Thursday, December 16, 2010

Where Are the Black Golfers

Joseph Bramlett made a putt during the final stage on PGA Tour Qualifying School to become the 1st African American golfer since Tiger Woods to earn a PGA Tour card. When Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters Tournament there was speculation that professional golf would be flooded with African American golfers following in Tiger’s footsteps, but nothing could have been further from the truth. In reality, it has taken 13 years for a black golfer to earn a PGA Tour card since Tiger’s historic win at Augusta.

There is quite a bit of speculation as to why this invasion of black golfers failed to materialize. The answer is very simple. Young black golfers who possess the talent to play on the PGA and LPGA Tour lack access to the advanced training and instruction required to play golf on the highest level. Unless these talented black golfers receive the best training, top notch instruction, and get the opportunity to compete against the best competition, it might be 13 more years before a black golfer follows Joseph Bramlett on the PGA Tour.

The biggest misnomer about black golfers and professional golf is that the First Tee Program was established as a training ground for professional black golfers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The First Tee Program is a wonderful program that introduces youth of all races and backgrounds to the game of golf. The program also uses golf as a way to teach participants important life skills that will benefit them in the future. At its’ core the First Tee strives to create productive, responsible and well-rounded citizens, not professional golfers.

In order to see more black golfers out on the PGA and LPGA Tour, they must be provided with access to the best instruction and training available. A local teaching professional or golf coach doesn’t have the resources to help take a talented golfer to the level required to play professional golf. I have always been a proponent of supporting our own and the African American community should take a hard look at itself and look for a solution to this problem. Before we ask for help from other sources, let’s start by helping each other and making a commitment to get more black golfers into professional golf.

Edward Wanambwa

GolfWiz Blog


1 comment:

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