Golf may well have replaced baseball as America's pastime, and the sport enjoys incredible popularity across the globe. At the professional level, women's golf continues to escalate in popularity and media attention, particularly with the dominance of LPGA champion Annika Sorenstam and the interest surrounding teenage phenom Michelle Wie.
Despite the thirst for more information about women's golf, very little exists about its history outside of books about the legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Hudson's new book fills this void, focusing on the fascinating development of women's golf, the creation of the women's tour, star athletes of the past, and the astronomical rise of the present-day tour greats. In addition, Hudson examines women's golf in the context of the country's history of discrimination against women. Women's golf grew in popularity after the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting the right of suffrage. Unfortunately, gender discrimination remains a reality in the world of golf in certain locales of country club golf. Nonetheless, women's golf has never been more popular. For example, the Futures Tour, where girls and young women hone their skills on the way to the LPGA, has grown to more than 300 players from 27 countries, making it the largest international developmental tour in the world. And the 2006 LPGA Tour featured 34 events with prize money nearing $50 million, the highest ever in LPGA history. In 1890, Hudson writes, the Washington Post reported that some girls are anxious to learn golf, because they are really fond of sport and exercise; others, because it gives them a chance to show off a natty suit. Those girls are now acknowledged as women--and this book shows how very far they, and their sport, have come.