Lex Pryor on golf's historic race problem

For The Ringer, Lex Pryor looked at the racism that has pervaded golf for decades:

Golf means something in the American psyche; it is greater than a pastime, greater than an industry. It’s no coincidence that golf courses are staples of country clubs from the steaming bogs of South Florida to the Pacific coast. There is a reason the PGA Tour was the last major American sports organization to desegregate, and a reason the LPGA Tour has yet to see the total number of Black participants in its history touch double digits.

Out of the roughly 360 years that golf has existed on American soil, the sport has worshipped at the altar of racial segregation for all but a sixth of them. Today, there are only two Black men in the top 100 worldwide rankings and only one Black woman in the top 300 worldwide rankings. Since the day that Tiger Woods—the most important golfer of all time and a man of Thai, white, Black, and Native American descent—burst onto the PGA Tour in 1996, there have been fewer Black golfers than there were in the 25 years beforehand. The data shows that golf’s dearth of Black professionals continues to metastasize.

Shout outs to Tiger, Bill Powell, his daughter Renee Powell, Althea Gibson, Jim Dent, Lee Elder, Mariah Stackhouse, and so many other Black golfers many of us probably haven’t heard of before.

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