The golf world has long been a bastion of whiteness, and the numbers of Black players continue to fall. But steps are being taken to make the game more diverse. These include more women on tour, and a stronger focus on women’s golf. Despite this, Black golfers still fall behind their white counterparts, and there are still many barriers to entry. But as these obstacles are overcome, the sport will be more inclusive.
Black golfers fall behind white golfers
Research shows that Black golfers often fall behind their white counterparts. The problem is that black golfers don’t have the resources that their white counterparts have. They lack access to elite country clubs and one-on-one mentorship from professionals. As a result, Black golfers often have fewer tournament rounds and are less likely to make it into the professional ranks. In the United States, less than three percent of golfers are Black.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the PGA of America’s all-white status was challenged. Eventually, black golfers began to organize their own touring organization and played at courses and settings that were less than equal. In the late 1990s, black golfers began to win tournaments in places such as Tampa and Miami. One competition, known as the North-South Tournament, was played in Miami Springs and was considered the best-organized in the circuit.
Despite this discrimination, a number of African-Americans excelled on the PGA Tour prior to Tiger Woods. In the 1980s, Calvin Peete won 12 PGA titles and ranked second only to Tom Kite in tour earnings. However, until 1961, African-Americans were barred from participation in the PGA because of its «whites-only» clause. In the early 1900s, young black golfers had to settle for the minor league circuit and the National Negro League.
Stackhouse’s path impossible to replicate
Amy Stackhouse’s golf career is one of the most unlikely to be repeated. Although she is considered a pro athlete, she still admits to feeling like a 6-year-old on occasion. Her path to the top of the game is impossible to duplicate, because she had perfect timing, perfect technique and a knack for overcoming obstacles. Here’s a look at her path. Let’s start at the beginning: Stackhouse is an African-American who has been playing golf for seven years. In fact, her best finish to date is second.
Stackhouse began her professional career on the LPGA Tour five years ago. After studying at Stanford University, she was the seventh Black player to qualify for the tour. Today, she is the only African American full-time player on the LPGA. Stackhouse’s success is an inspiration for other players of color, as she represents diversity in golf and strives to make the game more inclusive. If there are more women like her on the golf course, more people will be encouraged to play.
Stackhouse’s legacy impossible to replicate
The legacy that Stackhouse leaves behind is impossible to duplicate in golf. She is the only African American woman on the LPGA Tour and is sponsored by KPMG. Her timing was impeccable and her path to success in golf is impossible to replicate. Stackhouse lives in Atlanta and is known for her strong work ethic and passion for the game. She also has an impressive list of accomplishments and is a role model for young women who play golf.
White golf’s appeal to white supremacy
The history of the game of golf is a rich one. It has attracted Black and white golfers of various backgrounds, and despite its popularity, there are very few African Americans in the sport. In the 1960s, there were 12 Black golfers, but the number dropped to three in the 1980s and 1990s. This fact suggests that the power structure of the sport has undermined the gains made by Black golfers in the post-civil rights era.
A plethora of racially charged rhetoric surrounds the game. The PGA, for instance, had a whites-only policy until 1961, and some golf courses are even named after plantations. Others are geared toward celebrating South Carolina’s secession from the federal union. In fact, some of these clubs even have initiation fees of more than $50,000. In the United States, the infamous «No Blacks, No Jews, No Gays» mentality dominated the majority of Anglo-Saxon society for many years.
The modern game of golf has its origins in Scotland. King James II banned the game of gowf, which was played in Scotland, in 1457. King James viewed the game as a distraction from archery practice, so he banned it. In 1471 and 1491, he prohibited the game again, calling it unprofitable. King James also accused golf of being responsible for the murder of his friend Lord Darnley.
Several theories have been advanced about the earliest origins of the sport, including chole implements and jeu de mail rules. Other theories include a combination of these two games. The earliest known version of golf may have been played in ancient Rome, where players would use a bent stick to strike a stuffed leather ball. It is now generally accepted that golf originated in Scotland, where it is played on courses with 18 holes. The game’s name, golf, may have been derived from the Dutch word for stick, bat, or club.
The game’s early versions were Dutch in origin, and were played in the late 1400s. The modern game of golf, however, was invented in Scotland during the 15th century. As a result, many of the oldest and most renowned golf courses are located throughout the United Kingdom. One of the most renowned courses is St. Andrews Golf Club, which hosted the first 18-hole round of golf in 1754. It continues to host tournaments today.
Its appeal to white supremacy
Many golfers are haters. While they may use different labels to describe their politics, they often share a similar ideological message. Golfers decry the sport as a giant board game with the rich destroying forests and displacing local residents to play. Those who decry golf for being a racist sport may also be concerned about the impact of their game on the environment, as well as the health of local residents.
Moreover, it isn’t just the wealthy who are affected by golf’s discrimination. People with darker skin are also targeted by pro shop employees. As Ta-Nehisi Coates argues, «being black in America means being perpetually on parole.» And yet, despite the growing societal divide, golf continues to be an exemplar of the way a few people hog all of the resources in society.
Its appeal to Black talent
With social justice protests and George Floyd’s death fresh in the public’s mind, the golf industry stepped up to interview notable Black athletes. These athletes ranged from a 56-year-old former NBA player to a 33-year-old female long-driving champion. Although each had a different story to tell, a few recurring themes emerged. Here is a sampling of what they had to say.
South Africa’s elite golf scene is almost lily-white compared to the days of apartheid. There were just 13 black South Africans in the 2009 US Open and seven in the British Open. Vincent Tshabalala tied for 56th in the 1977 US Open. These numbers do not reflect the diversity of the country’s black talent. Despite their lack of exposure, South African golfers continue to show great promise, but the country’s golfing institutions must take action to attract more black talent.
Several factors have contributed to the growing popularity of the sport among Blacks. Many of these young people didn’t pick up the sport because of Woods. They took up golf because they had a connection to the sport in their community. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been critical in helping to increase the sport’s diversity and inclusion. They often run golf programs in the HBCUs where young people of color can attend.