Get to know Nancy Lopez
Nancy Lopez was introduced to the game by her family. Her father, who owned an auto body shop, was an avid golfer and a 3 Handicap. Her mom enjoyed being out on the course. It was a family activity for the Lopez’. “I remember just having a certain feeling about golf from the very beginning,” says Nancy. “I would put on my dad’s golf shoes, with spikes, and the sound of the shoes on the pavement stuck with me. I’d want to go back and make that sound again. Going to the golf course was always exciting for me. I fell in love with the game instantly.”
Nancy sits on the Board of Directors for Smucker’s. “When I was on Tour, I had two of my daughters traveling with me. There was no day care at the time, so I had to hire a nanny.” Now, the Tour has daycare available, sponsored by Smucker’s!
Nancy felt, and still feels, a great obligation to help out the LPGA Tour. “Some of the women before me, Kathy Whitworth and Sandra Palmer among them, did so much to help us create a sustainable Tour. When I started playing, I felt like I had to give back to the Tour as well. Sometimes there would be times I didn’t want to do interviews, or media appearances, or play in an event, but I knew it was better for the Tour.” These days, the pay gap between the men’s tour and women’s tour is even greater than it was when Nancy was playing, “I promoted my Tour thinking we were going to catch up, but we’re falling further behind,” she says. “And I’m not really sure why that is.”
She’d like to see more Americans win. “I think it would help the Tour to see more Americans do well,” says Nancy. “That’s no offense to the great players who are currently winning. I remember playing in Korea during my prime, and no matter how popular Nancy Lopez the golfer was in America, all the fans were rooting against me and cheering for a local player. That’s natural to want to see someone from your home country do well.”
Nancy wants you to work on your putting. She gets a lot of questions about what people can do to be a better golfer, and she says it always starts with the short game. “I always tell people to go work on their putting. A lot of people don’t know how to practice when it comes to golf, but with putting you can work on it and see a big difference pretty quickly.”