The first woman for golf, so far as its dim early records reveal, was Mary Queen of Scots. "She played golf openly, gave it her blessing and the sport advanced thereafter," says The Encyclopedia of Sports.
Indeed it did. Latest evidence (not to mention the difference between modern clubs and those the Haunted Major uses in this issue) includes Golf for Women, which Doubleday publishes on May 20. It's a book the Queen might have cherished in the 16th century but the like of which has not been available until now.
A collaboration of outstanding women professional players, it deals with a situation which Professor Higgins sums up in My Fair Lady when he asks, "Why can't a woman be more like a man?"
Well, she can't. And a corollary is that she can't play golf in exactly the same way as a man. But Golf for Women tells how the gals can play it. Next week SPORTS ILLUSTRATED begins publication of three chapters from the book: "The Long Irons" by Beverly Hanson, "The Short Irons" by Barbara Romack and "Trap Shots" by Louise Suggs—profusely illustrated with photographs of the authors in action.
Originator and coordinator of the book is Pat Hagan Murray. The only man involved in the work is Tommy Armour, who writes in the introduction: "In my many years of experience, the difference in teaching men and women has always been a great problem. Although both male and female have two legs and two arms, their structures differ, and inescapably men are much stronger and have greater athletic ability than women.
"When I first heard that this book was being published, I thought it was a project, not only constructive, but brilliant. These ladies know the game inside out. I have had the pleasure of discussing and playing golf with some of them, and I can definitely state that they know what they are talking about. This book will undoubtedly be a great boon to women golfers, and I would guess that a number of men could also pick up much valuable information."
And not for the first time by listening to the ladies.