- Karen Jean Hunt
African American women’s interest in golf began in the early part of the twentieth century. Most of the women had been taught to play by their husbands or fathers. Although there were few opportunities to play professional golf, Marie Thompson, of Chicago, Illinois, became the first African American woman to win a major tournament. On Labor Day weekend in 1926, Thompson won the first Negro National Open, the premier golfing event for African Americans, at the Mapledale Country Club in Stow, Massachusetts. The United States Colored Golf Association (USCGA) sponsored the competition, which offered a place for talented African Americans to compete at a time when they were not allowed to do so in white tournaments. In 1929 the USCGA changed its name to the United Golf Association UGA Although African American women were originally allowed to participate in the National Open championship a separate women s ...
A version of this article originally appeared in Black Women in America, 2nd ed.