Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fascinating 1971 Behind-the-Scenes Look at LPGA: 'Their Game Is Golf'

Their Game Is Golf is the name of an early 1970s promotional film - it runs around 30 minutes long - produced by Sears to market their golf clubs and apparel. But it's so much more than that: It's a behind-the-scenes look at the LPGA Tour of that era, which is a pretty rare thing. There's just not that much video in existence of LPGA play from those days.

Their Game Is Golf even includes extremely rare footage of tennis legend Althea Gibson from her LPGA Tour days.

The short film is narrated by Shirley Englehorn, who was sponsored by Sears and who was an LPGA major winner. Among the things we learn about the LPGA of that era is that a year on tour cost $10,000 to $12,000 in expense money, and with the prize money available at the time only 17 golfers won enough the year before to avoid losing money.

We see a golf tournament's hole-in-one prize: A full-length mink coat. We see Englehorn describe her nutritional approach: Every morning before a tournament round, she ate a hamburger and a bowl of chocolate ice cream. They don't make 'em like that anymore!

There are wild 1970-ish fashions and hair-dos - one LPGA golfer talks about how many wigs she packs for the road.

As I said, this kind of historical stuff on the LPGA Tour is very rarely seen today. So if you have any interest at all in LPGA history, Their Game Is Golf is well worth the time it takes to watch. You'll be alternately amused and amazed.

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