Charlie Sifford, the First African-American to Join the PGA Tour

Charlie Sifford

The world of golf has had a long history of exclusivity regarding race and sex. In fact, it took many years before even lower-class white men were allowed to participate as a player instead of a caddy. But as time went on, so more people were allowed to play the sport. However, it wasn't until 1960 when a man named Charlie Sifford became the first African American male to earn a PGA Tour card. This was during a time when the PGA of America still upheld a "Caucasian Only" membership clause that kept black men from being allowed to participate.

Yet, Sifford faced adversity head-on. He states, "I’ll play as long as I can walk. I just love to play golf. I think this has given me enough confidence to plan on winning." In his career, Sifford went on to win "the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and the Los Angeles Open in 1969," according to The Undefeated.

Charlie Sifford certainly made history in his career as a black golfer, breaking glass ceilings and eventually even becoming the first black golfer inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004. His story was surely encouraging to many black golfers since then, and yet Sifford has not been forgotten in history. In fact, at the age of 92, Charlie Sifford received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. Shortly afterward in 2015, he sadly passed away.