Marilynn Smith was one of the 13 LPGA founders and eagerly promoted the LPGA and golf for decades. Along the way, she also won more than 20 tournaments.
Date of birth: April 13, 1929
Place of birth: Topeka, Kansas
Nickname: Miss Personality. No, it was not a sarcastic nickname. The ever-friendly Smith has always been known as a great ambassador for the game, particularly women's golf.
Titleholders: 1963, 1964
Awards and Honors:
• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• Recipient, LPGA Patty Berg Award
• Member, LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals Hall of Fame
• Member, Kansas Golf Hall of Fame, Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, and Kansas University Sports Hall of Fame
Former LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens: "Marilynn has given her heart, soul and time to this game for decades."
• Marilynn Smith was the first golfer in LPGA Tour history to score a double-eagle. The momentous shot occurred at the 1971 Lady Carling Open.
Marilynn Smith Biography:
She had a long and productive career as a player on the LPGA Tour, but what got Marilynn Smith inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006 were her contributions to the game outside of tournament play.
Smith was called "Miss Personality" because of the ingratiating way in which she promoted her sport and championed women's golf. As a representative of Spalding Sporting Goods, she traveled America and the world, conducting thousands of clinics.
She was a cofounder the LPGA Tour in 1950, and later was a cofounder of the LPGA's teaching division. Smith served as LPGA president from 1958-60, and organized the first senior women's professional tournament, the Marilynn Smith Founders Classic.
Smith was the first woman to appear as a broadcaster on the telecast of a men's golf tournament. Her charitable efforts included organizing tournaments that benefit the Marilynn Smith Scholarship (administered by the LPGA) and the LPGA-USGA Girl's Golf program.
On the course, Smith, who attended the University of Kansas, won the Women's Intercollegiate title in 1949, which followed on the heels of three straight wins in the Kansas State Amateur (1946-48). She turned pro after signing with Spalding in 1949, then helped start the LPGA in 1950.
Smith's first win on the LPGA Tour was the 1954 Fort Wayne Open, and her last was the 1972 Pabst Ladies Classic. She played LPGA tournaments in every decade from the 1950s to the 1980s, last appearing on Tour in 1985.
Along the way, Smith won a pair of majors, back-to-back Titleholders championships in 1963-64, and 21 tournaments total. She finished as high as fourth on the money list three times, and was in the Top 10 nine times.
In 2000, Smith was one of the six inaugural inductees into the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame. And in 2006, she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame after being voted in through the Lifetime Achievement category.