Barbara Rotvig

Barbara Rotvig was born in 1928 in Duluth, Minnesota. Passionate about sports, Rotvig was one of her school’s most successful female athletes, taking part in volleyball, track, basketball, softball and golf during her time at Denfeld High School in Duluth. Her love of sports was prevalent throughout her life. She brought her talent and influence to those around her wherever she went. She received her B.A. from University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1950, and taught for a few years at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio before receiving her M.A. from University of California in 1956.

Later, Barbara found her way to the University of Michigan, where she became a Physical Education instructor. She held this position until 1962. She was the first woman professional golfer at the university. Through her involvement as the chair of the teaching program of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, she was instrumental to the establishment of the first LPGA National Golf School to train golf teachers in 1960. This same year, she was named Teaching Professional of the year. The Board of Regents commented in one of their naming meetings: “Barbara…had a great vitality that was contagious. In a group of young people, faculty, or administrators, her individuality served as a catalyst so that the group brought forth greater things than it knew it could. She was skilled in not only the fundamentals of golf, but also an expert in planning of golf courses.”


“Baits II Hall (1967),” 262-F, Box 17, University Housing Records.

Image Credit:

“Barb Rotvig, UM Women’s Phys-Ed, golf instructor, 1960 LPGA Teaching Professional of the Year,” University of Michigan News and Information Services Photographs.