The first women' golf club was created in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1867. By 1886, it had 500 members. The Dolly Vardens, an all-African-American baseball club from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, became the first women's professional sports team in 1867. The team was successful in their time and played for several years before disappearing.
Women have been playing organized sports since the late 1800s. Basketball's AAU began accepting girls as members in 1949 and women's basketball became an official Olympic sport in 1976. American football has always been a male-only sport but there are now many female players who say they feel comfortable tackling other females because of how common women's athletics are in general. Women also play soccer, softball, field hockey, and lacrosse. There are even some female athletes who say they enjoy being able to fight back if someone attacks them on the court or field.
Why did they start calling men's games "football" and women's games "basketball"? In the early days of these sports, there were no rules against people of different sexes playing together. So the names we give today were given by organizers or fans who wanted to distinguish winners and losers. In football, the winner is the group that contains the ball carrier when the whistle blows. This would be the man if there were any men around. So the term "football" came to mean the game for men's teams.
Croquet was most likely the first game that both men and women played in America. Vassar College in New York hosted the first two women's amateur baseball teams in 1866. In 1902, the first Women's World Series was held between Chicago and Milwaukee. It was such a success that more series were held annually until 1914 when World War I broke out. Baseball and softball have been played by women since their inception.
Even though tennis is considered to be one of women's sports, some men have also played it. Britain is known for having some of the earliest courts with evidence of tennis being played there. In 1637, Edmond Halley, astronomer royal of England, built two early courts at his house in London. One court was made of wood, while the other was made of brick. A book written in 1714 called "The Complete Gamester" mentions how the author played tennis. This book may have been written by an anonymous person who wanted to promote their own writing career. There are many theories about who Halley might have hired to write about gamesmanship for him. But whatever the case, this proves that tennis was being played in England nearly 100 years before America!
In 1845, Harvard University founded the first college tennis team in America. They played their first match on May 30th against Columbia.
Women in sports in the 1920s were headed by none other than the fairway flapper, who led the pack for women in sports by being a brilliant golfer and also an inspiration for a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, written in the 1920s.
Croquet was most likely the first game that both men and women played in America. Vassar College in New York hosted the first two women's amateur baseball teams in 1866. The first women' golf club was created in St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1867. By 1886, it had 500 members.
Women initially became a force in golf in the United States in the twentieth century, when power golfers Babe Didrickson-Zaharias and Patty Berg were constants on the Ladies Professional Golf Association circuit. Golf started in the 15th century, when several bored Scotsmen began striking stones with sticks. They would hire out their clubs for a penny per day.
But it was not until the late 1800's that women actually played the game. The first Women's Open Championship was held at Oakland Hills in 1930. It was also the only Women's Open up to that point. The LPGA was founded two years later by six men who wanted to make sure there would be a league championship series after the conclusion of the men's season.
Did you know that there is a class of golf called "women's professional golf"? This class of golf was created in 1958 by the LPGA Tour. Before this date, all female golfers were classified as amateurs.
The number of women playing golf has increased dramatically over the last few decades. There are now more than one million women involved in the sport. America has the most women players with around five million people playing the game. Australia is next with about 500,000 women players. The number of women in Asia is much lower - China has 100,000 women players and Japan has 70,000 women golfers.