The Passing of Lee Elder and his impact — Top 50 best instructors list — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, December 2, 2021
Happy Thursday golf fans!
A quick moment of oversharing, but, I was feeling under the weather all last week and I tested positive for COVID on Sunday (I am much better now but still in isolation). Therefore this article, much like my brain at the moment, is all over the place but it is an important topic to me and this week felt like the perfect moment to share it. Enjoy.
You know that anxious feeling you get when you walk into a room full of strangers? We’ve all been there, right? It can be crippling.
Now imagine that you’re walking into a room full of not only strangers but there’s a small group of them who have decided that they don’t like you. Despite the fact that they’ve never met you before, they have no idea about the kind of person you are or where you come from–they decided that they just don’t like you.
It’s an oversimplification, but it’s what Lee Elder did in 1975 at Augusta National.
Mr. Elder passed away earlier this week, and the world of golf is mourning him and his legacy. He was a pioneer and a legend and I hope that we can truly comprehend his bravery for being a black man in golf.
This is my fifth Golf Thursday at The IX, by now, you all are familiar with my stance on how the golf industry treats women, so, I feel like it’s about time we discuss racism.
Talking about racism can go a lot of ways but I don’t want this to get too preachy, nor do I feel the need to divulge in all the times I’ve experienced racism on a golf course. The world has gotten too familiar with the display of black trauma and I won’t be making a contribution.
Nevertheless, golf at its core is racist.
The Masters, the crown jewel of American golf, has a deep-rooted history with racism. Co-founder of Augusta National and The Masters, Clifford Roberts said himself, “as long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.” Though the man was born in 1894, it is very telling of the kind of culture that has been cultivated at Augusta since its establishment.
Make no mistake about it, the south isn’t the only place that harbors racism. In 2018, a group of black women, who called themselves “Sisters in the Fairway”, in York County, Pennsylvania had their afternoon round turned upside down. These women were members of Grandview Golf Club and had the police called on them for “slow pace of play”. I encourage you to read the full Golf Digest article about what these women went through, the response of the club and its owners, and the unfortunate outcome that none of the women involved play golf anymore.
So many elements of golf can serve as a metaphor for society in the United States. Golf is praised for its individualism, the foundation of country club culture is to be exclusive (rich folks only), and for much of its history women and minorities have been kept out. For so long, the golf industry hasn’t been required to change with the times. The PGA was the last of major American sports organizations to desegregate. It was only in 1990 when the first black member at Augusta was admitted. In 2012 the first women members were admitted, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
If you’re wondering why I am writing about Lee Elder when this newsletter is about women in sports, I need you to understand that gender and race-based discrimination in golf don’t exist in separate spheres, they happen concurrently and it’s why the number of black golfers continues to dwindle. What Mr. Elder did, opened the door for other minority golfers across the country and we should never forget it.
There’s so much to be said about the direction golf should go in, in terms of its relationship with minorities. This article from The Ringer beautifully articulates how golf’s long-term relationship with racism isn’t ending anytime soon.
Despite it all, I choose to remain hopeful that our country and the game will finally do right by people of color. Pretending that racism doesn’t actively exist is why we had the explosion of frustration last summer, and it will only get worse with performative activism.
So, as we enter a new month, and close out the year, I hope we all continue to show empathy towards one another and never stop learning.
“It’s kind of like America in general. If you ask me does America want to change, I think there’s people in America that really are passionate about changing. … But there’s also people that don’t want to.”
— Kenneth Bentley, CEO of the Advocates Pro Golf Association, The Ringer
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This week in women’s golf
Solheim Cup 2023 News:
Mourning Lee Elder:
Ladies European Tour (LET) News:
LPGA Q Series:
Five at The IX: Women on Top 50 instructors list
On Tuesday Golf Digest released it’s list of the Top 50 best teachers in America. For this week’s Five at The IX, I want to highlight the five highest-ranked women that made this coveted list.
But before we get into it, I want to have a proud sister moment and share that my brother, Gavin Parker, was recognized as one of the best teachers in the state of Virginia by GD! Yay!!!
Now back to our regularly scheduled program…
I have listed the rank, name, facility name, and location of each of these remarkable women!
17. Pia Nilsson, Vision54 (Talking Stick G.C.) Scottsdale, AZ
28. Lynn Marriott, Vision54 (Talking Stick G.C.), Scottsdale, AZ
40. Cherly Anderson, Mike Bender Golf Academy (Magnolia Plantation G.C.) Lake Mary, FL
43. Trillium Rose, Woodmont C.C. Rockville, MD
46. Erika Larkin, The Club at Creighton Farms, Aldie VA
This list is decided based on a vote amongst these teaching professionals’ peers. These women are world-class instructors and they are shaping the game!
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