The History Of Women And Golf

I want to share with all the women and men golfers out their that are interested in the History of Women golf a few facts that I have gathered while researching this subject. I hope you enjoy.

The first documented golf play by women was in 1552 when Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) who was an avid golfer, first started the catch name “caddie” her own assistants whom she called “cadets” this turned into the name we all know today as caddie (a person that will assist you on the course). During the reign of Queen Mary of Scots, the famous Links course that we all know was built. In 1552 St. Andrews course was built and the Old course still stands today.Queen Mary of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots was considered to be “The Mother of Golf”. Queen Mary had a cottage on the grounds at St. Andrews golf course and spent plenty of time either on the course or in her cottage their.

One day while Queen Mary was playing golf her husband was at the cottage and was strangled to death by an intruder and she was charged with murder because Queen Elizabeth I believed if she was not on the golf course playing golf, she would have been able to warn her husband and he could’ve defended himself. The murder charges stuck and Queen Mary spent the rest of her life from 1568 to 1587 in prison until Queen Elizabeth I had her beheaded in 1587.

There is a museum at St. Andrews with a portrait of “Mary, Queen of Scots” “The Mother of Golf” which hangs on the wall for all to see, a little tribute for the woman who basically got women’s golf andrews bridge

When Women Became A Force In Golf: Babe Didrikson

The golfing women of the world truly become a force in the 20th century when we had such power players such as Babe Didrikson, whose given name was Mildred Didrikson, but went by Babe, because when she played play baseball, they said she hit the ball as many times and as long as Babe Ruth did. The name stuck and the rest is history.Babe 3

Babe married a Professional Wrestler named Gene Zaharias, which she added on to her given full name of “Mildred “Babe” Didrikson-Zaharias.

Babes rival on the course was a lady named Patty Berg and the both of them transformed golf and they were the leaders of The Ladies Professional Golf Association for the next decade.

Before Babe became a fixture on the Pro tour the Amateur golfers were the ones to watch, and in the 1947 The Women British Amateur title went to an American woman named Babe Didrikson and the rest is golf history for her.

Babe was born in Texas just like Hogan and Nelson and was only 2 years younger than them both. Babe was an expert of almost all sports, baseball, basketball and the javelin throw where she won 2 gold medals in the 1932 Olympic games, she also competed in hurdles and high jump. The last sport that Babe learned how to play was golf and it was the last one she ever played and was said that it was her true love to golf.Babe 2

Some Other Amazing Women In The History Of Golf

Patty Berg was another pioneer of The Ladies Professional Golf Association. It has been said that even on Babe’s best day of playing golf, she could be beaten by a five-foot-one tiny freckled faced tomboy named Patty Berg. Patty was from Minnesota and at the age of 16, Patty had won The Minneapolis City Golf Championship and one year later she almost won her first U. S Amateur Open, but lost by one stroke, however the next year in 1938 she did win her first U.S. Women Amateur Open Championship.Patty Berg 1

Berg turned professional in 1940 and she won her first professional title in the 1941 Women Western Open. Berg then joined the Marines and was serving during Worl War II and when she came back from the war she won her first Women U.S. Open in 1946.

Babe and Patty dominated women’s golf for the next decade, Patty winning 55 tournaments and of course numerous fans around the world.

List Of Historical Moments In Women Golf

In 1867 the first, women only, golf organization is formed and in 1893-Issette Miller invents the first handicap. In 1950, the LPGA is formed and this is when Babe Didrikson becomes the first lady of golf. In 1978, Nancy Lopez earned both rookie of the year and player of the year of the LPGA.

Karrie Webb is the first Womans Pro Golfer to earn $1 million in a singleKarrie Webb season and in 2004 Michelle Wei is the youngest player to ever qualify for the LPGA and turn Pro, she was only 12 years old.

St. Andrews hosts its first ever women’s tournament in 2007 and in 2012 Augusta has its first female members, just think it was still only a gentlemen game in Augusta till 2012, Amazing,

These are just some wonderful things that has taken effect in Women Golf over the past several decades and in 1552 when Queen Mary of Scots first started the golf legacy that still lives on today.

Women Golf Attire/History

Women golfers in the 1800s played wear long skirts that were a couple of inches off the ground and a simple blouse, this dress was very popular but when trying to swing a golf club it created a problem. It was very hard to swing the club with the blouse being fitted and it was a little tight. The skirt was a full skirt and was not far enough off of the ground to stay out of the way of your swing.1800 women golfers

In 1904 the women’s golf attire was changing, instead of the tight sleeves of a blouse a free-stroke coat which had special sleeves that moved with you during your swing. The raisable skirt was also very popular with the women golfers, these skirts were not as full and they also had a draw string that would raise their skirts up to 8 inches off of the ground. This was wonderful for your golf swing and also the look was very fashionable for everyday wear.

Today however it is customary to wear a short skirt with colored undergarment, or pants with a top that is either sleeveless, long sleeves, and or short sleeves.


The rather short description here that I have written about the History Of Women Golf is just a glimpse of all the history, ups and downs that women’s golf has endured. I want to add that golf has come quite far and also if you think about it, just 6 years ago women were not allowed to play tournaments at Augusta, Amazing how far we have come in some areas and how slow it augusta golf coursewas to break the barriers down in the older courses and their traditions.

If you have any questions or just want to leave a comment, please do below and I will get back with you as soon as possible.

Keep Golfing,






22 Replies to “The History Of Women And Golf”

  1. Thanks for writing this introduction to women’s golf. I have only tried the game once a few years ago and I was not very good at it although my sister used to play quite regularly and really enjoyed it. I like the way you have incorporated some of the historical elements into your post too – those Victorian and Edwardian women used to do loads of things in those long skirts – I’ve seen images of them climbing an ice face… seems quite a refined pastime compared to that. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are welcome Gail, I know if I had to do the things that they did in those long skirts, I would have to broken all up. If you ever want to play golf again, look me up and I am sure that I can help you out.

  2. I would have never thought women have/had such a major role in a sport as nationally known as Golf. This was an excellent read and I will be sure to share with my friends.

  3. That was one interesting story! I never played golf, much or less been in a golf pitch. However, reading this made me actually consider trying it. Its history is pretty unique. It’s certainly on my sports-to-try list! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for this history, Bobbi! Honestly, I’ve never played golf, just a couple games of putt putt here and there. Never knew what an impact women have had on the sport, especially so early on. I’ve heard of Mary, Queen of Scots, but never knew she was “The Mother of Golf.” Fun read!

    1. Thank you for your comment Crystal, I think that I have found a new idol and it just happens to be Mary, Queen of Scots and right behind her it will have to be Babe Didrikson, two wonderful and powerful women of their time.

  5. Wow I didn’t know that golfing has been popular among women in the 1950s. It is such an eye opening article about this sport. And you do mention several famous golfers like Karrie Webb, etc. Great article!

    1. Thank you very much Jasmine, this was a fun article to write and how the women from the past, way back in 1552, with Queen Mary of Scots have helped .shape what we know as the LPGA today. Anyway thanks for stopping by and have a great day

  6. Great article. I’ve played golf a few times but never in a skirt haha. I found that point really interesting.
    Learned some great stuff here, good job.

    1. Thanks Melissa, and I have never played in a long skirt myself, had to be a challenge but they did it and still kept up with the fashions of the days. Amazing women, and they do give golf the just praise for women that it deserves.

  7. As a casual golf fan I admittingly do not know much about the history of golf. Shame on me, I know!

    your article has definitely taught me some of that history and about the women as well. i will certainly e spending some time here, it seems you have a lot to teach!

    thank you for the great information on a game we both love!


    1. You are welcome Brendon, and come back anytime and see what I have going on here. Thanks for the comment and have a great day.

  8. This is one of the most interesting articles that I’ve come across till now 😀 Gokf and women?? Well, I’m not a genderist but it’s obviously not too common to see the golf and women elements together.

    Mary Queen of Scotts has made a mark in history appearently in 1552.

    1. It is quite amazing what women have done in the past to make women’s golf so strong today and Queen Mary of Scots was an amazing role model for all women no matter what you do, and especially in golf. Thanks for the comment Tyler.

  9. Thanks for the article, very interesting, and all power to Women. I did not realize that women participated in the game as far back as 1552, it’s always good to know history. I am a Muslim woman and I was intrigued to see if there were any Muslim women players. It turns out there are only two professional Muslim women players. I think its a suitable game for any Muslim women considering taking up the sport as it meets the Muslim dress requirements.

    1. Thank you for the comment Jamila, I did not know that there was even 2 Muslim golfers out there, but I am glad and there should be more. It is truly a spiritual and a mental game when it comes down to it, so I think that this falls in line with the Muslim beliefs. If you want to start the trend with Muslim women and golf, look me up and I will do anything that I can to help you.

  10. Hi Bobbi, very interesting article on the history of women’s golf. I didn’t know that about Mary Queen of Scots. I have been playing my whole life, although not much lately, and have always wanted to go to Scotland to visit the old course at St. Andrews, and it’s golf history. I am also a golf fan, and enjoy following the men’s game. I do also follow the women’s game some, but to a lesser extent. Thank you for writing this. Tom

  11. Hi Bobbi,

    Thank you for this interesting post about women and golf. I had no idea that Mary Queen of Scots was a golfer. Actually, I didn’t know that golf went that far back. I thought it was two or three hundred years old at the most.

    1. Thanks for the comment David, When I was doing research for this post, and came across Mary Queen of Scots and her story it was amazing and she was by all means an interesting woman.

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