1-8 of 8 Results  for:

  • 1955–1971: Civil Rights Era x
Clear all

Article

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 ...

Article

Robert Lee Elder, known as Lee, spent his early years in Dallas, Texas. Elder's father, Charles, was employed as a coal truck driver in Dallas before he was killed in combat during World War II. His mother, Sadie, died shortly thereafter. Lee and his seven siblings moved several times before they finally settled with a relative in Los Angeles, California.

Elder learned to play golf as a teenager while working as a caddy at country clubs in San Bernadino, California. He served in the United States Army from 1959 to 1961, during which time he continued to play golf and was named captain of the golf team at Fort Lewis, Washington. After leaving the army Elder joined the African American United Golf Association (UGA) Tour. Elder dominated the tour, winning titles in 1963, 1964, 1966, and 1967 While on tour he met and married ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Golf  

For information on:

Beginnings of golf as an African American sport: See Sports and African Americans.

African and African American: See Elder; Gibson; Woods.

Article

Golf  

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 ...

Article

Golf  

Wesley Borucki

Few African Americans have starred in the professional ranks of golf compared to their Euro-American counterparts (Tiger Woods could be seen as the obvious exception), but nonetheless they have made many contributions to the game as players and even caddies. Those competitors excluded for decades from competition on the PGA Tour formed their own tour, a training ground for those who would go on to integrate the tour.

Important African American contributions to golf date back to the 1800s. Dr. George Franklin Grant, a Boston dentist, received a patent for wooden golf tees in 1899, but he never marketed them. Sporting goods manufacturer Spalding profited from his invention in the 1920s, well after Grant's death. The first African American professional golfer, John Shippen, competed in the 1896 U S Open at Shinnecock Hills Country Club in New York where he caddied and learned golf from ...

Article

Kate Tuttle

Gary Player may be not only the greatest golfer from South Africa but one of the greatest golfers of all time. He has won more than 100 major international titles and is one of only four men to win each of the game’s four major professional tournaments. After a difficult childhood—his mother died when he was eight years old, and his father, a gold miner, barely made enough to live on—he learned to play golf on a local course and turned professional in 1953. Four years later he entered the United States Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) circuit. Player’s long roster of victories includes the British Open (1959, 1968, 1974), the U.S. PGA (1962, 1972), the U.S. Open (1965), and the Masters (1961, 1974, 1978 In addition he won the South African Open thirteen times and the ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

professional golfer and businessman, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on 1 November 1935, the son of Muriel (maiden name unknown) and Harry Player. His father worked in a gold mine beginning at age thirteen, and later became a professional golfer. Player has recalled that his mother was a major influence on her son, and that she encouraged him to show respect toward others. Cancer took her life when Player was only eight years old, a loss he felt deeply well into adulthood. As a child Player idolized cowboy heroes from American television western series like Have Gun, Will Travel and eventually adopted the dark sartorial look of that show s hero Paladin on the golf course Wearing a shirt pants and cap Player later gloried in the nickname The Black Knight It took some convincing by Harry Player for his son to focus on golf rather ...