Chip Campbell, the 36-year-old publicist for the Ladies Professional Golf Association, has done similar work for the North American Soccer League, Washington Capitals and the Baltimore Colts. His present job, the one he enjoys the most, occasionally involves a new duty: listening.

"I remember during the Mixed-Team Championship in Florida last December, a young golfer came into the tournament office in tears," said Campbell. "She came to use the phone to make her air reservation back home.

"She had borrowed money from her mother to get from San Diego to Florida. She had lost her sponsor. She got to St. Petersburg and played well. But her partner played terrible and they missed the cut.

"She didn't know how she was going to pay the money back. She was really crushed. I just listened."

Campbell has seen the golfers in every mood and predicament. He sees them as being different from most women.

"They're more self-sufficient, more worldly, more able to handle life on their own without support," said Campbell. He refers to the same qualities Jan Stephenson says men don't like.

The fear is that too much independence hardens a woman.

"I don't think of them as a hard group to work with. I don't think of them as hard women at all," said Campbell. "Some of them have that exterior, but if you get pass it, they're pussycats.

"I think they get along a lot better than I would expect 150 women to get along. Because they're forced to be together, they work things out. They don't have head-to-head clashes. You take 150 women schoolteachers and force them together 50 weeks a year and I figure you have a lot of conflicts.

There were plenty of steamed crabs and beer for everyone at the table of 14 after the amazingly successful rookie, Nancy Lopez, won her third tournament of the year in Baltimore.

Her guests included Donna Caponi Young at her right, the golfer who challenged Lopez' four-stroke lead, but finished the day where she started in second place. After the tournament, Lopez visited the VIP room, full of partying officials, and told them warmly, "Donna has been like a sister to me and I would like to congratulate her. I love your tournament and I love all you people."

At Lopez' left sat her 26-year-old caddy, Kim (Roscoe) Jones, who had recently decided to quit, but changed his mind. To his left, a handsome, wealthy man who had come to offer his services as a caddy, for free. Young's husband, Ken, was there, along with some other golfers and their caddies.It is much more of a mixed group than one would see after a men's tournament, and they were clearly having a good time.

Lopez knows the loneliness of the tour, the dizzying experience of catapulting to stardom while struggling with memories of the college life and fiance left behind, adjusting to a life of travel, accepting the death of her mother.

But Lopez is lucky enough and good enough to become acquainted with the other side of the tour, too. Many never see it.

"One of my close friends only made one cut. I don't know what happened to her," said Lopez. "It's a great experience to be so young and be able to travel and meet people.

"I hate airports. But we stay in nice hotels and I really don't mind. I don't have to make my bed."

Lopez said that the hardest part of tour life is the pressure to win. But her biggest problem so far has been setting goals. Her first goal was to win a tournament. She's already won five. Her next goal was to win $100,000. She only has $3,552 to go. Her next goal is to finish first on the money list. Currently, she leads Penny Pulz by $41,532.

She also wants to marry. That was to happen in September with Ron Benedetti, from Houston.But they recently broke their engagement.

"I just couldn't do it," said Lopez. "A lot of ladies on the tour aren't married and it seems like golf is the only thing in their lives. I'm looking forward to getting married.

"But I think it would interfere now. I think I'm at an age where I can't handle that much responsibility - playing on the tour and being married. I felt I would be giving up more of my golf than anything else.

"I would just like to wait until I'm accomplished on the tour. Ron is trying to find a place for himself right now. I think all this has bothered him. I would like to go to Houston and Ronand just not pick up a club. I'm a lot different when I'm in a golf tournament. I'm a lot grouchier.

"I think I could be a good housewife. I think I'd miss all the excitement and attention though. For now, I'm very happy with what I'm doing."

Lopez realizes that she may be at a turning point in her life. Her goals have engaged her in a tug of war. Does she want the stability of a regular home life? The unpredictable fortune and misfortunes of the tour?

She isn't sure. But she has an inkling.

"I've played golf for so long," she said, smiling, "I don't know if I could be normal."

Jane Blalock was in heaven.

Actually, she was in Baltimore. In Memorial Stadium, watching her beloved Red Sox. Between rounds of the Baltimore Open last month. Blalock watched the Red Sox, with the exception of the night she took in a Bullet-76ers playoff game.

Blalock has effected the perfect merger of work and play, and is almost always in a bubbly mood. Hers is the Hollywood script success story - abandoning the teacher routine, becoming a pro in 1969, traveling the first two years, she says, "with a frying pan."

"But at times, all I could afford was tuna fish."

But since 1971, Blalock has never been ranked out of the top 10. She has earned a half-million dollars and perfected her strong all-round game to the point where she can choose her tournaments, and the layoff will not affect her game, nor her financial security. She is relaxed.

It is not unusual to see Blalock recruiting a bunch of golfers to go to a baseball game, a cookout, a play, a fishing hole or a way-out restaurant.

"My close friends on the tour and I all like wine, so we go looking for good restaurants and we make dinner an event," said Blalock. "I love to do crazy things.I play better when everything is going haywire."

Blalock made this discovery last winter when she took the advice of some friends who figured she could dominate the tour if she took her sport more seriously, hit more golf balls and fewer night spots.

"I gave that a shot this winter." said Blalock. "I'd be watching TV and I'd jump up and look at some notes, run to the mirror and stare at my swing. I wasn't myself. I wasn't loose. I didn't like myself."

Blalock, who says marriage never enters her mind, is building a house in Florida and setting up a management and promotions firm for women athletes. She is a part owner of the Connecticut Falcons of the Women's Professional Softball League. She believe she hasn't changed much since the tuna fish days. Only now she has an agent.