Friday marks International Women’s Day. The theme is #balanceforbetter. Golf has spent considerable time and effort in recent years to bring more women into the game worldwide.
In terms of what more can be done is always a matter of discussion.
What can be stated without debate is that there have been many great female golfers over the years. Thirty-nine of them have earned enshrinement into the World Golf Hall of Fame. They include Jan Stephenson and Peggy Kirk Bell, who will be inducted in 2019.
To mark International Women’s Day, here’s a gallery honoring those 39 women who have achieved golf’s highest possible lifetime honor.
Each member is listed by her year of induction.
1951: Betty Jameson was a pioneer of women’s golf. (Getty Images)
1951: Patty Berg won 60 pro events and 15 LPGA major championships. Getty Images)
1951: Louise Suggs was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour modern women’s golf. (Getty Images)
1951: Babe Didrikson Zaharias was one of the greatest female athletes of the 20th century and a dominant force in golf. She won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics, and winning 10 LPGA major championships. (Getty Images)
1960: Betsy Rawls (left) won eight major championships and 55 LPGA Tour career events. (Getty Images)
1964: Mickey Wright sports her fourth U.S. Open Women’s Golf Championship trophy. She won 13 major championships and 82 pro tour events. (Getty Images)
1975: Glenna Collett Vare was often called “the female Bobby Jones” in her day. In 1924, she won 59 of 60 matches as an amateur. (FIle Photo)
1975: Joyce Wethered was considered the best British women’s golfer from the period between the First and Second World Wars. (File Photo)
1975: Kathy Whitworth she won 88 LPGA events, more than any golfer on either the LPGA or PGA Tours. In 1981 she became the first woman to earn more than $1 million on the LPGA Tour. (Getty Images)
1977: Sandra Haynie won 42 times on the LPGA Tour, including four majors. She ranked in the top ten on the LPGA Tour money list every year from 1963 and 1975. (Getty Images)
1977: Carol Mann won 42 events on the LPGA Tour, including four majors. She finished in the top ten on the money list every year from 1963 and 1975.
1978: Dorothy Campbell Hurd Howe was the first women to win the to win the American, British and Canadian Women’s Amateurs between 1905-12. (File)
1982: JoAnne Carner earned 43 PGA Tour victories and was the only woman to have won the U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Women’s Amateur, and U.S. Women’s Open titles. (USGA/Chris Keane)
1987: Nancy Lopez was a dominant figure in all of sports during the 1970s and ’80s. She captured 48 LPGA Tour titles, including three majors. (Associated Press)
1991: Pat Bradley was fixture in the winner’s circle on the LPGA Tour in the 1980s. She won 31 Tour events, including six major titles.
1993: Patty Sheehan won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1992 and 1994, the LPGA Championship in 1995, and the Nabisco Dinah Shore (now known as the ANA Inspiration) in 1996. She finished in the Top 10 on the LPGA money list every year from 1982 to 1993.
1994: Dinah Shore was a singer, noted TV celebrity and long-time friend of the LPGA. She founded the California tournament that eventually became the ANA Inspiration, one of the LPGA Tour’s five majors.
1995: Betsy King won 20 LPGA events between 1984-89, more wins than any other golfer in the world, male or female, during that time period. She won at least one event for 10 years starting in 1984. (Getty Images)
1999: Amy Alcott hits her third shot on the second hole during the second round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club on April 4, 2008 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
2000: Beth Daniel displays the Solheim Cup and her feisty red fingernails. She won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1980 and the Nabisco Dinah Shore three times, in 1983, 1988, and 1991.
2000: Juli Inkster has 31 wins and more than $13 million in career earnings on the LPGA Tour. She has more wins in Solheim Cup matches than any other American, and is the only LPGA Tour player to win two majors in a decade for three consecutive decades. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)
2000: Judy Rankin, who won 26 times on the LPGA Tour, has spent more than 30 years in the broadcasting business. (Getty Images)
2001: Donna Caponi got her first LPGA Tour win in the U.S. Open in 1969 and repeated as Open champion in 1970. Her 24-year career ended in 1988 and included 24 titles and four major championships. (Getty Images)
2001: Judy Bell was the first female president of the USGA and was inducted into the Hall via the Lifetime Achievement category. (Robert Walker/PGA of America via Getty Images)
2002: Marlene Bauer Hagge was one of the 13 founders of the LPGA in 1950. A young golf star along with her sister, Alice, she was named the Associated Press’ Woman Athlete of the Year in 1949 at the age of 15. (Hy Peskin/Getty Images)
2003: Hisako ‘Chako’ Higuchi won the 1977 LPGA Championship, making herself the first Asian male or female player to win a major golf tournament. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
2003: Annika Sorenstam remains one of the more impactful and transformative figures in golf history, in addition to one of its most successful players. She won 72 LPGA tournaments and 10 majors. She tops the LPGA Tour career money list with earnings of over $22.5 million. (Golfweek File)
2004: Marlene Stewart Streit is the most successful Canadian amateur female golfer. She is the only golfer to win Australian, British, Canadian and U.S. Women’s Amateurs. (Associated Press)
2005: Ayako Okamoto was a superstar in Japan before she joined the LPGA Tour. Her record includes 62 combined international and LPGA Tour victories from 1975-95. (Getty Images)
2005: Australian Karrie Webb continues to play on the LPGA Tour at age 44. Her 41 victories places her tied for 10th with Babe Zaharias all-time and is first among all active players. (Getty Images)
2006: Marilynn Smith was one of the 13 founders of the LPGA and joined the Hall of Fame in the Lifetime Achievement category. She passed away on April 9, 2019.
2007: Se-Ri Pak was the only Korean player on the LPGA Tour in 1998. When she retired in 2016, there were more than 40 Korean LPGA Tour regulars. Pak’s spectacular win in the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open inspired many Korean women to take up golf. (Getty Images)
2008: Carol Semple Thompson was an amateur for her entire career. She was enshrined in the Lifetime Achievement Category. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
2012: Hollis Stacy won the U.S. Open three times and amassed 21 professional victories. (Getty Images)
2015: Dame Laura Davies is the most-accomplished English female golfer of the past 50 years. She was the first non-American to top the LPGA Tour money list and won the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit seven times from 1985-2006. (Getty Images)
2017: Meg Mallon celebrates here winning the 2004 U.S. Women’s Open. She won four majors and 18 LPGA Tour victories in a career from 1987-2010. (Associated Press)
2017: Lorena Ochoa was the top-ranked female golfer in the world for 158 consecutive ending in 2010. She was the first Mexican golfer to be ranked No. 1 in the world and won 27 LPGA Tour events and 2 majors. (Orlando Ramirez/Golfweek)
2019: Peggy Kirk Bell was a life-long teacher, fierce advocate for women’s golf and a charter member of the LPGA in 1950. She died in 2016 at age 95. (PGA of America)
2019: Jan Stephenson came from Australia to become the LPGA Rookie of the Year in 1974. She continues to impact the game in 2019. She is a three-time Major Champion and a founder Women’s Senior Golf Tour. (Associated Press)
A Hall of Fame flag outside the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)