Commonly referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of Golf”, Charlie Sifford was the PGA Tour’s first black golfer, a two-time PGA Tour winner, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient from President Barack Obama. He won six Negro National Open titles, was honored as one of the top 100 people in the first Century of Golf, remained among the top 60 money winners on PGA Tour through the 1960’s, was the first black golfer to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in 2006. Throughout his career, Charlie faced indignity and injustice in proving that he belonged, blazing a trail for future generations of black golfers such as PGA Tour players Lee Elder, Jim Thorpe, Jim Dent, Calvin Peete and future Hall of Famer, Tiger Woods. And because of that, it wasn’t until 1961, when Charlie was able to join the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour as the first black card-holding member, finally, at the age of 39. Charlie was like a Grandpa to Tiger Woods, naming his son “Charlie” after him.
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