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Martha Wilson

one of the first African American golfers to play on the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) tour. Born in Dallas, Texas, Elder was orphaned at an early age. He moved to Los Angeles to live with his sister, and surreptitiously entered segregated golf courses at night, where he taught himself to play golf. He moved in 1966 to Washington, D.C., where he served in the army and distinguished himself as a skilled golfer. It was here that he met and married his first wife, Rose Harper Lee. He became a professional golfer in 1959 and joined the all-black United Golf Association tour in 1961.

In 1967 he joined the mainstream PGA and in 1971 he played in the first racially integrated tourn`ament in South Africa s history after first making sure that he and his wife could stay at the hotel of their choice and could ...

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Michael C. Miller

professional golfer, was born in Dallas, Texas, the youngest of eight children of Charles, a truck driver, and Almeta Elder. Charles died in World War II, and Almeta just a few weeks later, leaving Lee to be raised by his older sister Sadie. In 1943 he started shagging golf balls and caddying at Tennison Golf Course, trying to earn money to help his family. The club professional at Tennison allowed caddies to play the holes not visible from the clubhouse, and by age twelve, Elder was a regular player and hustler on the course, including hustling and caddying for the legendary hustler, gambler, and golfer Titanic Thompson (Alvin C. Thomas). In 1949 Elder left Dallas to live with an aunt in Los Angeles, California, mainly to have more opportunities to play golf since blacks were restricted from most courses in Dallas.

Elder continued caddying and hustling ...

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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 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 ...