Three years ago Hollis entered her first national junior, at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra, Calif., a tournament where "all I remember is Mrs. David Welts going around watching everybody, and then me hitting it into the swimming pool off the practice tee." Then, last summer, she won the title by defeating beauteous Janey Fassinger.
"Baby" is what most of the other girls call Hollis, but at home she is hardly coddled as a celebrity. After she won the North and South she baby-sat for two days while her parents caught up on their own games. Her baby sisters recently were made to clean the house for a visiting journalist. "Oh, why did Hollis have to go and do all this?" asked 9-year-old Mary, who tends toward the dramatic. "Why? Why? Oh, I hate it. I hate golf."
Among a parental group whose zeal for the success of their offspring sometimes forces the USGA to bar some of their number from the course during tournaments, the Stacy approach is unique, refreshing and, on occasion, somewhat humorous. After Hollis had failed to telephone back home following her first round in this year's open (which was also the birthday of her mother and brother), Jack Stacy ripped off this biting telegram: "Your mother's birthday has come and gone. Stop. I hope you shank and OB all day. Stop."
"I never get mad at what my kids shoot or how they score," says Jack. "I just want them to call and tell me what happened." Tillie Stacy is even more to the point. "We don't insist on Hollis practicing or anything like that. Too many mothers shoot off their mouths when they shouldn't."
The attendant problems of sibling rivalry have not been lost on the Stacy family. Tommy, an outstanding golfer in his own right, has often been wounded and, according to his mother, "had his nose put out of joint." In the newspapers Tommy is always "the brother of...." At school his classmates sometimes refer to him as "Hollis." After Tommy won the state PGA scholarship a reporter asked him if he was "inspired" by Hollis. "I inspire her," he said.
"Hollis gets good press, Tommy gets bad press," explains their father. "I hope this doesn't hurt you," he said to her the other day, "but Tommy is a better golfer than you are in some respects."
"You're really hurting me, Dad," Hollis replied, with no little sarcasm. Later, she remarked, "I realized a long time ago that when I beat boys their feelings were hurt. It's all pride. They felt like moles, and I understand."
Apart from golf Hollis lives the normal teen existence: school (honor roll), movies (M*A*S*H*), books (The Godfather), music (Three Dog Night), clothes, cars and boys, none of whom she dates steadily.
She is almost indifferent about her future in the game since she has no desire for the life of a professional golfer. "It would be a good business, I suppose," she says. "But I couldn't do it constantly. I get sick of the game after two weeks. Some of the amateur women have the perfect setup—they have married well, they can have babies and stay at home and then go to the tournaments they want to go to. I'd like that. But I don't think I'll play competitively after I'm 24. By then I'd better be settled down."
For now she is content with facing up to no problems more serious than an occasional dispute between her younger sisters—like this one, that took place at the golf club restaurant: