LCFF 2014 Short

Before Babe: The Women Who Changed Golf

Before Babe: The Women Who Changed Golf chronicles an important era in women’s golf, when the top amateur women golfers on both sides of the Atlantic changed the way women played golf, began international competitions, and set the stage for Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Patty Berg and 11 others to establish the LPGA two decades later.

The drive for change began in the first years of the 20th century, stalled during World War I, and took off during the Roaring 20s, when women cast off corsets and shortened their skirts, no small changes when it came to swinging a golf club. It was a time when girls who had an interest in sports were allowed, even encouraged to pursue those interests to their hearts’ content, like never before. And just as the newsreels took notice of champion boxers and big league baseball players, the cameras loved to capture accomplished women golfers competing for trophies.

Drawn together by destiny and the sheer will of golf fans, top American champion Glenna Collett and top British champion Joyce Wethered squared off on the revered Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland in the final round of the 1929 Ladies’ British Championship, a match still considered one of the all-time great golf matches. In 1930, Collett served as captain of a team of U.S. women golfers who sailed to England to play an informal match with Britain’s top female golfers. That match was the forerunner to the official Curtis Cup, a women’s team competition between the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland. First contested in 1932, the Curtis Cup continues to this day.

Using vintage film, photographs, newspapers, books and magazine coverage, Before Babe spotlights these groundbreaking international matches, and the impact these 1920s women golfers had on their sport and society at-large.

Director Bio 

Nancy Kapitanoff – Writer, Director, Producer

Nancy Kapitanoff served as Coordinating Producer on the PBS American Masters documentary, “Woody Allen: A Documentary.” She is the co-producer, co-director and co-writer of the short film documentary, “Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn,” which received a Special Jury Mention at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. She also wrote, produced and directed the short film documentary, “The Comet Model News” (, which won the Best Short Documentary Award at the 2006 Winnipeg International Film Festival.

Kapitanoff has been a Los Angeles-based freelance writer since 1991, writing about independent and foreign films for various publications including Tower Records’ PULSE! Magazine, the Directors Guild of America’s DGA MAGAZINE and the Writers Guild of America’s WRITTEN BY magazine. Writing assignments for other publications have ranged from covering the basics of model railroading for a Web site featuring hobbies to writing regularly about art for the Los Angeles Times. Her short story, “Life After Death,” received Honorable Mention in the July 2009 Very Short Fiction competition organized by the literary journal, Glimmer Train. 

Kapitanoff began her career as an Editorial Assistant at KNBC-TV News in Los Angeles, followed by serving as Senior Researcher for Bruce Cohn Productions, which produced two HBO Documentary series, “Time Was…” and “Remember When.” Her production company, NAK Films LLC, is currently developing a documentary on the Follow Your Heart Market & Café, a vegetarian, natural food market in Canoga Park, CA, which recently celebrated its 44th year in business; and the feature length Before Babe documentary film on early-20th century women golfers.

Credits list:

  • Before Babe: The Women Who Changed Golf 2013, Short Documentary, Writer/Director Producer
  • Woody Allen: A Documentary, 2011, PBS American Masters 2-part documentary, Coordinating Producer
  • Out of Infamy: Michi Nishiura Weglyn, 2010, Short Documentary, Co-Writer/Co-Director/Co-Producer
  • The Comet Model News, 2006, Short Documentary, Writer/Director/Producer