Black Golfer to Enter PGA Hall of Fame
Evan F. Moore | 11/11/2015, 11:20 a.m.
African-American golfer Charlie Sifford, who was often times referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of golf” for his groundbreaking legacy in the sport, will be inducted into the PGA (Professional Golf Association of America) Hall of Fame this week at a ceremony in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Sifford, who was named by Tiger Woods as one the men who inspired him as a young golfer, broke barriers and became the first Black man to compete in PGA-sanctioned events following the abolition of the “Caucasian-only” membership clause in 1961.
Sifford, who was the first Black man inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame back in 2004, received counsel from Robinson throughout his career.
Sifford, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, competed in several tournaments throughout his career including the Senior PGA Championship, Long Beach Open, the Negro National Open, and the Greater Hartford Open.
Sifford paved the way for Black golfers such as Woods, Lee Elder and Calvin Peete.
Charlie Sifford Jr. will be accepting the induction on behalf of his father who passed away in February of this year.
Sifford, a World War II veteran, will be joined by Tommy Bolt, Payne Stewart and Lee Trevino as the inductees to be enshrined into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.
The 2015 class will be honored at the PGA’s 99th Annual Meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
PGA President Derek Sprague released a statement saying, “It is with great pride that the PGA of America welcomes this exceptional class into the PGA of America Hall of Fame, who by their achievements has made significant and lasting contributions to our Association and the game of golf. They represent individuals who were passionate leaders; stood strong against social injustice; inspired young players to greater heights; and whose performance on the course is remembered for generations. Their names will be inscribed among those who have made golf the greatest game.”
In November 2014, President Barack Obama presented Sifford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
For more information, log on to PGA.org.