LPGA co-founder Shirley Spork has died at 94 years old, less than two weeks after being inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame.
A decade after helping found the LPGA, she helped to create the LPGA Teaching & Club Pro Division.
“Becoming a founding member of both the LPGA Tour and the LPGA Teaching Division were highlights along the road,” Spork said in her book “From Tee to Green.”
Spork remained involved in the game, present yearly at the ANA Inspiration and the Founders Cup.
“There are many things I admire about Shirley but one, in particular, is her passion to continue to learn and stay involved with the game,” said Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb. “When she’s at an LPGA event you will always find her on the range watching all the girls, getting to know them, and maybe even giving a tip or two.”
At Michigan State Normal School (now Eastern Michigan University), Spork was the winner of the 1947 Women’s National Collegiate Golf Tournament. In 1950, while teaching in Detroit, she turned pro and signed on with the original charter of the LPGA.
Spork twice was named LPGA Teacher of the Year, which only one other person has done.
“Through the years I have met a lot of people and made a lot of dear friends,” Spork said. “It was fun to go to work every day and teach because people who came to me wanted to learn how to play. Learning to play the game of golf is like eating an elephant. It’s overwhelming unless you eat just one bite at a time and slowly digest it.”