Smith blazed a trail in professional golf


By Steve Stout - [email protected]



You’ve probably never heard of Marilynn Smith, but her legacy in professional golf continues to live on today.

In 1950, Smith – then all of 21 years old – was one of 13 founders of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

Smith went on to win 21 times on the LPGA Tour, including two majors. Later, she was the first female to work as an announcer on PGA Tour telecasts.

In 2006, Smith was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Smith, 87, co-authored a highly-regarded book about her amazing life five years ago called “Have Clubs, Will Travel.”

“It tells how I have met five U.S. presidents, how I was almost killed by a sniper and other things that happened in the early days of the LPGA Tour,” Smith told me recently. “In 2006, I met Donald Trump but of course he wasn’t president then.”

To order an autographed copy of Smith’s book, send a check for $23 to Marilynn Smith, 3784 North 162nd Lane, Goodyear, Arizona, 85395.

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Smith was also the first female professional to use the “left hand low” – or cross-handed – putting grip.

“Many people said I looked awful using that grip and I quit using it … a big mistake,” she said. “To all golfers, I say, get used to that grip and I know you will love it. Jordan Spieth uses that grip and is a fantastic putter.”

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Trivia Time – Van Chancellor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

This week’s question – Who were the first female golfers to be featured in a TV commercial?

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By Steve Stout

[email protected]

Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout

Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @udcstout