Charlie Sifford Broke The Color Barrier

February 5, 2015


Charlie Sifford

Charlie Sifford will always be remembered as the first black golfer on the PGA Tour when he challenged the PGA's Caucasian-only clause back in 1961. In 1994 Sifford broke the color barrier again becoming the first African American inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Charlie Sifford's first professional win came in 1957, at the Long Beach Open, a unofficial Tour event, although it was co-sponsored by the PGA and featured many players from the regular Tour. In 1967, Sifford won his first of two PGA Tour events by taking home the trophy at the Hartford Open. In 1969, he won the Los Angeles Open and then added the Senior PGA Championship in 1975 to his win list. Aside from that he also won the hearts and minds of many of the golfers he competed against and those fans who saw Charlie Sifford for who he was - a true gentleman.

Sifford was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1922. and his introduction to the game of golf was as a caddie at the age of thirteen.

At his introduction in the Hall of Fame, he chose Hall of Fame member South African Gary Player to present him for induction. On June 22, 2006, he received an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews as a Doctor of Laws. He also received the 2007 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the GCSAA's highest honor.

Charlie Sifford past away at the age of 92 Tuesday night.


Sifford's other wins

1952 UGA National Negro Open
1953 UGA National Negro Open
1954 UGA National Negro Open
1955 UGA National Negro Open
1956 UGA National Negro Open, Rhode Island Open
1957 Long Beach Open
1960 UGA National Negro Open, Almaden Open unofficial win - one year prior to becoming a PGA Tour event)
1963 Puerto Rico Open
1971 Sea Pines
1975 Northern Ohio PGA Championship


Other Senior wins

1975 PGA Seniors' Championship - 5 years prior to becoming a Champions Tour event; event is now a Champions Tour major)
1988 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Legendary Division with Roberto DeVicenzo)
1989 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Legendary Division with Roberto DeVicenzo)
1991 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Legendary Division with Roberto DeVicenzo)
1998 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Demaret Division with Joe Jimenez)
1999 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Demaret Division with Joe Jimenez)
2000 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf - Demaret Division with Joe Jimenez).