LPGA Hall of Fame Member & Junior Golf Mentor
Junior golfer Beth Daniel learned golf course etiquette from golf pro Al Esposito at the Charleston Country Club. Honoring his legacy, today she lends her name to the club’s annual Junior Azalea Tournament which raises money for junior golf charities. Named LPGA Rookie of the Year in 1979, Beth has a career record of 33 tour wins. She was elected to the LPGA Hall of Fame and World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.
You are the youngest of three. Tell me about your brother and sister.
My brother, who is six years older than me, has been a banker his whole life. He attended The Citadel and was in the Army Reserves for over 30 years. He served in Desert Storm and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. My sister is three years older than me, but she looks younger. She was very smart, graduated with honors and wanted to be a marine biologist, but they were not hiring women at the time. Everywhere she went, they either told her she was overqualified, or they couldn’t hire women. She began working at The Greenery in Charleston, South Carolina, which is a floral and plant store. She became the manager and eventually bought it. Today, she still owns it.
A common theme is that you both took non-traditional paths. You held your first golf club at age six?
Yes, that is my first memory of golf. Both my parents played golf. My brother and my sister also play. My first memory is at the Country Club of Charleston on the 10th hole. My parents were up ahead. I had a club and a ball, and I was hitting it down the fairway while they were playing.
Tell me about them: your father and mother.
My mother is Charleston born and bred. She is very quiet, very conservative. My dad was 17 years old when he enlisted in World War II. He originally chose the infantry, but they had too many infantrymen, so he was transferred to the Navy. They sent him from North Carolina to Chicago, where he trained, and then he went to San Diego for further training. Finally, he was sent to Tampa to board his ship bound for the Pacific where he served in World War II. My father enlisted because his family didn’t have much money, and it gave him the opportunity to go to college. After the war, he attended The Citadel which is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and that’s where he and mom met. My dad was a Coca-Cola bottler in Charleston. He started out in the fertilizer business and held a position much like an accountant. He then moved over to Coca-Cola, which he always says was the best move he ever made. He worked his way up in the company and became president. In those days, when you owned a Coca-Cola bottling company, or when you worked for one, the president went out and called on other businesses to get them to buy Coca-Cola. Because my dad has a big personality, he knew everybody in the town. He’s a jokester and fun to be around. He’s the life of the party. I have always said that my mom complemented him so well because she let him be that. She would throw in her little one liners every once in a while. The two of them together are pretty funny to be around.