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Golf Australia Express : October 2013 - United Colours of Golf
in 1967, then added the Los Angeles Open in 1969. Meanwhile, tennis great Althea Gibson ensured women weren’t left out, becoming the first black player to compete on the LPGA Tour in 1963. Then, the unofficial sign that the stain of discrimination was fading— the first Masters invitation extended to an African-American. Lee Elder was its recipient, and though he missed the cut, he walked from the clubhouse on Friday knowing that times—while not perfect—were definitely changing. Black golfers and administrators who have contributed in the ensuing years are many. They’ve played in the Ryder Cup, become members at Augusta, been awarded PGA life membership, been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and served the game in virtually every way possible. We won’t regale you again with Woods’ never-ending list of conquered obstacles and achievements, save to acknowledge that he has not only changed the game for black people, he’s single- handedly transformed the world’s sporting landscape. As an interesting aside, you owe more to the African-American influence on golf than you think. That tee you just plunged into the turf before launching your ball down the nearest fairway? Invented by black dentist and inventor Dr George Grant in 1899. Take a moment to tip your cap to him the next time you send one long. OTG TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS LEE ELDER