Everyone knows Tiger Woods. But do you know about Charlie Sifford?
Charlie Sifford is best known as the first Black golfer on the PGA Tour. Though Game Changer Joe Louis received the first exemption to play a PGA event in 1952 (Sifford joined Louis for this event), Charlie Sifford was the black golfer to officially join the tour in 1961.
After caddying for years, Sifford turned professional in 1948. He played in numerous golf tournaments for black golfers as they were not allowed to play in PGA events. Sifford then attempted to qualify for the Phoenix Open in 1952 utilizing an exemption extended to boxing great Joe Louis. After joining the PGA tour in ’61, Sifford went on play on both the PGA Tour and the Senior PGA Tour until his retirement in 2000. He became the first black golfer to win a fully sanctioned PGA Tour event in 1967 with his victory at the Greater Hartford Open.
Charlie Sifford paved the way for black golfers like Lee Elders, Calvin Peete, and Tiger Woods.