March 01, 2012
|Jane Read ’65 with her husband, Todd Read ‘65.|
In 1968, at the start of her first year as a tour player in the LPGA, Jane Read ’65 was called to step up to the tee in more ways than one. Sitting in her first players’ meeting as it was announced that the association’s teaching division would fold due to lack of leadership, Read slowly raised her hand and committed to taking charge. What followed was a radical restructuring of the ways in which LPGA instructors were tested and assessed, as well as a more methodical approach to sharing instructional techniques that are still in use today. Read was recently honored for her contributions to the teaching division by being inducted into the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame.
What inspired you to take the helm of the LPGA’s teaching division in 1968, an action that essentially saved the division from folding?
The LPGA teaching division was under the direction of the LPGA tour players. Each player on tour in 1968 had a definite committee to serve on to keep the tour running. No one wanted the responsibility of the teaching division, as it required a lot of time devoted to it, which took time away from practice for the tournaments. I couldn't sit in that meeting and listen to the plan to eliminate the teaching division if no one volunteered to chair it. So, with some trepidation, I volunteered and was handed a cardboard box, and a typewriter and wished "good luck."
What prompted you to develop the division’s first testing and educational programs, and how were you able to make the LPGA's teaching methodology more consistent from coast to coast?
When I took over the teaching division, the testing was inconsistent, at best. Some applicants were tested and some were not. I rewrote the minimal test that was in use at that time and I initially had 100 questions on the written test. The practical test was a two-hour actual observance of the applicant teaching a few students. These tests were administered while I was on tour, from city to city. In 1969, I appointed and trained the original group of area representatives in various sections of the country. They administered the tests and sent the test to me for grading and evaluation.
In 1970, after I had left the tour and presided over the division from home, I began arranging seminars and workshops around the country to "teach the teachers to teach." This created a core group of area representatives, all trained to administer the same way and lead the seminars and workshops. The word quickly spread among applicants and members of the most efficient procedures to use when teaching. Various methods of teaching were also revealed and put into practice. That was the beginning of what the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) has today which is the preeminent learning styles available for golf instructors.
What did that experience teach you about taking ownership of something you believe in?
I learned very quickly how important the teaching division was to the LPGA. The grassroots of the future of the LPGA was in the hands of the teachers to encourage other young women and girls to pursue their dreams of playing professional golf. It was my responsibility to train the teachers to teach. We established a plan for the future.
What was it like being inducted into the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame?
Being inducted into the Hall of Fame was a very humbling experience. To be recognized for my efforts after so many years in the organization was a thrill beyond measure. It is the pinnacle of my career and an honor to join the others in the Hall of Fame. Plus, I was able to spend the evening with so many family members and friends who were able to be with me in Orlando. Certainly a once in a lifetime experience and I will always cherish the memory.
What are some of your favorite memories of Rollins?
Meeting my future husband, Todd Read ‘65, and the others on the golf teams, (men's and women's) and our daily trips to Dubsdread Golf Course rank right up at the top. Representing Rollins at the NCAA Intercollegiate Championship in New Mexico was also a wonderful experience.
I have the distinction of being the first women in Rollins history to earn admission to the "R” Club during my freshman year. I made the Varsity teams for golf, softball, basketball, volleyball, and swimming. The requirement for a woman to join "R" Club was five varsity letters.
My only regret in my life, however, was that I was never able to fulfill my dream of being a Rollins graduate. Unfortunately, Title IX (the NCAA ruling to grant athletic scholarships to women) didn't come along in time for me. My year at Rollins, however, was a wonderful experience and taught me a lot about my future goals in life.