She was one of the most popular players of her time—maybe THE most popular—and for good reason. Amy Alcott was fun to watch. She pured it off the tee, she striped her irons, and if she missed an approach shot, she could get up and down from anywhere. She was gritty, determined and passionate. But that’s not why she was so popular. Amy Alcott is beloved because she was just pure joy.
It was Amy who, in 1988, started the LPGA’s best-known tradition by jumping into Poppie’s Pond after winning the Nabisco Dinah Shore (now known as the ANA Inspiration, an LPGA Major). This was back when the pond was, well, a pond. Today it’s a well-maintained pool. And when she won “The Dinah” again in 1991, she jumped in again, this time dragging an unwitting Dinah Shore with her!
Current LPGA pond-jumpers are entertaining, but nothing compares to watching that first unplanned leap of sheer exuberance by Amy Alcott.
So, you can imagine my response when a friend said, “We’re having dinner with Amy Alcott, would you like to join us?”
I became a 60-year-old child in an instant: Where? When? What time? What should I wear?”
What should I wear? I never say that! But even fashion-failure me doesn’t want Amy Alcott to think I’m a loser.
I waited patiently for the dinner, and it finally came. Who knows what I ate, who cares what I drank, all I remember are the things a fan wants to talk about with their golf idol:
What’s your favorite course? Riviera Country Club.
What’s your favorite movie? Forrest Gump.
What’s your favorite color? Okay, I didn’t ask her that, but you get the drift.
It was a perfect dinner, because, as it turns out, the person I thought Amy Alcott was, is, in fact, who she is. Gritty, determined and passionate, yes, but Amy Alcott’s overarching quality is that she’s fun. Everything she says, she says with a smile. She didn’t tell good jokes, she told great jokes. She didn’t tell run-of-the-mill golf stories, she told hysterical ones. We laughed a lot that night because it’s fun to be around a really fun person—and Amy Alcott is that.
For a baseball fan, this was dinner with Babe Ruth. For a football fan, it was dinner with Joe Montana. For an LPGA fan, it was dinner with Amy Alcott. Oh wait, it really was dinner with Amy Alcott!