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The history of swing

he’s spent years on the links sinking holes on the golf course, now Judy Dickinson ’72 finds historical links to fill holes in golf’s history.

After graduating, Dickinson took a job at a golf course. By practicing after work, she eventually became good enough to turn pro. “I practiced a lot,” laughs Dickinson. The former Judy Clark won four Ladies Pro Golf Association tournaments in a pro career that started in 1978.

Dickinson enjoyed playing, and her love of history led her to study the LPGA’s past. She joined the LPGA’s Hall of Fame Committee, and noticed the group often struggled to name players to the hall. Spotty early record-keeping made it tough to know who had won what.

Dickinson, who graduated with a history degree, was determined to unlock the mystery of the LPGA’s early days. For the last few years, Dickinson has read through hundreds of old magazines and newspapers, trying to fill the gaps in LPGA history. “In the 1950s, women’s sports didn’t always receive mainstream media coverage,” says Dickinson.

“That makes it difficult to find out what actually did happen back then.”
While she continues to dig through boxes of old press materials, Dickinson thinks many details lie within the players themselves. “The only people who really kept track of what happened were the players,” says Dickinson. “I’m sure many facts are jammed in the back of a player’s closet somewhere.”

Dickinson’s fact-finding exploits made a major contribution to the LPGA’s 50th anniversary celebration. But even with all of her work looking into golf’s past, she hasn’t put away her golf clubs. The Florida resident remains an active player, just to make sure she can still fill holes on the golf course. Pro golfer Dickinson topped the leaderboard at four LPGA tournaments.

from fall ’00

> in memory