Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - Bobby Jones Post-A-Thon

Since this is the week the Tour Championship makes its annual return to East Lake, the course where Bobby Jones grew up and learned to play golf, several members of the golf blogging community decided to pay tribute to the legend. Ten different blogs (including this one) are featuring posts devoted to the life and legacy of Bobby Jones, each focusing on an aspect of Jones' life related to his or her blog. You'll find the complete list of who else is participating after the story about Bobby and Alexa Sterling below.

Before you watch the tournament, learn a few new things about the man who inspires it. But first, give credit to Mike at Ruthless Golf for putting this all together. It was his brainchild and diligent emailing that got this thing together!

And now - Bobby Jones, Alexa Sterling, and WWI

Is it Alexa Sterling or Alexa Stirling? I guess it would depend on where you look or who you ask. What is certain is she was an exceptional golfer and lifelong friend of the legend Bobby Jones. Alexa was born in Atlanta in 1897 and won her first Women's Amateur Golf Championship in 1916 and went on to win two more. Through her career, she placed very high in US, British, and Canadian events.

During WWI there were no tournaments held and Alexa played matches around the country with Bobby Jones and the "Dixie Kids". This was a group of golfers that raised money for the Red Cross and in 1917, Alexa, Bobby, Perry Adair, and Elaine Rosenthal brought in $150,000 for the organization.

In addition to raising money, the appearances by the foursome are credited with helping the game of golf gain popularity in the United States.

Check out these online archives with some clippings of this time period:

Miss Elaine Rosenthal and Perry Adair win a Red Cross match against Miss Alexa Stirling and Bobby Jones.

Bobby Jones Spans Era in Behalf of Red Cross

Alexa carried the nicknames "The First Lady of East Lake"and "The Empress of Golf" (to match up with Jones' "Emperor" moniker). She is remembered as competitive but quiet and has been inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. Alexa married a Canadian doctor and made a life in Ottawa and was an honorary member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.

Here's that list of blogs participating in today's post-a-thon:

Gayle Moss over at Golfgal has posted My Favorite Bobby Jones Golf Tips. She writes, "His swing was a bit unorthodox, but no one can deny his amazing talent. Here are some of my favorite swing tips from the self-taught legend - Bobby Jones."

Art Murphy from LifeandGolf gives us ...We Play the Ball Where It Lies, a collection of miscellaneous quips and quotes about golf and golfers from Bobby Jones.

Mike Southern at Ruthless Golf wonders Could Bobby Jones Have ‘Cut It' Against Today's Pros?, and shows us what science and Jones's own notes have to say about the debate.

Vince Spence from The One-Eye Golfer writes about An Affair to Remember - Bobby Jones and St. Andrews, as he looks at the affection of the champion golfer for the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland which started in 1921.

Greg D'Andrea at From the Rough talks about Golf's Proper Place. "Bobby Jones played competitive golf only three months of the year, always keeping in perspective the game's original intent - 'a means of obtaining recreation and enjoyment.'"

Charles Boyer from Me and Old Man Par has chosen Bobby Jones' Competitors: Many of Them Were Good, One Was Great. "It is often thought that Bobby Jones showed up and crushed his competition on the way to another victory," Charles says. "The truth is that he had many worthy competitors and one, Walter Hagen, stood above all the others as Jones' most worthy competitor."

Michael Green at Aussie Golfer tells about Searching for Bobby Jones, where a search for Bobby Jones in Australia finds remarkable similarities to modern day golf.

Jon Blackburn from The Common Golfer looks at Bobby Jones: Golf's Original Common Golfer. It's a celebration of Bobby Jones' life, and what made him unique amongst his golfing peers.

And Ryan Ballengee from Waggle Room sends us a vlog from East Lake about how Jones' spirit influences the club and community today.


Mike said...

Isn't it amazing how many great golfers seem to have connections to Bobby Jones? I guess greatness really does attract greatness... and most of the greats, male and female, during Jones's time seem to have found their way to him. But Alexa was probably the closest of his golfing friends, since they were together since childhood.

I'm glad you paid tribute to a sometimes-forgotten golf great.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thank YOU for organizing the whole thing!

Golfgal said...

Wow, Apryl. I had no idea that Alexa married a Canadian doctor and lived in Ottawa - that's where I'm from!

Very cool story. Thanks!

Apryl DeLancey said...

See - there are other awesome women that have graced Canada's courses!

LifeandGolf said...

Thanks Apryl..until I read your post I had no idea who Alexa Sterling/Stirling was. More of us should know about the "Empress of Golf". Wonderful post!

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thank YOU Art! I love your quips and quotes today!

Anonymous said...

Great story. I read quite a bit, but had never come across Alexa Stirling.

Thanks for a great story and putting this tribute together.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks David!

Mike at Ruthless Golf deserves all the credit for getting this together. It was his idea and diligence that made it all possible!

Rich said...


Cool story tying Bobby Jones in to women's golf! I appreciate you including something a bit different than everyone else's posts...I've learned a lot.


Apryl DeLancey said...

Thank you Rich! I appreciate that you stopped by and left a comment.

Vince Spence said...

Good job, (as usual) sportswriterchick...

Wikipedia has her name as Stirling and in the same article has a caption on her picture spelled Sterling. If I had to bet, I'd would say Stirling...

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, the GA Golf Hall of Fame has it that way too.

Thanks for the complement also Vince!