Tag: Tiger Woods

Craig Kirby’s “Golf. My Future. My Game” Foundation Works to Teach Game to Youth and Diversify Industry

Image: Craig Kirby, back right, with participants in "Golf. My Future. My Game."
Craig Kirby, back right, with participants in “Golf. My Future. My Game.” (Photo: Courtesy Craig Kirby)

by Michael Cottman via nbcnews.com

Craig Kirby, founder of “Golf. My Future. My Game,” is on a crusade to introduce more black teens to the game of golf.

Kirby started the non-profit golf foundation in Washington, D.C., in 2014. He’s been working to expose the predominantly white sport to young kids who may not think the game is accessible or possible as a career option. Roughly 80 percent of recreational American golfers are white, according to the 2015 Golf Diversity & Inclusion Report. Within golf-industry workers, that percentage jumps to nearly 90 percent.

Kirby, 55, said he knew nothing about golf until he was invited to play by three white classmates in college. He hasn’t looked back since. “We teach them the game of golf, the business of golf — from soup to nuts,” Kirby told NBC News of his foundation work. “They learn everything — from the pro shop to the cart shop to the back office. It’s a complete golf experience. If kids don’t want to play golf professionally, there are plenty of great jobs within the industry.”

Kirby, a former Democratic political strategist, said he handles everything from fundraising meetings to arranging local transportation for the program’s participants. He tries to open professional doors on the golf course and behind the scenes, making connections with golf-club owners, caddies and even golf-wear designers. He also emphasizes the availability of college golf scholarships.

Since the foundation’s inception, Kirby said about 300 kids from all types of socio-economic backgrounds have participated in the various programs, clinics and internships. Kirby’s mission comes as several prominent golf industry leaders acknowledge racism as a persistent problem in the sport.

“There are real diversity issues in golf and there is a real history of exclusion and racism,”said Jay Karen, CEO of The National Golf Course Owners Association, which represents more than 3,400 courses. “We need to reconcile this history, but we also need to do better. We need to welcome and invite people who have not traditionally been part of the golf industry.”

One of Kirby’s most steadfast supporters is World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona. Mona said he tries to give Kirby a national platform to grow his program and introduces him to some of golf’s most prominent leaders. “We want to make sure golf reflects the diversity of our country and, ultimately, it’s good for the game,” Mona told NBC News.

In April, a Pennsylvania golf club owner called the police on five black women golfers, claiming they were playing too slowly. Last week, the women filed formal complaints against the club alleging they were discriminated against due to their race and gender.

The women did receive an apology, but the incident made national headlines and led the club to lose some business. “It’s not a golf issue, it’s a human issue,” Karen said. “It’s a shame the police were called to resolve a conflict that could have been handled through a conversation, talking to each other as human beings. These kinds of conflicts should not happen on golf courses and they shouldn’t happen at Starbucks.”

Only two black golfers have earned their PGA cards since Tiger Woods began his career in 1996. No African-American woman has ever won an LPGA title. Among America’s 15,000 private golf courses, only about a handful are black-owned, Kirby said. Kirby takes his students to one of them: The Marlton Golf Club in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

“We take our kids to golf courses and give them a whole new experience,” Kirby said. “They get lessons, guidance and advice from experts in the golf industry who look like them. I don’t want black kids to say they can’t play when get they get invited to play.”

To read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/foundation-aims-steer-black-kids-golf-course-n884011

First Black PGA Golfer Charles L. Sifford Earns Presidential Medal of Freedom

Known as the “Jackie Robinson of Golf” because of his strides in breaking through golf’s stiff racial barriers, Sifford provided counsel to Robinson during his climb up to fame. His words of wisdom came from walking a path of resistance from showing interest in goals as a young boy in Charlotte, N.C.

Caddying while practicing his skills, Jim Crow laws prevented Sifford from advancing beyond gopher status. His determination to make golf dreams come true garnered death threats even after the PGA banned its Whites only clause. Today, Sifford boasts a Honorary Doctor of Law Degree by the University of St. Andrews given to him  in 2006. And he is the third golf pro to receive the Medal of Freedom after Arnold Palmer in 2004 and Jack Nicklaus in 2005. Sifford was voted in by a panel of sporting who’s who including congressional politicians and athletes like Tiger Woods, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell and Jim Brown.

“The PGA of America joins our friends throughout sports today in paying tribute to Dr. Charles Sifford upon receiving this prestigious honor,” said PGA of America Interim President Derek Sprague. “The hard-fought efforts and perseverance of Dr. Sifford continue to inspire our industry to evolve and elevate all efforts in diversity and inclusion. We must be mindful and proactive in creating meaningful opportunities for everyone to participate in this great sport.”

article by Raqiyah Mays via blackenterprise.com

Pro Golfer Cheyenne Woods Emerges from Tiger’s Shadow With Australian Ladies Masters Win

Cheyenne Woods
Cheyenne Woods

Comparisons to her uncle Tiger may be inevitable, but Cheyenne Woods is coming out from under her famous relative’s shadow with a win at the Australian Ladies Masters on Sunday.  ESPN.com reports that Woods earned her first her first major professional tour victory by holding off 17-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee by two strokes.  The 23-year-old golfer closed with a 4-under 69 at Royal Pines to finish at 16-under 276. Lee also shot 69 in the event sanctioned by the European and Australian tours. Woods’ two-stroke lead came when she birdied the par-5 15th, hitting a wedge from about 120 yards to 4 feet. On the par-5 18th, she holed out from 1½ feet as she matched Lee with a birdie.

Speaking of the impact of winning a Ladies European Tour event, an emotional Woods labeled the moment as “a huge accomplishment for me.”  “The European Tour has been great to be able to play this past year, she said while acknowledging her fellow golfers. “I’ve been able to see all of these great players, play with Solheim Cup members. … To be able to come out here and compete with them and come out on top was huge for me.”

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Tiger Woods Delivers Clinching Point in Presidents Cup Win

Tiger Woods hits his tee shot at No. 18 on Sunday during the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Andy Lyons / Getty Images / October 6, 2013)

DUBLIN, Ohio — The Presidents Cup ended Sunday the same way it always goes — an American celebration after Tiger Woods delivers the winning point.   Woods’ back flared up on him again in the final hour at Muirfield Village. He still managed to hang on to beat Richard Sterne, 1 up, to give the Americans the 18 points they needed to win the Presidents Cup for the fifth consecutive time. It was the third straight Presidents Cup that Woods won the cup-clinching match — all three with Fred Couples as the captain. 

“It was a team effort this whole week,” said Woods, who went 4-1 for the best record of any player. “We really played well to give ourselves a nice lead.”  The biggest surprise was not so much the outcome, but that the matches ended without going to Monday. 

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Tiger Woods Wins Players Championship

Tiger Woods of the USA holds the winner's trophy after the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods of the USA holds the winner’s trophy after the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (AP) — Tiger Woods had the last word against Sergio Garcia by winning The Players Championship on Sunday.  Woods ended a weekend of verbal sparring with Garcia by doing what he does best — closing out tournaments, even if he let this one turn into a tense duel over the final hour at the TPC Sawgrass. Tied with Garcia with two holes to play, Woods won by finding land on the last two holes for par to close with a 2-under 70.

Garcia was standing on the 17th tee shot, staring across the water to an island as Woods made his par. He took aim at the flag with his wedge and hung his head when he saw the ball splash down short of the green. Then, Garcia hit another one in the water on his way to a quadruple-bogey 7. He completed his stunning collapse by hitting his tee shot into the water on the 18th and making double bogey.

Woods was in the scoring trailer when he watched on TV as Swedish rookie David Lingmerth missed a long birdie putt that would have forced a playoff. It raced by the cup, and Lingmerth three-putted for bogey.

“How about that?” Woods said to his caddie, Joe LaCava as he gave him a hug.  Woods won The Players for the first time since 2001 and joined Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Steve Elkington as the only two-time winners at the TPC Sawgrass. It was his 78th career win on the PGA Tour, four short of the record held by Sam Snead.

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Tiger Woods Breaks Ground on His First Golf Course

Tiger Woods has broken ground on his first-ever designed golf course in Mexico. The news was first reported by GOLF.com.

The course, named El Cardonal after the former ranch where it will rest, is a $12 million layout in an exclusive resort community in posh Cabo San Lucas, the report said.

“I want to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for all players, regardless of skill level,” Woods said in an email to GOLF.com. “I’ve played in enough pro-ams to know that not every golfer is a scratch player. Creating wide landing areas and avoiding forced carries whenever possible allow all golfers, even beginners, to keep the ball in play and have more fun.”

Tiger Woods Design had failed projects in Dubai, North Carolina and another in Mexico. The global economic crisis is commonly cited as the root cause of the scrapped plans in each locale.

Woods is playing in Malaysia this week.  View a map of Woods’ course design projects here. Also read GOLF.com’s exclusive story.

article by Darren Sands via blackenterprise.com