Skip to main content
Original Issue

Q+A Jean Bartholomew

Long Island is home to many of the world's most celebrated golf
courses, as well as one of the most private--the Garden City
Golf Club. The club hosted the 1902 U.S. Open but over the past
hundred years has become a cloistered hideaway for its all-male
membership. One of the few females allowed behind the hedges is
six-year LPGA veteran Jean Bartholomew, 35, a Queens native who
lives in Garden City.

SI: What's your connection to the club?

JB: My teacher [Gil McNally] is the head pro, so I'm there all
the time.

SI: Give us a scouting report.

JB: It's a beautiful links course with fescue grass. It's wide
open in the sense that there are no trees, but there are plenty
of pot bunkers. It's a real English-style course. It could host
another U.S. Open if it were lengthened a bit.

SI: I thought they didn't let women on the property.

JB: I don't go in the clubhouse, and I don't play the course. I
stay on the range with my coach, and once in a while he'll take
me out to play a few holes.

SI: Do the members' wives ever get to play the course?

JB: I think they used to let the wives play on Wednesday
mornings, but the problem is that there are no women's tees.

SI: Have you ever played the full 18?

JB: Yeah, that was a big scandal. I was on my high school's boys'
team, and we had a match there, and they had to let me play.

SI: Is it safe to say that you're one of the few women who has
played the course?

JB: Probably. I know that years ago Bob Hope tried to play with
his wife, Dolores, and they told him no.

SI: Does it bother you that there aren't women members?

JB: That's their right. Women can have a club of their own. They
grandfathered me in so that I can take lessons, and it's been

SI: Do you get any strange looks?

JB: Some of the older guys, maybe. Most of the men, I went to
school with their kids, and I know them from other places.

SI: So you're just one of the guys?

JB: No, no, no.

COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND The queen of Queens, Jean Bartholomew, dishes on New York's most exclusive golf club, Garden City.