Former U.S. Women's Amateur Open Winner and Spartan Coach Passes Away

Former San Jose State women's golf coach Betty Hicks passed away this past Sunday, February 20, 2011.  Ms. Hicks was 90-years old.  She led the Spartan program from 1975 to 1977.

A 1974 San Jose State graduate, Ms. Hicks received her bachelor of arts degree in aeronautics and journalism and minored in physical education.  Besides her position at San Jose State, Hicks held positions at various university staffs and with prestigious country clubs including Riviera Country Club.  She also taught at various times at San Jose State.


Hicks, born in Long Beach, Calif., won the 1941 U.S. Women's Amateur and was the Associate Press Female Athlete of the Year who turned professional that year.  She finished second twice at the U.S. Women's Open - 1948 and 1954. 


Maybe more well know for her teaching of golf, Ms. Hicks was one of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional founders.  She chaired the first Teaching Committee from 1958-59 and played a pivotal role in creating guidelines and strategies for the LPGA Teaching membership's future growth.   Ms. Hick was part of the inaugural class of the LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame class in 2000.


Ms. Hicks also co-authored two books - "Golf Manual for Teachers" with Ellen Griffin in 1949 and "Patty Sheehan on Golf" with Patty Sheehan in 1996.  She also wrote "My Life" From Fairway to Airway" in 2006 as she chronicled her life in golf and her second career as a pilot.


Honored by many, Ms. Hicks was inducted into the San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame, the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame, the Women's Sports Foundation International Hall of Fame, the California Golf Writers Hall of Fame and the International Forest of Friendship Aviation Hall of Fame.  She won the 1999 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award for her efforts in growing the LPGA and teaching the game of golf to women.


A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m., at the Blue Pheasant Restaurant, Cupertino.  Donations to the Humane Socitey of Silicon Valley appreciated.