Dorathy Thigpen grew up playing golf at Charlotte Country Club and won the women’s club championship there in 1917 – at the age of 15. She dominated women’s golf across the region in the 1920s, regularly scoring in the mid 80s during a period in which the top women players were shooting in the 90s.
In 1923, she married Richard E. Thigpen who was alumni secretary at Duke University, and played the first round at the Donald Ross-designed Hope Valley Country Club, where she later set one of her numerous course records for female golfers.
Mrs. Thigpen gave up competitive golf in 1924 to raise her family after having played in the North-South Championship in Pinehurst a year earlier. She also won six team events in Pinehurst.
Returning to tournament play after having two children, she finished second in the 1929 Women’s CGA Championship. Mrs. Thigpen also captured the women’s championship at Hope Valley in 1928 and 1929. During this era, she played in the North-South Women’s Tournament in Pinehurst, and gave golfing exhibitions across the state of North Carolina.
Mrs. Thigpen enjoyed golf at the club level for over 50 years, and held the low score for women at four different venues in four different cities -- Charlotte Country Club, Hope Valley in Durham, Forsyth in Winston-Salem and Asheville Country Club.
Mrs. Thigpen died in 1989 at the age of 88 and joins the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame 2020 class posthumously alongside Dan Brooks. Together they highlight some of the most outstanding accomplishments women’s golf has ever seen across the area.