Profile of Marlene Floyd, LPGA Golfer

Marlene Floyd was a golfer on the LPGA Tour whose best years were in the 1970s and 1980s. She never won on tour, but was one of the better-known players of her era.

Date of birth: April 2, 1948

Place of birth: Fayetteville, North Carolina

Marlene Floyd's Golf Career

Floyd grew up in a golf family, taught the game by her father and also by Johnny Revolta, a major championship winner who won 18 times on the PGA Tour in the 1930s-40s. And her brother was Raymond Floyd, who went on to a Hall of Fame golf career on the PGA Tour.

Marlene broke 100 in her first 18-hole round. And in the first tournament she entered, the North Carolina State Championship, she reached the final before losing despite playing off an 8-handicap. By her late teens Floyd was gaining notice for her play (and for other reasons, as we'll learn in the next section below).

But pro golf wasn't yet on her horizon. After attending Fayetteville Business College in her hometown, Floyd went to work as a flight attendant for United Airlines. By the early 1970s, Floyd was playing amateur tournaments around her flying schedule. Her biggest successes in those years were back-to-back wins in the Women's Hawaiian Amateur in 1974-75.

She decided to go pro and entered LPGA Q-School in January 1976. She made it through, and 1976 was Floyd's rookie year on the LPGA Tour.

We already know Floyd never won on the LPGA. Her best finish was third place, achieved six times; her best finish in a major was sixth place in the 1981 U.S. Women's Open.

Floyd's best years were 1979 (three third-place showings) and 1981, in which, just as in 1979, she finished a career-best 24th on the money list.

Floyd was in the Top 60 in earnings in 1977-81, but in 1982 fell to 70th and never got back into the Top 60. She made her last LPGA Tour start in 1994. Floyd did win one professional tournament, the 1988 Carolina Women's Open.

The strength of Floyd's game was putting. She led the tour's putts per round category in 1980, 1982 and 1983.

In the latter stages of her tour career, Floyd launched "Marlene Floyd's For Women Only Golf School," which she conducted in the spring and fall. She became known as one of the top female golf instructors in America, and Floyd released a VHS golf instructional tape called Golf For Women Only.

Off-Course Factors Boosted Her Fame

You might say that Marlene Floyd's fame exceeded her game. One reason is because her brother was Raymond Floyd. The novelty of sister-and-brother pro tour golfers was something that brought attention.

Something else that brought attention: her looks. In 1964, 16 years old and playing mostly in club tournaments and local/regional amateur events, Floyd was named "Most Beautiful Golfer" by Golf Digest in an annual beauty contest it ran in its magazine back in those days.

Floyd had her own line of golf clothing, and more endorsement deals than was typical for most LPGA players of her era, including stars. In 1981, for example, Floyd's sponsors included Fila, 3M, her old employer United Airlines, Ford, Sounder Golf Company and Japan Golf Digest. She worked with Spalding and its Top-Flite brand in designing women's golf clubs.

In 1979, Floyd participated in The Superstars on the ABC network. That was a made-for-TV competition in which athletes from various sports competed in such things as running races, obstacle course, swimming, bowling and other disciplines. Floyd finished 13th.

And Marlene Floyd also did television commentary for NBC's golf broadcasts for more than 20 years, beginning during the early stages of her own tour career.

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