LPGA Co-Founder Dies at Age 88

Bettye Danoff co-founded the LPGA Tour with 12 other women, and she was the first grandmother to play the tour.

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    Bettye Danoff, a North Texas woman who co-founded the LPGA Tour, died at the age of 88 last week.

    "It's something that we knew would happen someday, but we didn't expect -- I mean, nobody expects it," said Debbie Danoff Bell, her youngest daughter.

    LPGA Legend Remembered for Her Legacy

    [DFW] LPGA Legend Remembered for Her Legacy
    Bettye Danoff grew up in Oak Cliff and was one of the founders of the LPGA tour. Danoff was 88 years old when she died last week. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011)

    Surrounded by her family members, Danoff died on Thursday evening. Her dying wish was to have her original clubs with her at her funeral.

    Bell said her mother was also being buried with her favorite putter.

    Danoff grew up in Oak Cliff and learned golf from an early age. Her parents owned a driving range and a nine-hole golf course in Dallas. That business moved to Grand Prairie in 1953, and Sunset Golf Center is still owned and managed by Danoff's family members.

    Danoff, who also co-founded the LPGA Tour with 12 other women, was the first grandmother to play the tour.

    "She didn't know she was going to be this recognized," Bell said. "She really didn't. She said, 'I was just there to play golf.'"

    Bob Mims, a co-owner of the Sunset Golf Center, said he framed his aunt's pictures and articles in the front entrance because he's proud of her.

    "Sometimes you'd like to achieve what she's done. But I might be a little bit too old for that now," he said.

    Mims said people continue to surprise him with facts about his aunt he didn't already know.

    "To have people come out and tell you stories that you haven't heard you know, that's special, too," he said.