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Jason Philip Miller

professional golfer, was born in Owens, South Carolina, but her family relocated to Washington, D.C., and would remain there for the rest of her life. Little information about her early years or upbringing is available. As an adult, she managed the school cafeteria at Dunbar High School. She married Eugene Funches, an elevator operator at the National Geographic Society, and avid amateur golfer. It was from him that she learned the game.

At the time no white golf clubs or courses would admit African Americans, so blacks created their own competitive golf leagues and opened their own courses. Sometime in the early 1940s, Funches joined one of these, the Wake Robin Golf Club in Washington. Wake Robin had been founded not long before, in 1936 by thirteen women whose husbands were members of DC s Royal Golf Club The Royal Golf Club was only open to African American men ...

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Michael A. Antonucci

tennis champion and professional golfer, was born in Silver, South Carolina, the first of five children of Daniel Gibson and Annie Gibson, who worked as sharecroppers. The family moved to New York City in 1930, and Gibson grew up in Harlem. As a youth Gibson rejected rules and authority; a frequent truant, she dropped out of high school after one year. She did, however, enjoy competition, playing basketball and paddleball, and shooting pool. After Gibson won a 1941 Police Athletic League paddleball championship, Buddy Walker, a tournament official, suggested that she try playing tennis. With Walker's assistance, she began tennis lessons at Harlem's Cosmopolitan Club.

The following summer, Gibson was ready for tournament play. She won the 1942 New York State Open in the girls division a victory that began her rise through the ranks of the American Tennis Association ATA the governing body of black ...

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Michelle S. Hite

professional tennis player and professional golfer. Althea Gibson was born to Annie Bell Gibson and Daniel Gibson on a cotton farm in Silver, South Carolina. Her family settled in Harlem when Gibson was three years old. Constantly on the move, Gibson wandered her neighborhood streets in search of an outlet for her boundless energy.

The obvious talent Gibson exhibited at the Harlem River Tennis Courts, where she trained with the saxophonist Buddy Walker, led to a meeting with the illustrious American Tennis Association (ATA) champion Fred Johnson. The ATA governed competition for black players categorically excluded from white sporting organizations like the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA). With Johnson as her coach, Gibson earned early success in the 1942 New York State Open Championship Following this victory she competed in her first ATA national tournament where she made it to the finals She won the girls ATA ...

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Paul Devlin

professional golfer, was born in Detroit, Michigan, one of nine children, to Dennis Peete and Irene Bridgeport. When he was eleven, his parents split up and he was sent to live with his grandmother in rural Hayti, Missouri, supposedly temporarily. Instead Peete and two of his sisters ended up there permanently, eventually abandoned by their mother. A future master of a game played in a pastoral setting, Peete wished he was out of the countryside and back in Detroit. At the age of twelve he fell out of a tree and shattered his left elbow. Though he received proper medical attention, he would never be able to fully straighten his left arm. It is widely believed, however, that this misfortune proved to be a great advantage in his golf career.

Arguably the straightest hitter in golf history and a star of the 1980s Peete who suffered from Tourette ...

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Michael C. Miller

professional golfer, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the youngest of nine children. Rhodes rarely spoke of his parents, though he did mention in an interview that his father died when he was four years old. By the time he reached the fifth grade, Ted had dropped out of school to work as a caddy on area golf courses, including being a club favorite at the Belle Meade Country Club. When he was not caddying, Rhodes took other odd jobs at any golf course he could, or played golf. Nashville had no courses for blacks to use, so Rhodes and other caddies made their own courses in neighborhood parks. Rhodes also sneaked onto courses where he caddied or played on “caddy days,” and became fairly well known as a golfer and hustler.

Rhodes s golf swing the result of endless practice soon came to be recognized as one of the ...

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Gregory Travis Bond

golfer, was born John Matthew Shippen Jr., in Washington, D.C., one of nine children of John Matthew Shippen Sr. and Eliza (Spotswood) Shippen. In 1888, Shippen's father, a Presbyterian minister, accepted a mission to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation near Southampton, Long Island. Two years after the Shippens arrived, a group of wealthy New Yorkers established the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, one of the first modern golf courses in the United States, and Shippen earned money helping to clear the land. After completion of the eighteen-hole course in 1895, the local professional, a Scotsman named Willie Dunn, employed local youths to caddy for the club's members. Among his hires were Shippen and his friend Oscar Bunn a member of the Shinnecock tribe In their spare time Shippen and Bunn practiced the game under Dunn s tutelage and the two youths proved to be quick ...

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Gregory Travis Bond

golfer, was born Charles Luther Sifford in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of six children of Roscoe Sifford, a laborer, and Eliza. He was introduced to golf at the age of nine while working as a caddy at the local Carolina Country Club, where he learned the game during numerous early morning rounds. Sifford claimed his first title at a caddy's tournament in 1934, bringing home ten dollars and a case of Pepsi Cola. Financial difficulties and racial problems in Charlotte both on and off of the course forced him to drop out of his segregated high school during his junior year and move to live with an uncle in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1939. Sifford soon found a job as a shipping clerk for the National Biscuit Company, and he honed his golfing game at the public Cobbs Creek links.

During World War II Sifford served ...

Article

Scott Sheidlower

professional golfer, was born Jimmy Lee Thorpe in Roxboro, North Carolina, the ninth child in a family of twelve children, to Elbert Thorpe Sr. and his wife, Vivian. Although not related to him, Thorpe was named after the Native American Olympian Jim Thorpe, who won gold medals representing the United States in the pentathlon and decathlon in 1912 in Stockholm, Sweden. Hence, he is best known as Jim Thorpe.

The senior Thorpe was a greenkeeper in Roxboro at a country club The Thorpes lived in a small house near either the second or eighth fairway at the country club the sources being unclear as to which is correct One reason that Thorpe is such a good golfer is the fact that he is very muscular He first developed those muscles hauling mortar to help his father build the club s course greens While Thorpe and his siblings ...