Transcript (179 KB)


1949 Michigan State Normal College graduate and co-founder of the LPGA Shirley Spork has led a life uniquely her own, balancing her love of the game of golf with her passion for teaching and leaving the game of better place for those who come after her. Despite the lack of a competitive women's golf program in the 1940s, MSNC saw Spork emerge as the brightest star of the game as she won the 1947 Women's National Collegiate Golf Championship and was Tam o' Shanter All American Amateur Champion in 1948. She was runner up in the National Collegiate Golf Championship, and won the Michigan State Women's Amateur title. Spork was one of the top ten Money winners of 1951 and toured Europe as the first LPGA pro to conduct clinics in foreign countries. Following the whirlwind tours of the early LPGA, Spork became widely recognized as a teaching professional and it was written that Spork's "gregarious grin and golf know-how made her exceptionally effective in nurturing the potential in junior golfers. Spork has been awarded the Joe Graffis Award for Outstanding contributions to the teaching of golf, the LPGA Teacher of the Year Award and was inducted into the Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame in 1968, and the EMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981. Spork is the namesake of the annual Shirley Spork Invitational. This interview covers Sporks experience at Michigan State Normal College as a student. Part Two describes Spork's time as a professional golfer and co-founder of the LPGA.

Interview Date



Shirley Spork, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State Normal College, LPGA, Ladies Professional Golf Association, Detroit, women's athletics, World War Two, Great Lakes Engineering, club sports, golf, Bonnie Brook Country Club, Redford Country Club

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Permission to quote from this oral history should be requested from the University Archives (

Streaming Media

Shirley Spork, Oral History Interview, 2021, part 1