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December 28 , 2007

Have Clubs, Will Travel


As an ambassador for women's golf, Marilynn Smith is without equal; she is the spark plug who drove the LPGA's public relations machine. She sold fans of other sports, corporations, communities and the media on her sport. Marilynn Smith didn't arrive in town just to play golf, she hit the city limits itching to create a buzz about the upcoming tournament. Marilynn and twelve other co-founders built the LPGA from scratch in 1950. Sixty-two years later, she retains the same enthusiasm she had on Day One. Times change, but she hasn't. Always a gallery favorite, her great strength was paying attention to the customers, chatting with them as she walked the fairways. Even today, by the time she gets to her table in a restaurant she's on a first name basis with people at adjoining tables––they are just another gallery. Few people remember the early days the way Marilynn does. She recalls hitting approach shots off hardpan, plucking weeds from her line on putting surfaces. "We were grateful to have a place to play," she says, "so we didn't stop to ask, 'Isn't anybody around here interested in gardening?'" Marilynn strings together a combination of golf history and personal stories that will enlighten and amuse readers. She captures the essence of the early days on tour with humor and sage commentary.
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