LPGA Founding Member Danoff Dies At 88

By Salon Staff

Published December 23, 2011 5:54AM (EST)

Bettye Danoff, one of the LPGA Tour's 13 founding members, has died. She was 88.

The LPGA Tour said Danoff died Thursday in Texas.

At 5-foot-2 and barely 100 pounds, Danoff earned the nickname "Mighty Mite" and was the first grandmother to play the tour. Before the formation of the LPGA Tour, she beat Babe Zaharias 1-up as an amateur in the final of the 1947 Texas Women's Open to end Zaharias' 17-tournament winning streak.

Danoff won four straight Dallas Women's Golf Association Championships from 1945-48, the women's division of the Texas PGA in 1945 and 1946 and the Texas Women's Amateur in 1947 and 1948. The Texan, winless on the LPGA Tour, also played exhibitions as an amateur with PGA Tour star Byron Nelson in the late 1940s.

"Bettye really did make a difference, in the world of golf —and all of us are living proof," LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said. "Because of her courage, and the vision/belief of many others that followed our founders, we all get to participate in a fantastic business and game."

Danoff's husband, Dr. Clyde Walter Danoff, died in 1961.

Salon Staff

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