A Course of Their Own: A History of African American Golfers

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U of Nebraska Press, 2005 - Sports & Recreation - 278 pages
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Bill Spiller was forty-seven when he was forced by desperate finances to caddie at the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles. One day Spiller was caddying for a member who became outraged by Spiller?s stories of inequities and suffering during his golfing career. The golfer urged Spiller to write California?s attorney general, who later ordered the Professional Golfers? Association (PGA) to cease its discrimination. In 1961 the ?Caucasian race? clause was deleted from the PGA constitution. This was an historic decision that gave black golfers the chance to compete at the highest level in the sport. Golf has long been the domain of white men. During the twentieth century, however, African American pioneers such as Lee Elder, Howard Wheeler, and Charlie Sifford broke down the barriers for black golfers who wanted to play, and win, as equals with white golfers. A Course of Their Own looks at golf from the perspectives of these men, who had courage as well as remarkable skills. It tells the stories of their struggles, their bravery, and their passion for the game and puts their lives and contributions into historical perspective.
 

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Contents

Into the Light
1
First a Job Then a Game
3
We Will Play with You or without You
7
Creating a World
13
Yep Its All in How You Were Brought Up
17
A Change in the Wind
37
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave
49
Weve Got Another Hitler to Get By
65
Laugh at Em and Keep Going
142
Hustling
153
You Know a Shankll Jump on You
181
The Masters? I Hope Youre Right
185
What Have I Done to You Sir?
205
The Garbage Tour
213
Black Orchid
221
Implacable Impeccable
241

Running to the 1st Tee
90
Just Another Golfer
97
I Am Somebody
106
We Just Dont Want Them Near Us
113
Four Fewer Words
133
You Are the Ones
249
Afterword
258
Notes
263
Works
277
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About the author (2005)

John H. Kennedy has been a journalist for nearly three decades and has worked as a reporter and an editor for the Boston Globe and the Associated Press. He is an assistant professor of communication at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania.

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