The purpose of Go Fore It! is to inspire and expose children and young adults of diverse backgrounds to the game of golf; in addition to the educational, networking, career and recreational opportunities it can foster.
In efforts to support our mission, we firmly believe it is essential to share some trailblazers that shaped the history of golf and those that continue to keep the trails ablaze. In addition, we‘ve highlighted some of the beautiful Black-Owned Golf Courses.
Dr. George Franklin Grant: invented the golf tee and received the world’s first patent for a golf tee.
Ted Rhodes: in 1948, played in the U.S. Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles and became recognized as the first African-American professional golfer. Rhodes played mostly in United Golf Association sanctioned tournaments during his career, winning about 150 times.
Bill Spiller: started competing and winning blacks-only amateur golf tournaments during the 1940s. Spiller spent most of his professional career combating racial segregation and inequalities with the PGA in golf.
Charlie Luther Sifford: the first African American Golfer to play on the PGA Tour. Sifford has 22 professional wins with two of them being PGA Tours; the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969.
Ann Gregory: was considered to be the best African American female golfer in the 20th century. In 1956, she began competing in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, thus becoming the first African-American woman to play in a national championship.
George “GG” Johnson: one of the first African Americans to attain a PGA membership and became the first black Kentucky Head Golf Professional at Bobby Nichols Golf Course.
Lee Elder: the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament. Elder has 16 professional wins with four of the wins a PGA Tour.
Charles Owens: played on the PGA Tour and the Senior PGA Tour; won the 1971 Kemper Asheville Open and the 1974 Florida Open.
Calvin Pete: prior to Tiger Woods, was the most successful African American golfer to have placed on the PGA Tour with 12 wins.
Pete Turner: the first African American to win a PGA Tour with his win at Waco Turner Open in 1964. Turner has a total of 16 professional wins and two PGA Tour wins.
James Lacey Dent: began as a caddie in his youth at a golf course that he wouldn’t be allowed to play on at that time. Dent turned pro in 1966, and during his career was Florida PGA Champion three times and won 12 championships at the Senior PGA Tour between 1989-1999.
Jim Thorpe: currently plays on the Champions Tour. Thorpe has won 13 times on the Champions Tour and three times on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods: after excelling in junior, college, and amature golf turned pro in 1996 at the age of 20. Since turning pro, Woods has set numerous world records at a young age and continued as he progressed in his career. Woods has won 82 PGA Tour wins with 15 of those wins being Major Championships.
Harold Verner III: turned professional in 2012 and plays on the PGA Tour. Varner is one of the longer drivers on tour. Varner is one of just a handful of African American PGA Tour golfers. He won the Australian PGA Championship in December 2016
Troy Mullins: a World Long Drive competitor and competes in events by the World Long Drive Association. In 2017, Mullins won her first World Long Drive Tour event at the Mile High Showdown and in 2018, she advanced to the semifinals at the Clash in the Canyon.
Innisbrook Golf Resort - Tampa, FL
Martin Downs Golf Club - Palm City, FL
The Grove XXIII - Hobe Sound, FL
Forest Park Community Club - Martinsville, VA
Woodbridge Golf Club Mineral - Wells, WV
Marlton Golf Club - Upper Marlboro, MD
Clear View Golf Course East - Canton, OH
Copper Ridge Golf Course - Davison, MI
The Golf Club of Dallas- Dallas, TX
Want to learn more about the above photos? Click the photos for the captions.
A biography presented by USGA about Bill Powell and the important roles of African Americans in the evolution of golf and the country.
A mini documentary created by King Wolf Creative for Black History Month 2021. This video shares the monumental moments that pivoted and shaped the history of Golf.
We do not own the rights to the videos above or the footage and photography utilized. Videos shared are for educational purposes only and not intended to be monetized.