"Golf was a
game I always wanted to tackle but never could afford to play. I was 16 when I
played one round with no lesson or anything with Grantland Rice, Paul Gallico
and Braven Dyer. It wasn't very good golf," she said critically.
She lit a
cigarette and sipped her coffee.
playing golf October 7, 1934 and stayed with it. I worked 18 hours a day. I
couldn't wait for daylight to come. I used to be dressed and have my breakfast
so I'd be ready when that daylight came, then I'd go out to the practice
used to talk about was my power and strength and 'she's a long hitter.' Well,
that opened my eyes that I had to do something with the other part of my game
to be able to score, so I practiced around the green, chipping and putting and
trap play, until that and my irons became the best part of my game.
"When I got
sick, I was about to play the best golf of my life. My ambition was to get
below men's par.... Everyone has some little thing that makes them hit better.
You can learn to play golf with the worst form in the world—that's what's so
great about golf—but you'll find most champions do have a very good golf
"YOU CREATE A
"A lot of
people like me who get to where it is so easy to hit, get a little lax, and
that's when a good player usually goes off the game. Mostly it's not looking at
the ball and having too fast a backswing. You've got to have your backswing
nice and slow to get the same rhythm all the time; then after you've learned to
swing, you create a speed that gets faster and faster.
keep your eye on the ball, your body stays in position. If you don't, your body
will weave. A lot of people claim they never hit the ball the same way twice in
a row. They either loosen up or soften up, but if you keep your eyes on the
ball, your body will stay in position and you'll have the same firmness all the
time. Then if you follow through with the hit, you'll get yourself a fine
has to be a very tough machine because every player is so inspired to beat the
champion. They have nothing to lose so they play to win. Well, I'd get an
opponent, and they'd pull everything out they could at me, so I'd have to spurt
to build myself up to where I could go ahead and win. Sometimes I'd put forth
effort that I didn't have.
been stories," she said with slow emphasis, "that said I said 'I'm
going to win' and 'I'm going to do this or that.' I read once where I said to
someone, I guess you're going to come in second.'