black golf players

Black Golf Players: Who Are They? Get to Know Them

Heard of Tiger Woods? Of course, you did. He is the record holder of the youngest Grand Slam followed by a Tiger Slam record on his name. Probably, he is the finest Golfer from African-American countries who had been able to put such legacies after his name.

But from the African-American Nation, he is not the first. There is an entire history of pride of Afro-American Golf evolution that many of us don’t know. In fact, there is a long list of black golfers who’ve paved the way for blacks to thrive in the industry of golf.

In this whole article, we’ll be taking you through the time machine and show up how rich the black golf players were in the past. 

5 Black Golf Players Who Stood Out from the Crowd

Let’s start with a brief list of most enormous black golfers who'd been outstanding through their records, wins, and performances.

Tiger Woods 


This is the name that comes obviously on the list. Most of us recognize Afro-American golf legacy us by this name. Starting with a college career of the game, he had been one of the best players to date. The shiny part of his career had been between the years of 1997 to 2008. In this time span, he had won 14 tournaments and because of runners up at more than 15 tournaments. These tournament titles include Masters Tournament (4 times), The Open Championship (3 times), US Open (3 times), PGA Champion (4 times), etc.

Charlie Sifford

Charlie Sifford

He was the first Afro-American to play in the PGA tour and the winner of the 1967 Hartford Open. Later on, he won the United Golf Association's National Open for six times, and also the PGA senior's Championship in 1975. He is cited by Tiger Woods as an inspiring figure.

Lee Elder

Lee Elder

We remember Lee Elder as the first black winner of the Masters Tournament. The year was 1975, and later in 1979, he became the first black player to qualify for the Ryder Club.

Calvin Peete

Calvin Peete

Before the age of Tiger Woods, the most successful and recognized black golfer was Calvin Peete. Calvin has 12 wins in the PGA tours, and he is still the leading figure of driving accuracy for ten consecutive years. The years were from 1981 to 1990.

Althea Gibson


Although men started to be a part of the industry for many years, for women, it was quite late. Althea Gibson is the first woman to join the LPGA tour. Her greatest achievement was the tie at a three-way playoff at Len Immke Buick Open in 1970.

A Timeline of Afro-American Golf Achievements

Right today, although we don’t have too many golf stars from the region, they have a long heritage of golf that they’ve pursued till date. Here is a time-to-time golf history of African-Americans. I’m sure you’ll like it-

1899-1939: In 1899 someone named George Grant invented the modern golf tee with woods. In the field of Golf Course architect, they also opted in. Joseph Bartholomew is the person who is the first one in it in 1926, legendary golfer Robert Hawkings started his first tournament and continued for a long time. Another achievement was from Clyde Martin, who started with being the head profession of Langstone Golf course. He ended up with becoming the instructor of famous golfer Joe Louis.

1946- 1956: An officer from the US air force named William Powel started his course of constructing the golf course of Clear view Golf Course. The finding was from two more African American Physician. It has a nine-hole course which continues its legacy for a long time.

Later on, Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes are two famous players in the game from this region. The second one of them, Ted Rhodes made it become the second Afro-American player to play the US Open. Also, another player named Ann Gregory participated in the game of US Women’s Amateur as first Afro-American female.

1957- 1963: One significant event in this timespan was the Charlie Sifford's winning of Long Beach Open. The game was full of white golfers, and still, Charlie made it be on the top of them. Later in 1961, the PGA of America removed their Caucasian Only Law that prohibits Afro-Americans to participate in any professional golf tournaments.

In 1963, the great Tennis player Althea Gibson completed in LPGA tour as the first Afro-American player.  

1964- 1979: Another legendary black player named Pete Brown came in the era in this timeline. He is the player to become the first Afro-American player to win the PGA-sanction event, the Waco Turner Open and also the William San Diego Invitational in 1970.

Later, another professional named Lee Elder participated the Masters as the first black player in history.

Remember William Powel, the Maker of Clear view Golf Club? In the year of 1978, he expanded this infamous golf course from 9-hole to 18-hole. And in 1979, Lee Elder did participate the Ryder Cup as a first black person.

1986- 1997: Another feather came in the crown of Afro-American sportsmanship in Golf. IN 1986, the minority schools and colleges were elevated to participate in the sports by the event named PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship. In the following year, this same event took place in the Highland Park Golf Course.

Later in 1990, a business named Ron Townsend became an honorary member of the famous National Golf Club. He was the first Afro-American Golf club to participate in the event.

1999- 2007: This is the time when the era of Tiger Woods started. This legendary Golf Professional became the youngest and first Afro-American winner of the Masters with a record score of the 12-stroke margin of victory.

He completed his first career grand slam by winning two more championship- US pen and British Open. He was the youngest title holder in the club. In 2001, he won the Masters and completed the Tiger Slam. And in 2005, he made it be the no. 1 ranked Golf Player in the world.

Also, during this time span, Bill Dicky became an honored player to win the PGA Distinguished Service Award. Also, in 2000, a Player named Dr. Obie Bender became a part of the PGA board of directors.

2008- 2011: After Bill Dicky, African-Amirian people had another board of directors on the Board of PGA. The name was Junior Bridgeman. Later on, the PGA awarded William Power with a Distinguish Serice Award. The PGA also bestowed memberships to Bill Spiller, Ted Rhodes, and John Shippen as a tribute to their contribution to the development of Golf among black people. 

A significant event took place when the USGA and PGA agreed to create a central policy for the documents and articrafts regarding Afro-American golf evolution. The repository was placed in the Museum of USGA. 

In 2011, another player named Joseph Bramless made his debut on the School of PGA. 

Bottom Line

Though the Afro-Americans have quite a rich history of their evolution in the era of Golf, situations seem to be quite foggy now. After the Tiger Woods era, very few players (except Joseph Bramless) could be able to score some tournament titles that can grab the limelight. But still, we hope them to come back in the game with glory and records.

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