Who pioneered in golf and won major professional championships?

Blacks first achieved success in golf in 1896, when John Shippen (1879–1968) became the first to play in the U.S. Open— he was only sixteen years old. The game grew in popularity among blacks, and by 1924 the black Riverside Golf Club was organized and stimulated more black participation in the sport. In 1926 the United Golf Association for blacks held its first national tournament. Founded in the 1920s, national tournaments for black golfers continued for a number of years. It was not until 1957 that Charlie (Charles) Sifford (1922–) won the Long Beach Open on November 10 and became the first black to win a major professional golf tournament. He was also the first black to gain membership in the PGA and the first to play in a major PGA tournament in the South, in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1961. Lee Elder (1934–) gained popularity in the sport as well, becoming the first black American to compete against whites in South Africa, in the South African PGA Open, in 1971. He qualified for the Masters Tournament on April 10, 1975, and teed off in Augusta, as the Masters’ first black entry. The first black multiple winner on the PGA tour was Calvin Peete (1943–), who in 1982 captured the Greater Milwaukee Open for the second time, the Anheuser-Busch Classic, the BC Open, and the Pensacola Open. Previously he had been denied access to the most prestigious tournaments.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy African American History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App