Posted February 17, 2009

‘Uneven Fairways’

Golf Digest writer offers observations on contributions, struggles of African American golfers.

  • Photo by Kelly & Massa McDaniel

During a talk at the Entertainment and Community Education Center on Feb. 9, Golf Digest Senior Writer Pete McDaniel chronicled the struggles, as well as the contributions, of African American golfers. The Office of Community Relations invited McDaniel — who is the author of Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African Americans in Golf, which has been produced into a documentary, “Uneven Fairways,” narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson and currently airing on the Golf Channel — to be part of Temple’s observance of Black History Month.

In his talk, McDaniel highlighted talented golfers such as Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes who were denied the opportunity to compete on the professional tours simply because of their skin color; Charlie Sifford, who helped rescind the PGA of America’s “Caucasian only” rule and was the first African American to be a member of the PGA Tour; heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis, whose passion for golf led him to be the first African American to compete in a PGA-sanctioned event; and Boston dentist George F. Grant, an avid black golfer who developed and patented the first wooden golf tee in 1899.

In addition to his writings in Golf Digest and Golf World magazines, McDaniel has co-authored two books: Training a Tiger — The Official Book on How to Be the Best with Tiger Woods, and Training a Tiger — A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and Life with Earl Woods, Tiger's late father.