Question of the Week
This champion golfer dominated women’s amateur golf in the 1920s and 30s. What was her name?
Answer: Glenna Collett Vare
Glenna Collett was born in 1903 in New Haven, Connecticut but was raised in Providence, Rhode Island by athletically minded parents. In 1919 she competed in her first U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship and won the championship in 1922. In 1924, she won 59 of 60 competitive matches, although her one loss was in the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship. She won the U.S. Women’s Championship in 1925, and again in 1928, 1929 and 1930.
In 1931 Glenna married Edwin H. Vare, Jr. of the South Philadelphia, a member of the politically powerful and notorious Vare family. Glenna took a golfing hiatus while she and Edwin settled down to start a family.
Collett Vare won the Women’s Amateur again in 1934, but from that time was known most for international competition. The Curtis Cup matches are biennial team competitions between the U.S and Great Britain/Ireland. Collett Vare played on the winning team in the first Curtis Cup in 1932. She captained the U.S. team in 1934, 1936, 1948, and 1950. All were winning teams.
HSP holds many photographs of Glenna Collett Vare in the Philadelphia Record collection. The photos are largely golfing related, but also include shots of Vare participating in other sports (tennis, archery, shooting) and with her children. We also hold manuscripts, printed materials and images related to members of the Vare family.
About the Author
Look for these history stories every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stories, called Memory Stream, are published in the Currents section of the newspaper.