The LPGA’S Founding 13 Women And Their Legacy

The LPGA’S Founding 13 Women And Their Legacy

Apr 10th 2023

LPGA Founding Members: Pioneers of Women's Golf

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is one of the most prestigious women's golf organizations in the world. It was established in 1950, and since then, it has been promoting and developing women's golf on different levels. However, the LPGA wouldn't have been possible without the courage and determination of its founding members.

The First 13 Women

There were 13 founding members of the LPGA, all of whom were professional golfers. These women were Alice Bauer, Patty Berg, Bettye Danoff, Helen Dettweiler, Marlene Bauer Hagge, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Betty Jameson, Sally Sessions, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork, Louise Suggs, and Babe Zaharias. These women had to fight against gender discrimination and inequality in a male-dominated sport to make the LPGA possible. They were courageous and dedicated to their sport, and their efforts paid off. Hagge and Spork are the only two remaining founding members still alive today.

Their Achievements

The LPGA founding members were not only pioneers of women's golf, but they were also remarkable athletes. They won numerous tournaments and championships throughout their careers. Babe Zaharias, for instance, was a versatile athlete who won 10 LPGA major championships and two Olympic gold medals in track and field. Louise Suggs, on the other hand, was the first woman to win the U.S. Women's Open and had 61 LPGA Tour victories in her career. These women not only paved the way for the future generation of women golfers but were also role models for young girls who wanted to pursue a career in sports.

Their Legacy

The LPGA founding members' legacy is immense. They not only established a professional women's golf association, but they also changed the perception of women's sports. They showed the world that women are as capable as men in sports and that they deserve equal opportunities. Today, the LPGA has grown to become an international organization with members from different countries, but it wouldn't have been possible without the first 13 women who had the courage to create it.

The Marilynn Smith Foundation

Marilynn Smith, one of the LPGA founding members, established the Marilynn Smith Foundation in 1999 to help young women pursue their dreams of playing collegiate golf and to support various charities. The foundation provides scholarships, grants, and financial assistance to young women who aspire to play golf at the collegiate level.

The Arizona Golf Foundation will host the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am & The Arizona Senior Women’s Open April 23 – 26, 2023 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, AZ. As a local and woman-owned business, Glove It continues to be a proud sponsor of these events.

These women’s achievements and legacy have inspired generations of women golfers. As we celebrate the LPGA's success today, we should also remember and honor the first 13 women who made it possible. If you would like to check out the official “Founders” film you can watch it for free on amazon prime: