Philobiblon: Who says women's sport can't pay?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Who says women's sport can't pay?

From yesterday's Oxford Dictionary of National Biography email:

"In 1933 [Joyce] Wethered took a job as the golf adviser at Fortnum and Mason's. The following year the definition of an amateur golfer was changed, and on 5 March 1934 the Royal and Ancient ruled that she was not eligible to play as an amateur if she received any 'consideration' in connection with her appointment.

"She took advantage of her new professional status in 1935 to tour the United States and Canada, representing the John Wannamaker Company. It was reputed that the tour earned her in excess of 4000, having received a guarantee of 300 per match.

"She played at least fifty-two matches, travelling all over America from May until September, and set thirty-six new records. One of the highlights was when she played in a foursome against Bobby Jones at the East Lake country club in Atlanta. O. B. Keeler, Jones's biographer, felt that the sight of Jones and Wethered playing in the match 'will stand out as the prettiest picture of a lifetime in sport ... the greatest match I ever witnessed' (Keeler)."

(I'm not sure if those sums should be dollars or pounds; either way it must have been a lot of money.)

She won a total of nine national championships, married "well" and became a much-respected horticulturalist. A great character.

See also the money-making village cricketers.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

I see in the fuller version with notes that she was worth some £900,000 when she died, some of it perhaps inherited. There is also a fine picture of her, by her father, under a golf umbrella.

11/18/2004 10:15:00 pm  
Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

I see in the fuller version with notes that she was worth some £900,000 when she died, some of it perhaps inherited. There is also a fine picture of her, by her father, under a golf umbrella.

11/18/2004 10:15:00 pm  

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