Lee Elder_600x350-j The first black man to compete in the Masters, in 1975, Elder, 82, complained that he forgot his brace and his right knee ached, so he begged off when asked by participants in a shotgun outing to poke a few drives. He was at the World Golf Hall of Fame recently for a Q&A and reception, which followed afternoon golf at The Slammer & The Squire. It was part of a concerted and well-intentioned effort by the hall to honor February’s Black History Month, but it couldn’t disguise the fact that only one of the 150 hall members is black. That won’t change when the five newest inductees are honored Sept. 26 at the biennial ceremony in New York.

 

As Elder rode in the passenger seat of a golf cart down the ninth fairway, the hall’s tower came into view. “I’m in there,” he said. “Well, my picture and things are, at least. I just haven’t been inducted yet. I still believe it will happen. With all those categories they have, I should be in it someway, don’t you think?” Anyone who knows his story, rising from the caddie ranks to dominate the United Golf Association, the tour for blacks in the era of the PGA’s Caucasian-only rule, to earning his card in 1967 and winning four times on the PGA Tour and qualifying for the 1979 U.S. Ryder Cup team, would agree that there should be a place for one of golf’s pioneers. But Elder’s words are neither tinged with bitterness nor self-promotion. Rather, he touted the accomplishments of his mentor, Teddy Rhodes.

RELATED STORY: Augusta National Honors a Tree; But What About Lee Elder?

Anyone who knows his story, rising from the caddie ranks to dominate the United Golf Association, the tour for blacks in the era of the PGA’s Caucasian-only rule, to earning his card in 1967 and winning four times on the PGA Tour and qualifying for the 1979 U.S. Ryder Cup team, would agree that there should be a place for one of golf’s pioneers. But Elder’s words are neither tinged with bitterness nor self-promotion. Rather, he touted the accomplishments of his mentor, Teddy Rhodes.

Read more by Adam Schupak at MorningRead.com

 

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