Born in Spartanburg, SC, Betsy Rawls grew up in Texas. During her amateur years in the Lone Star State, she won the Texas Amateur twice, the Trans-National in 1949 and the Broadmoor (Colorado) Invitational in 1950.
Miss Rawls turned professional in 1951 and was elected secretary of the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association when the group was chartered. She won 55 tournaments, putting her third on the all-time winners' list behind Kathy Whitworth and Mickey Wright.
Miss Rawls holds the unique distinction of having won the Women’s US Open four times. Only one other player, Mickey Wright, shares this prestigious feat. In her first clash with the pros in 1950, she finished 2nd in the Open 9 strokes behind the winner, Babe Zaharias. The following year, her first full year on tour, she won the Open. She was leading money winner in 1952 and 1959. As an indication of the size of the tour at that time her earnings in 1959 were under $27,000, in spite of winning 10 tournaments and capturing the Vare Trophy for lowest stroke average. During her tournament career, she was elected president of the LPGA in 1961 and ‘62.
Rawls retired as a player in 1975 but remained with the LPGA tour as tournament director. More of her time was then devoted toward administrative golf and in 1980 she became the first woman ever named to serve on the rules committee of the Men’s US Open.
She was elected on the LPGA Hall of Fame in 1960 and to the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.