Jane Blalock Looks Back At LPGA Career
Jane Blalock was one of the great LPGA stars of the 1970's. She captured 24 of her 27 career wins within that decade and won four times in four separate years, 1972, 1974, 1978 and 1979. Blalock finished in the top-10 on the LPGA money list every year from 1971-1980 and was the first player to record four consecutive $100,000 plus seasons. After the 1986 season, Blalock retired from full-time LPGA competition and shifted her passion for winning inside the ropes to a passion for business outside the ropes. Blalock started her own sports consulting company, the JBC Golf, Inc., which boasts an impressive clientele. She founded and runs the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women which, in 2010, celebrate 20 years of empowering women through the game of golf. She is also a founding member and CEO of The Legends Tour - the Official Legends Tour of the LPGA. Blalock recently answered a few questions for the LPGA.
Q: What kind of player were you in your prime?
Jane Blalock: An excellent competitor with an exceptionally positive attitude who thrived in pressure situations and never gave up on anything - still don't!
Q: What were your strengths, weaknesses?
Jane Blalock: Strengths; ability to concentrate and rise to the occasion, strong long and middle irons and excellent putter. Weakness; average driver of the golf ball.
Q: What player(s) brought out the best in your game?
Jane Blalock: JoAnne Carner and Sally Little
Q: What was your most memorable win?
Jane Blalock: First Colgate Dinah Shore. [Jane won the 1972 Colgate-Dinah shore Winner's Circle. It was the first edition of the Dinah Shore tournament.]
Q: What was the best part of playing the tour?
Jane Blalock: The adventure of traveling the globe as an insider and having the chance to pursue your passion.
Q: What do you see as the biggest difference in the game today?
Jane Blalock: The strength and fitness of the players, translating into a power rather than finesse game, and the Global appeal.
Q: How did you know you were ready to retire from full-time competitive golf?
Jane Blalock: I simply had a strong urge to become involved in a new challenge and was always fascinated by the business world. I fully realized that it is not possible to play with the intensity required to remain a top player forever and wanted to move forward on a positive note with self-esteem intact.
Q: Was the transition away from competitive golf difficult? Did you always have a strong interest in business?
Jane Blalock: The transition was relatively smooth as I had prepared myself mentally and had my mind set to move forward without looking back. I also had an excellent opportunity pre-planned with Merrill Lynch in Boston as soon as I was able to complete all of my financial exams successfully. I went "Cold Turkey" by renting an apartment downtown and traveled by subway! I had no fear of making a change, as I love life and new experiences. I was always involved in business to a certain extent; I devoured all of the financial publications, handled my own investments and even counseled others. I negotiated all of my contracts and endorsements throughout my career with the exception of a brief stint with IMG. Billie Jean King and I were instrumental in creating both the Women's Superstars and invested in Women's Professional Softball - we owned the Connecticut Falcons.
Q: What is your vision/goal for The Legends Tour?
Jane Blalock: My goal for the Legends tour is to offer women from the LPGA the same opportunities which are afforded our male counterparts from the PGA. Realistically, a schedule of 12 tournaments would allow the Legends of the LPGA to continue the competition and camaraderie, earn substantial income (so they don't have to start over at an advanced age) and keep their names in the public eye. A successful LPGA Legends Tour would also supplement the current, less-than-lucrative retirement plan and broaden the appeal of the LPGA to a larger demographic and geographic audience.
Q: What is the one thing most people do not know about you?
Jane Blalock: Hard to select one thing; perhaps, that I am a knowledgeable and avid wine collector.
Topics: Blalock, Jane