Up until November 9th, 1961 there had been a clause within the Professional Golf Association that prohibited African-American players from playing on the PGA Tour.

On this date in 1961 that clause was eliminated from the Association and African-American players were finally allowed to play on the tour.

You may be wondering, who was the first man to break through the color barrier in golf? His name, Charlie Sifford, the 39 year old hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina.

He had success while playing on tour, he won the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the Los Angeles Open in 1969. In addition to those tournaments won, he won the United Golf Association's National Negro Open six times, and was victorious again in 1975 at the PGA Seniors' Championship.

An eventual enshrinement into the World Golf Hall of Fame would come for Sifford as well in 2004 and he was awarded the Old Tom Morris Award in 2007. The Old Tom Morris Award is the Golf Superintendents Associations of America's highest honor for a player who best exemplifies a continuing lifetime commitment to golf and who has helped shape the game in a positive manner.

Charlie Sifford passed away February 3, 2015 at the age of 92. He's been called the "Jackie Robinson" of golf.

 

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