The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is currently in full swing (we couldn’t resist the pun), teeing off on the 11th of June 2015 and visitors from across the globe will descend upon the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, NY to watch the greatest women in golf battle it out for a stake in the $3.5m prize purse.
With this in mind, we decided to highlight some of the more interesting facts about women’s golf and some of the more historic moments that have really put women’s golf on the map.
1. The first golf course built in the UK was commissioned by Mary Queen of Scots. The Queen brought the sport of golf over to Scotland from France in the 1550s, building the first course at St. Andrews.
2. The term “caddie” was also coined by Mary Queen of Scots as it derives from the French word for student – Cadet.
3. The first ever golf tournament for women was held at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day 1811.
4. What we now know as mini golf was originally designed for women. As it was considered improper for ladies to hold the club past their shoulders, a putting course was created by the Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews in 1867 to allow them to enjoy a game without swinging the club too far.
5. The handicap system was invented by a woman. Isette Miller from London helped develop the early versions of the golf handicap system in 1893. Her system took in to account the different abilities and experience of the competitors.
6. The Ladies Professional Golf Association or LPGA was formed in 1950, with Louise Suggs, Babe Didrickson-Zaharias and Patty Berg – all stars of the LPGA doing their part to put women’s golf on the map.
7. Karrie Webb was the first female golfer to earn over $1m in earnings in a single season. Furthermore, she did it as a rookie too!
8. The youngest person ever to play in a Professional golf Association tour event was Michelle Wie of Hawaii. At the age of 14 she played in the 2004 Sony open.
9. The youngest player to actually win a professional golf tour event was 14 year old Lydia Ko. In 2012 Ko took the title at the New South Wales Open. The glove that she wore can be viewed in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
10. The average driver swing speed of a non-professional lady golfer is 62mph and 96mph for an average LPGA professional.