Friday, March 21, 2008

Party Girl

Today I'm going to emulate Mie and talk about a woman's contribution to life, the sporting life.

She was a millionairess party girl, who drank, smoked and was not adverse to slipping through a window, into a friends bedroom at 6:00AM with a bottle of champagne in hand according to her biographer, David Outerbridge. She was also indirectly responsible for the existence of Augusta National, the home of one of golf's greatest tournaments and ironically, one of the remaining bastion's of male chauvinism. She consorted with movie stars, marched for women's suffrage and even "floored the iron gas pedal of an early race car" but golf was her life.

In 1921 she won the Women's Amateur golf championship and over time teed it up with such golf stars and Bobby Jones, Babe Didrikson and Walter Hagen. As founder of the Golf and Tennis club of Long Island, she designed the golf course there. She also owned a prime piece of land near Pebble Beach, California and in 1928, she hired course designer Alister MacKenzie to design and build a golf course there; it's know today as Cypress Point and has one of the most scenic and photographed holes of all time, the par-3 16th.

The original plan for Cypress did not include this now-famous hole because MacKenzie thought that the shot would be too difficult since it would have to carry over the Pacific Ocean but Miss Hollins disagreed and wanted MacKenzie to build the hole as he imagined it. To prove her point, she dropped a ball, took a hickory shafted 2-wood (called a brassie) and hit the ball 230 yards over the sea where it landed on the current site of the green. Convinced, Mackinzie placed the tee box on that spot and later stated that he was not responsible for the hole. "It was largely due to the vision of Miss Marion Hollins."

Bobby Jones, the founder of Augusta National hired Mackenzie to help him build a new course on rolling woodland in Augusta, Georgia because of his memories of a round at Cypress Point, especially the 16th hole, and the rest is history.

Source: Golf Magazine, April 2008