News & ToursAugust 5, 2009

PGA of America moves to right a wrong

The PGA's Caucasian-only clause that was in effect from 1934 to 1961 remains a blemish on the history of golf, but the PGA of America has taken an important step in attempting to make amends.

It has announced that a trio of African-American golfers and pioneers -- Ted Rhodes, John Shippen and Bill Spiller -- have been granted membership posthumously by the PGA of America. They'll be honored at the PGA Annual Meeting in New Orleans in November, as will boxer Joe Louis, who posthumously was bestowed honorary membership.

"The PGA of America believes these men, but for the color of their skin, would have been PGA members who play the game, teach the game and promote the game," PGA of America President Jim Remy said in a news release. "The PGA of America recognizes the importance of honoring these gentlemen with their rightful place in golf history.

"We are pleased that the descendants of these four great Americans have accepted and embraced our Association's sincere efforts to recognize Ted Rhodes, John Shippen and Bill Spiller as PGA members, and Joe Louis as an Honorary Member."

The PGA of America's news release can be read here.

-- John Strege

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