Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Bettye Danoff, who was one of the 13
founding members of the LPGA Tour in 1950, has died. She was 88.
Known by fellow playing pros as "Mighty Mite" for her diminutive stature,
Danoff died Thursday in Texas, the LPGA Tour said.
In a statement, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said the tour was living proof
that Danoff made a difference in the world of golf.
"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 began playing golf at the age of six when her parents opened a driving
range and a nine-hole golf course. Among her career achievements was beating
Babe Zaharias 1-up in the Texas Women's Open, ending Zaharias' 17-tournament
Before turning professional in 1949, Danoff played exhibitions as an amateur
with rising PGA Tour star Byron Nelson and was the medalist at the 1948 U.S.
Women's Amateur Championship.
She traveled with her three daughters while competing on the LPGA Tour in the
days before tour childcare.
"I remember traveling for five consecutive tournaments with her while she
played," said Debbie Bell, her youngest daughter. "She was often frustrated
because she had to find friends and people to help watch us while she
After her husband died suddenly in 1961, Danoff was limited to playing
tournaments in Texas and Oklahoma while she raised her family. Later, she was
the first grandmother on the LPGA Tour.
The Sports Network