LPGA co-founder and World Golf Hall of Fame member Marilynn Smith died Tuesday at the age of 89, the league announced.
Smith, who founded the LPGA with 12 others in 1950, would have turned 90 on April 13. Her death leaves Marlene Bauer Hagge and Shirley Spork as the only surviving co-founders.
“Marilynn was my Founder, my North Star and most importantly my friend,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “In her life, she broke barriers, shattered stereotypes and made others ‘believe.’ I’ll miss her weekly handwritten cards, her daily calls to my office and her love for every LPGA teacher, tour player, and staff member. Quite simply, Marilynn left this world better than she found it — and set a standard that will guide us forever.”
Smith remained active in the game, most recently greeting finishers at the Founders Cup in Phoenix on March 24.
Smith posted 21 victories on the tour with two major championships. She was president of the LPGA from 1958-60 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Smith became the first woman to work a men’s event as a TV broadcaster in 1973.
—Field Level Media