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Bertha (Mrs.R.L.) Bowen - World's greatest friend of golf

Aniela Gorczyca Goldthwaite (L) and Bertha Bowen (R)
“Texas has been truly fortunate in having so many outstanding women golfers. Names that come to mind immediately are: the one and only "Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, Betty Jameson, Betsy Rawls, Aniela Gorczyca Goldthwaite and Polly Riley. But there have been others, not champions, who have worked through the years to promote women's golf and have helped produce our champions.  One of these is Bertha (Mrs. R. L.) Bowen of Fort Worth.” – Frances Cartlidge, The Lady Golfer, March 1969
 
Bowen and her husband moved to Ft. Worth from El Paso in 1930 and she took up golf at Meadowbrook Country Club.  While taking lessons at the club, she met young Aniela Gorczyca (later Goldthwaite).  As Goldthwaite became a dominant force in Texas and American amateur golf, Bowen was often at her side, accompanying her young friend to championships all across the country.  Goldthwaite won three WTGA State Amateur Championships, twice represented the United States in Curtis Cup matches, was the Curtis Cup Captain and served as the Chair of the USGA Women’s Committee.  Bowen is also well-known as the dearest friend of “Babe” Zaharias.  Babe described Bowen’s as “like godparents to me”.  After Babe won the 1946 US Women’s Amateur Championship, she promptly returned to Fort Worth and placed her trophy on the Bowen’s mantle.  Babe recovered from her first major cancer surgery at the Bowen’s Fort Worth home, and her battle with the disease prompted their service to the Babe Zaharias Cancer Fund.

Service to others was a way of life for Bowen.  During World War II, she served as a volunteer for the local chapter of the Red Cross and distinguished herself as a civilian social worker.  She volunteered in service to golf almost from her first day playing.  Over her career, she would serve as a Director and Officer for the WTGA and as President for the Texas Senior Women’s Association.  She joined the USGA Senior Womens Committee and was instrumental in bringing the 1969 US Senior Women’s Amateur Championship to Fort Worth.  Bowen is remembered as a great friend of golf and just generally a great friend. Fittingly, she is also remembered each year by the WTGA Senior Medalist, who is awarded the Cartlidge-Bowen trophy acknowledging her great contribution to Texas golf.

“Golf is my idea of true sportsmanship. It has made such a rich contribution to my life, I want to continue to do anything I can to promote golf and to help others enjoy the game as I have all these years". -  Bertha Bowen
100 Texas Women is a blog with each post featuring a different notable woman from the history of Texas golf.  You can honor these women and invest in the next 100 years of women's golf by contributing to the Breaking 100 campaign.  All proceeds benefit the TGA Foundations' Women's Initiatives.  Learn more and support the campaign here.
 
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