The Fairway Flapper

Nobody ever believes me when I point out that playing golf was considered a hugely fashionable activity for women in the 1920s. How could women have been allowed to even play sports before Title IX, much less to have been encouraged to play by countless magazine covers?


But consider F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel The Great Gatsby. The girlfriend of the narrator is Jordan Baker, a prominent lady golfer who is in the sports and society pages a lot. Fitzgerald based her on Edith Cummings, one of the Big Four debutantes in Chicago in 1914. Fitzgerald knew Cummings because he fell in love with another one of the Big Four, Ginevra King, who is the inspiration for Daisy in Gatsby.

Cummings won the 1923 Ladies Amateur and made the cover of Time Magazine in 1924. She was known as The Fairway Flapper.