Jan Stephenson inducted into Golf Hall Of Fame
Australian golf’s former golf glamour girl admitted it gave her goose bumps.
Being named as one of the latest inductees to the World Golf Hall of Fame meant that much to Jan Stephenson.
Jan Stephenson (Credit: WGHOF)
She would later describe her “ascension” into the Hall of Fame as like winning the US Open all over again.
The three-time major champion, now 66, was the only Australian admitted into this year’s intake, alongside South African multiple major winner Retief Goosen, former Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, Dennis Walters and the late Peggy Kirk Bell.
Two other Australians, Graham Marsh and the late Jim Ferrier just missed selection.
Australians already in the Hall of Fame are David Graham, Kel Nagle, Greg Norman, Peter Thomson, Walter Travis and Karrie Webb.
Stephenson said she became quite emotional when she heard she had been admitted.
“I’ve been crying, (getting) goose bumps, I couldn’t sleep,” she said.
Stephenson was also widely regarded as golf’s first sex symbol and caught the eye of now US President Trump and actually enjoyed a brief relationship with him.
In 1976 the Sydney native famously turned down the courtship of Trump, including an invitation to a romantic trip to Paris, to focus on golf.
Although Stephenson is thrilled with her stellar career, she admits to occasionally wondering what it would have been like to become the First Lady.
“Life would have been so different,” Stephenson told AAP.
“I try to imagine what it would have been like, because…I wouldn’t have been able to play golf (and) I don’t think I would have got in the Hall of Fame.”
“But he was actually very supportive of my career.”
Although she appeared regularly on magazine covers, including a raunchy shoot for Sport Magazine in 1977, Stephenson has been credited with inspiring generations of Australian women to take up golf.
Stephenson was one of the founders of the women’s senior tour and is also involved with golf course design.
In March she was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal.
“I hope I did a lot,” she said.