The History of African American Females in Golf

Black woman golfers

Golf is a sport that, since its conception, has been made exclusive to only certain demographics. Because of this, it took many decades until Black men were even allowed to compete. However, it took even longer for players of the sport to accept Black women onto the field.

According to a book titled, The African American Woman Golfer: Her Legacy, we’re reminded that “many Black women learned to play golf from their husbands, fathers or some other male acquaintance. However, it is important to note that some of these pioneer women players worked to introduce the sport to Black girls. Furthermore, the major efforts to promote the game among Black women players were [taught] by Black women themselves through their clubs, tournaments, and instruction.”

Due to the conditions that forced black female golf enthusiasts to teach and promote themselves, it wasn’t until 1956 when “Ann Gregory, a dominant female player, became the first African-American player to enter the U.S. Women’s Amateur,” as stated by the PGA timeline of African American achievements in golf. And the discrimination was still there, as it wasn’t until the much more recent year of 2008 when “Renee Powell became the first female African-American golfer to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.” Today, we are seeing more and more black female golfers represented in the beloved sport, thanks to the brave women who originally took it upon themselves to introduce their children to it.

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