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Alice Bauer



Born in Eureka, Bauer at age 22 was one of the 13 founding members of the LPGA in 1950.

Bauer was introduced to golf by her dad, Dave, who owned and ran Hyde Park (now Lee Park) Golf Course in Aberdeen. She was the South Dakota state amateur champion in 1942 at age 14 – the youngest ever to do so.

“Hobe Richards (longtime Huron pro) was caddying for me in the finals and I had a terrible crush on him in those days,” she said in 2000, recalling the 36-hole final at Watertown. “Well, after nine holes I was 1-down and my dad knew if I got mad I would play a lot better. So he went over to Hobe and told him to make sure I heard him complimenting my opponent on how well she was playing. Well, I heard Hobe and that got me so mad, I went out and never lost another hole after that. I won that match 12 & 11. That poor girl never knew what happened. If I would have played mad more often I might have won some tournaments.”

The family moved to Long Beach, Calif., the next year. Bauer won the Southern Cal Amateur in 1949. On the LPGA Tour, her best finish was a playoff loss to Marilynn Smith in the 1955 Heart of America tournament in Wichita, Kan. Her best season was in 1956, when she was 14th on the money list. She often would be paired with the legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias, one of the greatest female athletes of all time. “(Babe) was a real showman. She was wild as a March hare, but she could come out of it because she was so strong,” Bauer remembered.

Bauer’s sister, fellow LPGA founder Marlene Bauer Hagge, is also in the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame. The Bauer sisters gave the early LPGA Tour some sex appeal. They wore shorts, especially for exhibition matches. They were featured in national magazines.

For Alice, being a mother to her two children (Heidi and David) was her first priority, and therefore she only played on the Tour occasionally. She was one of the first golfers to travel the Tour with her children.

 

 (Many of the photos on this site are of Alice and her sister Marlene Hagge. Group photos are from the LPGA of LPGA Founders)

Alice Bauer Founders video from 3-9-12 is at http://www.lpga.com/media-library/videos/2012/players/13-founders/bs12-founders-rd1-bauer_a-feature.aspx

 


























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