A couple of years ago the LPGA created a decade-by-decade coffee table book entitled “Right on Cue.” The name was chosen because, in hindsight, it seemed that each decade had just the right people at the right time to keep the Tour moving forward and building on the strong foundation its Founders provided.

Case in point – the 1970’s.

Talk to any women’s golf historian and you will hear stories about how the decade of the 70s on the LPGA Tour was important for two reasons, more specifically, two people: David Foster and Dinah Shore. These two names have earned Tour Royalty status over the years and I don’t believe it’s overly dramatic to say that their collaboration drastically altered the trajectory of the women’s professional game.

David Foster was a single-digit handicap who also happened to be the chairman and CEO of the Colgate Palmolive, one of America’s most successful consumer-products companies in the analogue age.

Dinah Shore was a well-known singer, actress, and radio and TV personality in Hollywood who loved to play golf. In fact, for the younger generation, Dinah was the top female recording artist of the 1940s and had her own television show for the better part of two decades.

In 1972, Foster offered the LPGA a deal that included several Colgate-sponsored events around the globe. But it was the Colgate Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle, staged in Palm Springs, California, that rose to the top. Dinah proved to be the perfect choice as “hostess” for such a high-profile social gathering. The friendships she already had in Hollywood, and the friendships she would make with Tour players, helped shape this into a special week-long celebration of golf that quickly became the most popular event on Tour. Celebrity invitations to play in “The Dinah” pro-am were highly sought after as this event grew into a “must attend” for show business A-listers.


But it wasn’t just the investment in golf tournaments that moved the needle for the LPGA Tour. Television coverage, especially the “crown jewel” Colgate Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle, began to provide much needed broader exposure for the LPGA. In addition, Colgate used Tour players in some of their product advertising campaigns which helped to move women’s professional golf, and its athletes, into the mainstream of modern-day culture.

This kind of support put the LPGA Tour “on the map” and it didn’t take long for others in corporate America to stand up and take another look at the LPGA as a viable option for entertaining clients and promoting their brands.

The game of golf brought the “Dynamic Duo” of David Foster and Dinah Shore together and the LPGA Tour was the benefactor of their nearly 10-year partnership. This success in the 70s teed up what was about to become one of the most exciting competitive decades in the history of the LPGA.