Black History Month

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▬ Charlie Sifford

feb 13th: charlie sifford


Charlie Sifford was born in Charlotte, North Carolina (June 2, 1922) and started working as a golf caddie when he was 13. A golf caddie is someone who carries the golf clubs for the player. It’s considered one of the most important tasks/jobs. When he was 17, he began to play against other black golfers in the 30′s and 40′s.

In 1948, he debuted as a professional. His goal was to break the race barrier of the PGA, an all-white golf group. In 1952, he attempted to join PGA Tour at the Phinoex Open. Although Joe Louis, a boxing legend, invited him, Sifford still faced death threats and other violative forms of discrimination and racism. In 1957, Charlie won the Long Beach open event, which was a co-event sponsored by the PGA.

In 1961, the PGA removed the “whites only” clause and Charlie Sifford was quick to join up. He went on to win the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969. In 1975, Sifford won the Senior PGA Championship, which might be considered the biggest win of his career. In 2004, he became the first black golfer inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

In 2014, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Charlie Sifford was a great inspiration to other famous golfers such as Tiger Woods, Lee Elder, Ann Gregory, and Althea Gibson. Sifford also said in an interview that he himself found friends in Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, two white golfers who always supported and encouraged him.

Sources:

https://blackamericaweb.com/2015/02/05/little-known-black-history-fact-charlie-sifford/

https://theundefeated.com/whhw/charlie-sifford-the-first-black-member-of-the-pga-tour/

https://golfhistorytoday.com/1967-charlie-sifford-1st-official-win/

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