This month, our nation celebrates the many accomplishments of African Americans. In the golf world, we should do the same.
February is African American History Month, or Black History Month, depending on where you live. We thought it would be appropriate to honor the golfers of color during this very important time. Although the list may seem short, these black golfers (not named Tiger) paved the way for change in a white-male dominated sport.
The history of golfers of color has been a short one, as people of color have been excluded from country clubs and golf courses until the very recent past. Even when “progressive” clubs and courses allowed people of color to participate, they were often limited to roles as caddies, groundskeepers, or scorekeepers.
Even in this modern era of golf, the list of golfers of color is a disappointingly short one. The reasons for this are plenty, one of the main ones being the inaccessibility of the game. Those living in urban areas have no courses anywhere close to home. Then, even if there is a course nearby, the fees associated with playing can quickly get out of hand. Unfortunately, the price would multiply if one includes the price of a decent set of clubs.
Ideally, to make the game more accessible to people of all colors and income levels, we’ll start to see more cost efficient alternatives to expensive course fees and club costs. In any case, diversity in our game inspires more people to play and brings us closer together.
So, in the spirit of celebration, here are some of the most impactful black golfers in the history of the sport.