Golf News

Marlene Hagge-Vossler, last LPGA founder and Hall of Famer, dead at 89

Marlene Hagge-Vossler, last LPGA founder and Hall of Famer, dead at 89

Marlene Hagge-Vossler, a teen golf sensation in the 1940s and 1950s who was the last survivor of the 13 women who founded the LPGA in 1950, died Tuesday morning in Rancho Mirage, California, family members confirmed. Hagge-Vossler was 89.

A 26-time winner on the LPGA including the 1952 LPGA Championship, Hagge-Vossler was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002 through the Hall’s veteran committee. Hagge-Vossler’s family said she died in a memory care facility in Rancho Mirage and had battled physical problems in the last year as the result of a fall.

Marlene Bauer was just 15 years old when the incorporation papers for the LPGA were signed to begin the women’s professional golf tour in 1950. Along with her older sister Alice and famed golfers such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Louise Suggs and Patty Berg, the 13 founders traveled the country in cars, running their own tournaments, setting up their own golf courses and doing their own promotional appearances without much financial support from sponsors or equipment companies.

The youngest of the 13 and considered the first blonde sex symbol on the tour, Hagge-Vossler proved to be more than just a pretty face. She won her first LPGA title in 1952 at the Sarasota Open and the last of her 26 titles at the 1972 Burdine’s Invitational in Miami. While Hagge-Vossler won just one major title, the 1952 LPGA Championship, she placed second in the U.S. Women’s Open that year, third in the Titleholders Championship in 1957 and second in the Western Open in 1965.

“Marlene had a very special place in the tour. She was not only a fine player, but she was beautiful, charismatic and popular,” said Charlie Mechem, another long-time desert resident and commissioner of the LPGA from 1990 to 1995. “The tour and golf as a whole will miss her.”

Hagge-Vossler was featured in the 2016 documentary film “The Founders” on the 13 founders of the tour. At that time, only four founders were still alive — Marilynn Smith, Louise Suggs, Shirley Spork and Hagge-Vossler. Spork, a long-time desert resident, died in April of 2022 at the age of 94, leaving Hagge-Vossler as the last living founder.

“I don’t know of any organization that recognizes and remembers it founders and, happily, in recent years has really embraced them totally,” Mechem said of the LPGA founders. “I like to think that I played a part in that.”

Sandra Palmer, another desert resident who will be inducted into the World Golf…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…