Friday, July 10, 2015

17C Women in Golf from Mary, Queen of Scots, through the 19C

The earliest painting I can find of a woman actually playing golf, or attempting to learn is from the 1600s.

1600s "Madam, please keep your eye on the ball!"  The 1st kolf lesson. Flemish painting by unknown artist.

We know that Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87), an avid golfer, coins the term “caddie” by calling her assistants “cadets.”  The Queen traveled to France to play golf.   Historians report, that she was criticized for playing golf & not spending enough time on royal matters.  She was ridiculed for playing a round just a few days after her husband, the English Lord Darnley, was strangled.  It is during her reign that the famous golf course at St. Andrews is built.

However, accurate records of women playing golf only begin to appear in the 19C.

1811 - On January 9, the first known women’s golf tournament is held at Musselburgh Golf Club, Scotland, among the town fishwives.

1867 - St. Andrew's in Scotland is the first ladies golf club.

1890 - Miss Carrie Low and John Reid defeat Mrs. Reid and John Upham in golf's first mixed foursome.

1891 -The Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island opens its doors to women. Golf proved so popular that the club opened a 9-hole course for women 2 years later.

1893 - Formation of the Ladies Golf Union which sponsors the first British Ladies' championship, won by Lady Margaret Scott.

1893 - A woman invents the First Golf Handicap. Londoner Issette Miller helped develop one of the earliest golf handicap systems which levels the playing field between competitors of different abilities and experience.

1894 - The first ladies golf tournament in the United States is held on the 7-hole Morristown, NJ course on Oct 17-1894. Miss Hollard A. Ford won with a 97 scored on the double-7, 14 strokes under her nearest rival.

1894 - The first Australian women's national golf championship is held.

1895 - The first Women's Amateur Golf championship in the United States is contested among 13 golfers at the Meadow Brook Club, Hempstead, N.Y., on Nov. 9. The match is won by Mrs. Charles S. Brown with a 132 and the runner-up is Nellie Sargent.