Thursday, November 9, 1961: Pro golf

From The New York Times:

Pro Golf Organization Ends Ban
Against Nonwhites as Members

The Professional Golfers Association eliminated the "Caucasian" clause from its constitution yesterday and thereby opened the way to membership for Negroes and Orientals. ...

Although the United States Golf Association has permitted nonwhites to compete in all its championships, including the Open, only a handful of Negro professionals are considered good enough to climb the ladder to P.G.A. Class A membership for players. ...

Members of the P.G.A. tournament bureau said yesterday that Charlie Sifford (shown at left) of Los Angeles was the leading Negro player on the tournament tour.

In 1957 Sifford won the Long Beach open, a 54-hold event. Last spring, after the Masters tourney at Augusta, Ga., an invitation event for which he was not eligible, he competed in the Greater Greensboro open in North Carolina.

That made him the first member of his race to play in a P.G.A. co-sponsored event in the South. He tied for fourth and earned $1,300, his top prize of the year.

* Sifford profile at World Golf Hall of Fame: @
* "Charlie Sifford broke barriers, but no one broke his spirit" (Los Angeles Times, 2011): @
* "African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era" (book): @
* "A Course of Their Own: A History of African American Golfers" (book): @

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