Celebrating Black History Month: A Salute to the Game’s Black Movers & Shakers of the Past, Present & Future

February marks Black History Month. To celebrate, we’ve compiled a collection of videos and stories to showcase the Black pioneers of the past and players of the present that have helped shape the game into the one we all know and love today while also painting us a picture of its future. From video series by Skratch and GolfNow to feature stories on John Shippen and Ted Rhoades, we’re proud to highlight and recognize golf’s Black movers and shakers and salute the impact they have had and will continue to have on and off the links for generations to come.

Skratch’s Black History Month Specials

  • Part I – These Black Golfers Completely Changed the Game
    • A journey in the growth of black golf. Legends like Charlie Sifford, Calvin Peete and Lee Elder gave generations of Black golfers a reason to pick up a club. Without them, the game today would look very different.
  • Part III – More Black Tour-Caliber Golfers Than Ever
    • There are more Black golfers knocking on the door to the TOUR than ever before. Bradford Wilson meets up with a few Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour pros in Part III of Skratch’s Black History Month specials.
  • Part IV – Bright Future of Black Golf
    • A swing beyond his years. At 16, Josiah Joseph has a big decision coming up. Which college will he play for? To end Skratch’s #BlackHistoryMonth journey, Bradford Wilson meets a SoCal teenage standout with big aspirations.

The Legacy of John Shippen Jr.

Read all about the first American-born and Black golf professional here.

The Fried Egg: Citizen Rhodes – The life and times of Ted Rhodes

Dubbed the “Black Jack Nicklaus” by Charlie Sifford, Ted Rhodes played pro golf in an era that did not always welcome him. In fact, Rhodes was actively excluded. Fried Egg contributor Shawn Allen tells the story of how Ted Rhodes persisted as a golfer and inspired future generations. Read the full story here.

Sports Illustrated Morning Read: How the Greensboro Six Helped Change Golf Forever

Morning Read’s Ward Clayton tells the story of the Black men who were arrested for trespassing after they dared to play whites-only Gillespie Golf Course in 1955. Their effort to integrate the club is an underplayed moment in golf’s history that persists today. Read the full story here.

Dream Golf Magazine: Roger Steele’s Fresh Perspective

There’s no question the world is full of divergent perspectives and strong opinions. And Chicago’s Roger Steele is convinced golf can be a force for good and bring people together, regardless of their position on the issues of the day. Dream Golf contributor Robert Thompson spotlights the guy doing his part to #MakeGolfCool. Full story here.

GolfNow presents The Next Round

Doug Smith and Will Lowery, hosts of NBC Sports’ Beyond the Fairway podcast, partnered with GolfNow to celebrate Black History Month through social storytelling

The Next Round features video conversations throughout the month with change-makers who are making an impact across the golf industry. “People have to see themselves represented if they are going to feel welcome in any space, including the golf course,” said Smith. “We want to put the spotlight on a few people who are helping to make golf more diverse and accessible but haven’t always had the platform to share their insight.”

  • Jamie Taylor, an entrepreneurial golf instructor who launched JT Mobile Training in 2018 and founded the Black Golf Directory, which helps golfers find African American golf professionals, amateurs, juniors and businesses.
  • Steven Outlaw, Director of Golf at Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club, who started his unlikely journey in golf from his hometown of East Chicago, Ind., and later gave a speech at the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001 that helped launch The First Tee Scholars Program. He has seen firsthand through The First Tee program the impact that golf can have on an individual and how it can change lives.
  • Rachel Melendez-Mabee, an expert in multi-cultural marketing and program specialist for PGA Works, a strategic initiative designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce.

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