The Strokes of History: Fascinating Historical Photos of Women Playing Golf from the Early 20th Century

The early 20th century witnessed significant changes in various spheres of life, and sports were no exception. One of the sports that saw a remarkable evolution during this period was golf, particularly in relation to women’s participation. This blog post will delve into the journey of women in the world of golf during the 1900s to the 1930s, exploring the various aspects of their involvement in the sport.

Beginnings of Women’s Golf

At the turn of the 20th century, golf was transitioning from a leisure pastime to a more structured sport with organized competitions. Women began to play golf more frequently, although their participation was initially limited by societal norms and the restrictions of golf clubs, many of which were exclusive to men.

In response to the growing interest among women, the first women’s golf associations began to form. The Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU) in Britain, established in 1893, played a pivotal role in organizing women’s golf in the UK. In the United States, the Women’s Western Golf Association was founded in 1901, followed by the establishment of the United States Women’s National Golf Association in 1917.

Growth and Recognition

The 1910s and 1920s saw a significant expansion in women’s golf tournaments. The Women’s Western Open, first held in 1901, and the U.S. Women’s Amateur, established in 1895, gained prominence. These tournaments provided platforms for women golfers to showcase their skills and compete at higher levels.

This period also witnessed the rise of several notable women golfers. Players like Alexa Stirling, Glenna Collett Vare, and Joyce Wethered gained recognition for their exceptional skills and contributions to the sport. Their achievements brought more attention to women’s golf and inspired a new generation of female golfers.

Consolidation and Challenges

The 1930s were marked by the Great Depression, which had a significant impact on all aspects of life, including sports. Golf, being a leisure activity, was affected as people had less disposable income. Despite these challenges, women continued to participate in and contribute to the sport.

Throughout the 1930s, women’s golf tournaments continued to be held, though they faced financial and organizational challenges due to the economic climate. The resilience of these tournaments during tough times highlighted the growing importance of women’s golf.

#1 Three women playing golf at Jackson Sanitorium, circa 1890.

#3 Young women learning golf at ‘Cygnets House,’ London, UK.

#4 Glenna Collett playing in Women’s National Golf Finals.

#6 Mrs. W. L. Pierce at North Carolina Women’s Championship.

#9 Dorothy Campbell swinging golf club, undated photo.

#10 Portrait of Mrs. H. Arnold Jackson, Women’s Golf Champion, circa 1900s.

#11 Diana Fishwick in Girls’ Golf Championship, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire.

#12 Tommy Armour, former National Open Golf champion, undated photo.

#14 Louise Suggs at Weathervane Women’s Open Golf Tournament, Pebble Beach.

#15 Women practicing golf on S.S. California ship deck.

#17 Patty Berg during All-American golf Tourney at Tam O’Shanter.

#18 Patty Berg tie with Fay Crocker, women’s pro first prize, 1957.

#19 Patty Berg leading in Serbin Women’s Golf Tournament, 1955.

#22 Early 1900s woman hitting golf ball from sand trap, ca. 1913-1917.

#23 Miss F Macbeth teeing off, British Ladies’ Open Golf Championship, 1903.

#24 Florence Borden swinging golf club, Chicago Golf Club, 1903.

#26 Woman playing golf, ‘Praktische Berlinerin,’ 1906.

#27 Woman playing golf, ‘Praktische Berlinerin,’ 1906.

#29 Ladies Golf Championship Final at St Andrews, Maud Titterton vs Dorothy Campbell, 1908.

#30 Ringolf at Finchley Manor House with Arthur Walter Gamage, London, 1908.

#31 Mrs. T. A. Alexander golfing at Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, 1909.

#32 Miss N Bock and Miss M Shepton at Lady Golf Competition, Timperley, 1909.

#33 Early twentieth-century woman golfer with male companion and caddy.

#34 Mrs. R. J. Preston golfing near Chicago, Illinois, circa 1910.

#36 Golfing party with women and boy caddies, circa 1910.

#37 Ladies golfing at Bulwell Hall Park, Nottingham, 1910.

#38 Lady Helen Brassey teeing off at Ladies Parliamentary Golf Match, Bishops Stortford.

#41 Mrs. L.O. Cameron playing golf, 1913, artist Harris & Ewing.

#43 Lillian B. Hyde at Women’s Metropolitan Golf Championship, West Orange, NJ, 1914.

#45 Mrs. J.C. Barclay in Women’s Metropolitan Golf Championship, Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

#46 Mrs. Lillian Hyde and Marion Hollins at Women’s Metropolitan Golf Championship, Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

#48 “The Indestructible Wife,” lobby card with Alice Brady, 1919.

#49 Woman playing golf, Berlin Golf Club Westend, 1919, photographer: Conrad Huenich.

#50 Glenna Collett golfing in Hunstanton, England, undated photo.

#51 Marion Hollins, 1921 Women’s U.S. Amateur Champion, golfing.

#53 Doris Chambers driving, English Ladies Golf Championship, Sheringham, June 8, 1920.

#54 Mrs. Bowles playing ladies parliamentary golf, Ranelagh, May 1921.

#55 Exterior of Hawthorne Court Apartments, Jackson Heights, New York, 1922.

#56 Mrs. Ed Steedman golfing, vacationing at Hot Springs, Va.

#57 Mrs. Kenneth Morrice playing from bunker, Ladies Golf Championship, May 1923.

#58 Gene Sarazen helping his wife practice golf, “Mauretania”, June 1, 1924.

#59 Society lady playing golf, Le Touquet, April 21, 1924.

#60 Woman golfer at Cincinnati Country Club, circa 1920s.

#61 Joyce Wethered at 1925 Women’s Amateur Championship, Royal Troon Golf Club.

#62 Joyce Wethered at 1925 Women’s Amateur Championship, Royal Troon Golf Club.

#63 P. Garon playing bunker shots, National golf women festival, Newcastle, 1927.

#64 Woman hitting golf ball off another woman’s foot, 1927.

#65 Miss M Templeton playing at Eve’s Ladies Scottish Foursomes, Machrihanish, June 11, 1927.

#66 Miriam Burns Horn golfing, Pebble Beach, March 5, 1928.

#67 Showgirls playing golf in bathing suits, Wake up and Dream Revue, May 31, 1929, Maidenhead, London.

#68 Londoners leaving for Easter holiday break, circa 1930.

#69 Simone Thion de la Chaume at England vs France golf match, Worplesdon Golf Club, 1930.

#70 Dwarves playing miniature golf, Evergreen Miniature Golf Course, Madison, Wisconsin, November 2, 1930.

#71 Babe Zaharias driving off, open tournament at Wentworth, July 16, 1931.

#73 Two American women golfing, Catalina Island, California, May 17, 1932.

#74 Frances Budlong playing golf in Newport, Rhode Island, July 25, 1932.

#77 Marjorie Ross Garon at Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, May 14, 1934.

#78 Mrs. J. Bruce Robertson in “kiki” costume, razzle dazzle golf tournament, Lido Beach, August 21, 1934.

#79 Ursula von der Marwitz playing golf, Golf-Club Berlin-Wannsee, circa 1935.

#80 Joyce Wethered playing golf, Fresh Meadows, New York, May 27, 1935.

#82 Edith Quier possibly winning Woman’s Eastern Title, Huntington Valley, June 11, 1935.

#83 Diana Fishwick during British Women’s Open Golf Championship, Southport, May 1936.

#84 Dorothée Lally Segard practicing for 1936 Girls Amateur Golf Championship, Stoke Park Country Club.

#85 Mrs. Ian Waters at Autumn Foursomes, Ranelagh, October 6, 1936.

#86 Patty Berg drinking from trophy at Palm Beach Women’s Golf Championship.

#87 Man and woman playing crazy golf, Herrenalb, Black Forest, Germany, 1930s.

#90 Patty Berg with championship golf clubs, Palm Beach Women’s Golf Championship.

#91 Woman playing golf, Jockey Gordon Richards’ game, Romford, October 1937.

#92 Spectators watching Francis Ricardo at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Kent.

#93 Henry Cotton driving off, Walton Heath, Surrey, July 12, 1937.

#94 Henry Cotton driving from 3rd green, Walton Heath, Surrey, July 13, 1937.

#95 Keith Dalby correcting swing, Finchley Golf Club, October 23, 1937.

#96 Babe Didrikson playing at Fresh Meadow Country Club, Long Island, NY.

#97 Female golfer in plus fours, Washington DC, 1938.

#98 Ursula von der Marwitz playing golf, Golf-Club Berlin-Wannsee, circa 1935.

#99 Babe Didrikson examining golf clubs, 13th annual Los Angeles Open Golf Tournament.

#100 Babe Didrikson driving, 13th annual Los Angeles Open Golf Tournament, January 8, 1938.

#101 Lady Nancy Astor playing golf, Gulf Stream Country Club, Del Ray, Florida.

#102 Wives of golf stars playing bridge, Pasadena, CA, February 8, 1938.

#103 Pamela Barton hitting 21 golf balls, Ashridge Golf Club, March 4, 1938.

#104 Joyce Wethered driving, Maylands Golf Club, June 10, 1938.

#105 Patty Berg and Helen Hicks Harb at Western Open Golf Tourney, Colorado Springs.

#106 Alfred Perry putting on the green, with spectators.

#107 Byron Nelson with Mrs. Nelson, $10,000 Cleveland Open Golf Tournament, August 11.

#108 Two couples playing miniature golf, Philadelphia, PA, 1920s-1930s.

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Written by Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for exploring the world. Her writing is both informative and engaging, offering unique perspectives on travel, food, and lifestyle.

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