club had been under fire during the last decade because of its all-male membership.