Date: November 08, 2007

Lunch with Legends: A celebration of women’s golf

The trailblazer of women’s golf, Jan Stephenson, Hall of Famer, Jane Blalock, our Dawn Fraser and golf aficionado Kerri-Anne Kennerly made up an impressive and energetic combination at the Lunch With Legends at Concord Golf Club, Sydney. Golf Australia and Women’s Golf New South Wales collaborated to bring together pioneers of women’s golf to share their experiences and celebrate their combined achievements, as well as addressing potential challenges for the future. Master of ceremonies and fresh from the television studio, Kerri-Anne was evidently excited to be included. Guest speaker and winner of over 22 international tournaments, including three majors, Jan Stephenson expressed the importance of golf as a game of honour that teaches young players values that takes them through life. Her experience with the game has taught her about life and people. “You can tell a lot about a person by how they handle themselves on a course,” she said – even suggesting to play a round of golf with a potential partner before settling down! Jan also reminisced about the time she posed for that infamous &aposgolf ball bath&apos photo. Giggling, she said it was an incredibly uncomfortable experience and that no she was not completely naked. She wore two, strategically placed, small cardboard circles and a triangle. In a recent house move Jan had come across these mementos of the shoot and Kerri-Anne was quick to imagine the eBay possibilities! The impact of that photo is now legendary. Dawn Fraser, Australia s female athlete of the century and four-time gold medallist, as a member of Concord, felt as if she was inviting us into her home. She recalled her childhood days in Balmain and how she chose swimming over horse riding because she could afford to swim! Her love of golf developed after her retirement from swimming. Dawn&aposs involvement was considerable from caddying to playing to travelling around the country and generously giving her time at charity golf days. Jane Blalock of the United States holds the LPGA record for never missing a cut on Tour an amazing 299 tournaments spanning 12 years; from her rookie year in 1969 to her last event in 1980. When asked how she did it, she said it was survival. Jane worked two jobs during the week and had to play each weekend to try and win which would enable her to travel and play the next weekend. The issue of encouraging more women and young girls to the game was addressed with recommendations put forth to look at the busy lifestyle of modern women and suggesting ways to play in a shorter time and making golf more accessible. It was certainly unique to have so many champions in one room. The mind boggles at the amount of tournament wins and holes-in-one between them all. The drive and determination expressed by all of these women gave everyone an insight into what makes a champion and in this case Legends.