Before Tiger, there was Charlie Sifford. Charlie Sifford was the first African American to play on the PGA Tour. I was fortunate enough to meet him in 2011 at his SCGA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Back then, the only golf I played was putt putt.
Charlie fought to remove the “Caucasian-only” clause on the PGA.
“From 1934 to 1961, The PGA of America’s “Caucasian-only clause” was a part of the Association’s by-laws and prevented non-whites from membership. The clause was removed at the 1961 PGA Annual Meeting.”
He became the first African American on join the Tour in 1961. And among the many tournaments he won, he won the L.A. Open in 1969, held at Rancho Park Golf Course. #parkproudla
But before Charlie, there were other African American golfers: Ted Rhodes, John Shippen, and Bill Spiller. PGA of America bestowed posthumous membership to them in 2009.
For more on Charlie Sifford, check out this SCGA video.