The Curtis Sisters - a "friendly golf match"




Sometime during practice rounds before the 1905 British Ladies Golfing Championship, Harriot Curtis decided to ask Scotland's Ladies Champion Dorothy Campbell if she and a partner would care to have a "friendly match" with she and sister Margaret Curtis on the eve of the tournament. You'll have to imagine how that conversation went and how the match went as well. But to feed your imagination you'll need a little back ground on the the characters involved, once you soaked in what little is known I think you will agree that what was at stake was more than a cup of tea. 

Unfortunately we don't know who the 4th was in this group but when you learn a little about Campbell and the Curtis sisters you'll get a good picture for sure.

First take a peek at Harriot after all she's the one that started this match. Harriot was considered the quiet one of the Curtis bunch. ( There were 10 siblings ) Although her career was not as "glorified" as her sister Margaret, she was the first of the sisters to the "top" winning the 1906 United States Women's Amateur Golf Championship. 

And although she lost in the final's to sister Margaret in 1907 and failed to ever reach the finals again you can be pretty certain that when Margaret got on her high horse Harriot was there to remind that she was the second Curtis sister to win. It is also worth noting that 1907 is the only time sister's have ever played each other in the USGA Women's Amateur finals.

Harriot traveled with Margaret extensively remaining her closest friend and supporter throughout their lives. 

"Golf is my life, I love it...I'd play with rocks if I had to." Margaret Curtis was a women's golf's "1st ambassador." Qualifying for the first time in 1897 at age 13 for the United States Women's Amateur Golf Championship and the last time at age 68 in 1952 Margaret's desire to play competitive golf never waned. Margaret also proudly served as honorary chairwoman to the historic 1954 US Women's Open at Salem Country Club.

Passing away at age 82, Margaret swept through life leaving a path one can only step back an admire. After winning her first US Amateur Golf Tournament she spun around and with Evelyn Sears won the 1908 U.S. National Women's Doubles Tennis Championship at The Newport Tennis Club in Newport RI, making her the 1st athlete to hold major titles in 2 different sports at the same time. From 1907 to 1912 Margaret dominated the US Women's Amateur golf with 3 title's.*

It is believed that Margaret was the first woman to drive an automobile in France. Margaret Curtis was also heroine of World War I as she devoted herself to the efforts of the International Red Cross to bring relief to European victims of the war. She is the only golfer to be the recipient of France's Legion of Honor medal. 

Harriet Curtis full swing at age 12, it doesn't look like she is holding much back.

Mrs. Dorothy Campbell Hurd A good bunker shot.
12 year old Margaret Curtis teeing it up with 1895 & 1897 USGA  Women's Championship Runner Up Nellie Sargent This photo of Dorothy Campbell making a fairway bunker shot tells you everything you need to know about her game.

Moving on to the third known player in this "friendly match" of ladies golfing, we see that Dorothy Campbell was Scotland's Ladies Champion in 1905. As it turns out it was her first among three. But time would show it Scotland's Ladies Golfing Championship was only her beginning. In 1909 she became the first woman to win the British and US Women's Amateurs and by 1910 she had become the 1st woman to hold the US, British  and Canadian Amateur Championships. 

By the time she won her last major the, 1924 USGA Women's Amateur at Rhode Island CC in Barrington RI,  Dorothy had won 8 major golf tournaments, moved from Scotland to Canada to Chicago, had gotten married. 

It is interesting to note she won the her last major at age 41, becoming oldest player to ever win the USGA Women's Amateur, a record that still holds in 2021.


To learn more about the Curtis sisters or Dorothy Campbell, continue your search here......

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