The Loop

Report: Shoal Creek founder dead at age 87

October 27, 2010

Hall Thompson, the founder of Shoal Creek Country in Birmingham, Ala., and a controversial figure in golf, died Wednesday morning, according to the Birmingham News.

Prior to the PGA Championship at Shoal Creek in 1990, Thompson explained why the club had no black members. "That's just not done in Birmingham," he said, setting of a firestorm of protest.

The ensuing controversy caused the PGA of America, the PGA Tour and the USGA to put in place policies that would forbid holding tournaments at clubs that don't have open membership policies.

Shoal Creek quickly admitted a black member, Louis Willie. Today, it is fully integrated and counts among its members former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

-- John Strege