“They would empty the clubhouse at the Rochester Golf and Country Club to watch [her] play the men”
Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of Dansingburg’s life and career:
About 1908: Gertrude Boothby is born in Boston, Mass. to Dr. and Mrs. Walter Boothby. She takes up golf as a young girl, though neither of her parents play
About 1918: Boothby moves to Rochester with her parents.
1925: At age 17, Boothby—who plays out of the Rochester Golf and Country Club—becomes the first (and youngest) golfer outside the Twin Cities to win the Minnesota Women’s State Amateur championship.
Mid-1920s: Boothby attends Cambridge University in England for two years, where she studies veterinary medicine while continuing to play golf. She also plays field hockey, wins a speed skating title in England, and, according to her daughter, Janet, in a 1990 Post-Bulletin interview, isn’t “afraid to put the bait on a hook or clean the catch.”
1930: Boothby marries Hayes Dansingburg in Rochester on November 11. She also continues to rack up tournament wins over the course of the next decade,
winning 11 state titles, including eight state championships and three medal play titles. (In the years 1928 to 1931 alone, she wins three consecutive match-play and three straight stroke-play titles.)
Dansingburg’s daughter, Janet, remembered outings to the Rochester Golf and Country Club with her mother during these years. “They would empty the clubhouse at the Rochester Golf and Country Club to watch my mother play the men,” she told the Post-Bulletin. “It didn’t bother my mother, but the men seemed to get nervous about it.”
1941: Dansingburg quits tournament play to raise her family and care for her husband, who has suffered a heart attack. Though she no longer plays the tournament circuit, she continues to play socially at the Rochester Golf and Country Club.
1990: Dansingburg is inducted into the Minnesota PGA Hall of Fame at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids. Though she doesn’t live to see the honor (she died in 1974), her daughter, Janet, attends, telling the Post-Bulletin at the time, “I was very proud of her. You might even say it was long overdue. They still have the trophies that appear at tournaments with my mother’s name on them, so it’s kind
of hard to overlook her.”