Golf has long been known for its difficult relationship with women! Today, whilst there are still restrictions on the game for females, things have come a long way since its beginning. At The Insurance Emporium, we want everyone to be able to make the most of their passions, no matter who they are. So we’ve brought some of the leading ladies to the fore with our guide to the history of women in golf!
Mary, Queen of Scots, is the first woman reported to have played golf in the game’s long history! She’s also credited with coining the term ‘caddie’ – it’s derived from the word ‘cadet’, a French term she used to address her assistants.
The first ever recorded women’s tournament was held between the fisherman’s wives of Musselburgh, East Lothian, in 1811. First prize was a wicker fish basket and shawl, with two handkerchiefs from Barcelona being awarded for second place!
In 1867, St. Andrews built a putting green known as ‘The Himalayas’ for the wives of its members. With this came the first woman’s golf club, the Ladies’ Club of St. Andrews! It struggled at first, but within 19 years had amassed 500 members!
Keeping up appearances!
During the 19th century, when ‘The Himalayas’ was created, putting was seen as the most acceptable form of golf for women. At the time, ladies weren’t allowed to lift clubs above shoulder height, because the movement would detract from their otherwise graceful bearing!
From 1896, Miss Issette Pearson of the Ladies’ Golf Union, began to devise a handicapping system for the game. Taking into account the different abilities and experience of competitors, it formed the basis for the system used by all genders today!
Moving on up!
In more recent years, whilst there might still be some reluctance to fully accept women into the sport, female golfers have scaled new heights! For example, in 1994, Annika Sorenstam became the only female to shoot 59 in competition!
A whale of a time!
Babe Zaharias was the first female golfer to qualify for the men’s PGA tour in 1938, the second, Suzy Whaley in 2002, came amid some controversy! She used the tees closest to the green (traditionally known as women’s tees), leading to the creation of the ‘Whaley rule’, stating all golfers must play from the back tees during competition!
The youth of today
Female golfers have been making real headway in the 21st century! In 2004, Michelle Wie became the youngest female to play in a PGA tour event at age 14. Also, Lydia Ko, at 15, became the youngest person to win an LPGA Tour event in 2012! The glove she wore is now displayed in the Wold Golf Hall of Fame!
Golf has certainly changed a lot for women over the years, and we’re sure there’s still much excitement to come! No matter your gender, if you’re planning on getting out on the green, you might want to take out golf insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, you could get up to 30% off* Golf Insurance. Putt yourself down to The Insurance Emporium to find out how they could protect your adventures!
* The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Club Member Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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