Posts Tagged ‘golf’
By Farrell Evans, Golf.com
The history of African-American golf has some notable milestones. In 1961, the fall of the PGA’s caucasian-only clause gave men like Charlie Sifford and Pete Brown a chance to play on the PGA Tour. In 1975, Lee Elder became the first African-American to play in the Masters. (Four years later, he was the first person of color to compete in a Ryder Cup.)
These milestones might only be known to hardcore golf fans, but everybody remembers Tiger Woods embracing his dad after winning the 1997 Masters. What Jim Nantz called “a win for the ages” had a unique significance for African-Americans like the World War II veteran who told me that Tiger’s win felt as good as when Joe Louis beat Max Schmeling in their 1938 rematch at Yankee Stadium. After Woods’s first victory at Augusta National, many African-American parents saw golf as a sport their children could play, just as Barack Obama’s election made the presidency seem possible.
by Paul Newberry, Associated Press
With a mouthful of braces and a yearning to get her driver’s license, Mariah Stackhouse comes across as the typical teenager.
Then she picks up a golf club.
That’s when she becomes the next black hope.
In a sport desperately lacking in African-Americans outside of Tiger Woods, Stackhouse certainly stands out. Having just turned 15, she’s already climbed as high as No. 29 in the American Junior Golf Association’s national female rankings and currently stands 33rd, making her the top-rated black player on either the girls or boys list.
“If I get an opportunity to play professional golf,” she said, “I’d definitely like to give that a try.”
Her rise to prominence provides a handy roadmap for African-Americans trying to reach the top levels of golf, but also reveals just how many obstacles there are along the way. Read the rest of this entry »
by Carly Flynn Morgan, 13WMAZ
A local men’s group took a swing at mentoring young golfers Saturday.
100 Black Men of Macon Middle Georgia played golf with young men from the Rights of Passage Youth Development Program. They’re all middle school boys from single mother families who might not have a father-figure to teach them to hit the ball around. They gathered at Bowden Golf Course in Macon.
“It’s going to take all of us working together to help insure that the youth of our community will be positive contributors to the Central Georgia area and the greater community,” said Tom Sands, President of 100 Black Men in Macon.
The program isn’t all fun and games, though. The kids also learn important life lessons.
“We get to do things that we haven’t done lately and it’s really educational and it teaches us how to get our life on the right track,” said Anthony Vinson who participates in the program.
100 Black Men of Macon Middle Georgia meet with boys from Rights of Passage once a month, for fun and educational activities.
by Morgan Kelly, USA TODAY
Kevin Hall has a handicap, but deafness isn’t it. Hall, who makes his debut on the PGA Tour in the U.S. Bank Classic in Milwaukee today, has been deaf since age 2.
He didn’t let that stop him from becoming valedictorian of his high school or leading Ohio State to a Big Ten title, and he says he won’t let it interfere with his goal to become a regular on the Tour.
“I was able to overcome this loss and not allow it to be used as a handicap or prevent me from doing what I wanted to do in my life,” he says in an interview conducted via e-mail. “My parents (Percy and Jackie) are a big reason for this.”
Hall became deaf after being diagnosed with H. flu meningitis at 2. He treated it as a mere bump in the road.
Hall, 22, has played competitively for 12 years. He began at 9 when his bowling coach, Don Barnes, asked if he could teach Hall the game.
Hall attended the St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati from age 3. Since St. Rita did not have a golf team, Kevin’s parents petitioned to allow him to play for the local public high school, Winton Woods. He was a four-year letter-winner at Winton Woods and valedictorian at St. Rita.
Hall then became the first African-American to play golf on scholarship for Ohio State.
“I knew that after four years at Ohio State I would know if I was ready to play on the PGA Tour or not. Getting a scholarship while realizing that dream was truly a blessing,” he says.
Now that those four years are over, Hall says he is ready, particularly after playing three events on the Nationwide Tour.
Today, Hall will be less concerned that he can’t hear the crowd cheering or may have trouble communicating with caddie Ryan McDaniel.
“I’m worried about making putts,” he says. “I have been on and off with my speed on the greens, and I have been missing putts by inches.”
Hall will play on a sponsor’s exemption this weekend.
“My goal is to make cuts on the PGA and Nationwide tours, gain experience that is valuable for the years after this year,” he says, “I want to improve every time I tee it up and to use this year as a springboard to get ready for a solid season in 2006 and on.”
Hall is blunt about his motivation: “Being black and deaf motivated me the most because there are some people who don’t believe that black people and deaf people have the tools needed to succeed in today’s society. It motivated me to prove those people wrong.”