A Collection of Four Letters to John Derr, CBS, Sportscaster
Estelle Lawson was known as the "Golf Queen" of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a noted amateur golfer. When the Stock Market Crash came in 1929, the construction of Chapel Hill's first golf course came to an abrupt end. Her father who had starred in both baseball and football stepped in and on his own with Estelle's help finished the course in four years while coaching the UNC baseball team. She still did not know how to play so largely was self-taught and in her amateur career won seven North and South Women's Amateurs at the Pinehurst Resort dominating women's golf in the Carolinas while winning many awards and defeating Patty Berg in the finals to win the amateur championship in 1937. A nice collection from 1941 to 1965 of the letters to John Derr, Director, CBS Sports and a fellow North Carolinian and protege of Red Barber. (1) June 12, 1941. 2 page Autographed Letter Signed to John Deer % Greensboro Daily News with her hope to win the trophy (2) January 12, 1948, 4 page autographed letter to John Derr at CBS Sports, New York. She thanks him for the wire of encouragement, glad she is still on the International Team; notes her husband Julius still had not recovered from wounds suffered in Germany in World War I, ; (3) Oct 13, ca 1955, thankful for the encouragement, she has been depressed, had been away from golf for a while but began playing again recently and was able to shoot in the '70s; (4) Feb. 14, 1965. 3 Page Autographed Letter Signed. The longest and most in depth to a major golf sportscaster and friend, John Derr on how she sees the television presentation of golf. She opens that she was watching on TV the Arizona Open..I've had the same complaint ... I know the camera is set up to show armchair Sunday..spectators, mostly chips and blasts close to the greens and the putts on the green. But why??? Oh, why can't we have a view showing cup and ball approaching it? We get gorgeous views of the head and body of the golfer--often the spectators around the edge of the green, but rarely do we see a putt actually drop in or finish its roll in relation to the cup!. Can't we see the hands, legs, and the ball a little more? If that isn't enough, you see I'm really on the rampage tonite, some of these men at the various "stations" talk too much. I'm sure if viewers aren't golfers, they do not look at TV golf; so really the reporters are talking mostly to golfers who do know a little about the game...Today we got our third big snow. Hoping to see you at Pensacola.....drop in if you come our way." For those of us who watched the early days of golf on television, we know exactly the nature of her complaint. Today technology and sophistication have addressed her complaints. She also had been one of the founders of the North Carolina Women's Golf Association and was elected its first President. She was one of the first athletes inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the first woman to be so honored. John Derr, of course, was a major sportscaster at CBS and was the announcer in both radio and television of the Golf Majors events.